Arise, You Sons Of Martha – A Blast From the Past From November 2012


*So, what surprised me about this post: other than the fact that it’s still pretty much on point for what we need to do, is that now the left is helping us, by accellarating innovation and shutting down the institutions they took lifetimes crawling through.  Not that they think it’s what they’re doing. We have an entire briar patch situation going on.  And yet, they ARE helping us, and it’s a great opportunity to shape the future.  You know, it’s time. Go to work. Now. – SAH*

Arise, You Sons Of Martha – A Blast From the Past From November 2012

First, let me explain that right now my reading is full of French Revolution, for the second book of The Earth Revolution: Through Fire. Second that I have a cousin who was raised in France.  His parents came back briefly to see if they could establish themselves in Portugal when I was nine and he was three.  (It was a forlorn hope, and they went back and only came back to Portugal when he was in his twenties.  Fortunately for them he married a Portuguese woman and so they have the family nearby.)

Anyway, for that year, while his parents went back and forth to France to do legal stuff, he lived with us almost full time.  Among his accomplishments at three was the ability to sing the full La Marseillese.  The song impressed me immensely with its opening “Allons Enfants de la Patrie.”

The verse translated as “Arise” (or less grandiloquently) “Come on” “Children of the Fatherland.”

Of course, in English it has a very off-putting sound and for Americans it makes no sense at all.  This land is not our fatherland.  It might have molded our people, starting with showing the Pilgrims that if you don’t work you’ll die, but it’s not been the place where our DNA culled, filtered and mixed for thousands of years.

Anyway, this all came to me while reading Roger L. Simon’s rather dispirited article after the election, where he more or less says it’s all done, we’re no longer a center-right country.

As much as I like Roger, I’ll beg to disagree.  Even if that were true, we wouldn’t be a center-right country by less than one percentage point.  And if after more than fifty years of school indoctrination, media control, entertainment filtering, the left has only that advantage, it means at the very least that we’re a people with a hard head and that most of us find the way out of the plantation sooner or later.  This is confirmed by the fact that what gave the victory to Obama was the legions of (unemployed) under thirty years old.  These are people who, like him, are ignorant of business and the facts of life (I don’t mean sex.  That they know as much as previous generations, though they think they invented it.)  To him his rhetoric, the cooked unemployment numbers, the whole nonsense of needing more time because it was so bad makes sense.  They haven’t broken out of indoctrination yet.  And a lot of them want to be part of what they perceive as the “cool kids” (which at that age inevitably is the ones that curse more, have tattoos and have no visible means of sustenance.)  Most of them will grow up.  But the age group will be replaced by yet more indoctrinated youth.

Which means Roger is right about the causes: we must take back education, entertainment/arts, and the news.

I’m not sure he’s right about the solution.  His idea is that we need to go back, infiltrate, start our own long march through the institutions.

I have two problems with that.  The first is that it’s been tried.  Roger, as a recent convert, might not be aware of this, but the right didn’t give up on these fields.  Some of us even tried to infiltrate them by doing what we called “stealthing”  (which can be defined as “walk like one of them until you’re secure.”)

I still have acquaintances and friends (some of whom would surprise you) doing just that.

There are two problems with this approach – one is that the left, being a mystery religion, has so many signs, counter signs and symbols that it’s very hard to imitate the whole unless you believe it OR want to bring about their result.  The second is that they demand constant tests of loyalty.  It’s rather like infiltrating a criminal organization.

I might flatter myself that I had as good a chance as any, with my background, but I couldn’t do it.  Art is to a great extent a thing of the subconscious and things broke through without my meaning.  I also wouldn’t undertake the tests of loyalty, such as writing a book on how America had ruined my life.

The right let themselves be infiltrated because at some level the right had bought the left was the future.  It wasn’t that the people coming in weren’t obvious, it was that their bosses shrugged and sighed and said “Apres nous le deluge.”  Which left us in this fine mess. But the left thinks we’re evil.  They fight our infiltration with all strength.

The other objection to the scheme is that all of those fields are falling apart.  I think Hollywood lives, these days, mostly on foreign sales.  Part of it is that entertainment and the news are creating product no one wants.  (Which means I’m convinced that most people are still center right – where it counts.  Their wallets.  A lot of them just don’t consider themselves political and still buy what “everybody says” – never mind, the tribulation that’s coming will fix that.)

The other thing that’s hitting these fields is a wave of technological innovation that demands they adapt and innovate, something they’re UNABLE to do.

All of us in writing have watched with almost awe as again and again the publishing establishment balks the challenge and tries to force things back somehow to “business as usual.”

And this is because they can’t do otherwise.  It’s not in their makeup.

This is not cheap pop psychology.  It’s merely the result of how people become hard left, or anything to the right of Lenin.  Hard to center left don’t have to do anything.  They’re the good boys and girls.  They receive “wisdom” in the schools and they know by parroting it they’ll go far.  They never doubt, never stray, never go out on a limb.

I’m not saying they’re dumb.  Some of them are brilliant.  Some of them are even true artists and their product gives their spoutings the lie because their subconscious knows better than they do.

I mean, they are more creatures of the group.  Social approval is important.  They never strayed.

So their ability to innovate is limited to “improving on how things are done.”  When faced with the type of catastrophic change hitting  those three fields right now, they are flabbergasted and most of their reaction amounts to hands over ears and screaming lalalalalala.

Then there’s us.  If I had a dime for each conservative who starts with “I used to be liberal, but—“  Now the left trolls try to mimic this with “I am a lifelong republican” and that’s bs, and we all know it, because that’s not how things work.  But we all start more or less liberal, at least those of us under 60.

Heck, I was always anti-communist, but I didn’t understand why guns shouldn’t be regulated or why we shouldn’t have universal health care, or why–   Heinlein cured me, though it was a slow cure.

For most of us, coming to our present beliefs involved one or more Damascus Road moments.  (For those of other traditions, that was when St. Paul on his way to persecute Christians met with the resurrected Christ and changed completely – and no, I’m not as pious as I sound.  I was raised in a country where Catholicism is a course from elementary through High School, though full disclosure, my dad got me dispensation in High School because the priest who taught it couldn’t put up with my arguments anymore. He was a liberation theologist and I’m not a good person.)

A Damascus Road experience of the political kind involves suddenly trying to integrate an event or a circumstance that just won’t fit your mental map, being unable to, and then starting to examine all your received wisdom until you realize it’s all – or most of it a lie.  (I’ve had three, and yes, 9/11 was one of them.)

It involves walking around for about a year, wondering if you’ve gone completely insane, because “everybody knows” and yet…  And yet you can no longer believe it.  This gives you an impression of brokenness and loss of faith.

Those of us who survive it and stay the course are independent cusses.  People who are independent cusses socially tend to be creative too.  Or at least we are so far out of the box that we can’t find it.

This makes it easier for us to adapt when catastrophic change sets in.  And because the status quo establishment hates us, we HAVE in self defense to take to the new tech.

We’ve been doing so.  In droves.

However, Roger L. Simon is right and it’s not enough.

It’s not enough because the inmates just got four more years to run the asylum.  And with tech and society changing as fast as they are, these people have set the course to the 1930s, this time with more bizarre multiculti which also endangers us from abroad.

Guys, this ship is going to go aground and go aground HARD.  My friend Charles says that he doesn’t know what happens when a democracy implodes, but we do know: Empire.  Yeah, it’s possible that by being a different type of democracy we won’t get it, but I think it’s more likely we’ll just get a different type of Empire.  (Which, BTW, Soviet Russia WAS.)

We don’t have time to wait for them to die off and us to replace them.  IF we can keep the republic, we must accelerate this buggy.

Hence the title, which is actually from a Kipling poem, The Sons of Martha.  Again, if you don’t want to click through, it’s based on the New Testament story of Martha and Mary sisters of Lazarus, who are entertaining Jesus and his disciples.  Martha is bringing out the food and doing all the work while Mary sits and listens.  It’s in there to illustrate the difference between active and contemplative devotion, but that’s not important right now.  The important part is that Kipling picked up the tale and wrote a poem to extoll those who do real things in society: engineering, creating…

I think most of those who call themselves Sons of Martha in modern times are Engineers or scientists.  BUT it extends further.  They’re everyone who creates – everyone who works hard, breaks the mold, brings forth innovation.

We’re the sons and daughters of Martha.  And we must take up our heritage.

There’s not much point infiltrating the dying model.  It’s difficult, if not impossible.  It stains the soul, till you don’t know who you are.  And in the end there isn’t enough time for that.

But just playing with the new model isn’t enough.  We must consciously and vigorously push the new model forward in all ways possible.

I’ll propose some points, upon which you may enlarge at will and pass on to your several groups, which will enlarge them and in turn bring them back to us.

1 – Entertainment:

TV/movies: there is STARTING to be stuff on youtube that can compete with the commercial stuff.  This is not my arena, I don’t know what to do, other than wish I were twenty years younger and had time to learn animation.  The tech for that to be a solo thing is almost there but not quite.  However, this is not my area.  Those of you who are in the field, look to it, and come up with ways to go indie.

Books: Yes, I know tons of us do that, but a lot of us do it almost passively because it’s there.  Well, it’s time to put teeth in it. Accelerate, innovate, improve.  Let your beliefs through without preaching.  Write more.  Write better.  LEARN covers.  Help each other.  Make the traditional stuff look like the gray goo it is. Go.

Games: Those of you who know enough to supervise a team, create a pitch, put it on Kickstarter, see if you get enough to hire a team to make the games for you.  Again – GO, you have work to do.

2- News:

We have pundits aplenty.  Here and there a bit of news breaks through.  BUT believe it or not journalism is a craft, even if not practiced any longer.  There are ways to gather, test and filter news.  I was trained for it so long ago that it’s useless now.  At any rate, I think I’m more of the integrator/pundit.  Though I wouldn’t mind knowing how to do it.  If any of you know, teach the others.  Let’s start a blog or more of news-gatherers and (local) reporters.

We NEED that.  And if you have a face made for TV (well, let me lose another fifty pounds.  Am losing again, on new hormonal regime.  I MIGHT be presentable, unless all my skin sags and stuff… 😛 ) do your news in video format.  Make it professional.  GO.

3- Education.  I confess here, I expected to have more time and for tech to develop more.  It’s there, it’s coming, I expected my grandkids to be learning at home/online/self directed.

We won’t have that time.  Some of the entertainment and news have to cover for education.  I’m thinking a YA detective series set during the American revolution might help…  YA romances might help too.  (I don’t think YA erotica helps anything, but maybe I’m a prude.  But there’s sweet-romance, i.e. without sex, and let’s admit it, 11 yo girls dream of their wedding and the great love.  There’s a market there.)

However, for parents like me who can be home with the kids but lacked the time to properly homeschool, we need … Online homeschooling leagues?  Online schools?  Online resources that can help de-indoctrinate kids who went to public school.

We need this, and we need it to be good.  My expertise in the field is now so rusty as to be useless.  At best I can glimpse what it SHOULD be.  But there are many of you with training and expertise.  It is your duty, for the sake of our republic, to figure this out, get together, form groups, explore forms, work like h*ll and create serious competition to the state’s indoctrination machines.  Now GO!  You have work to do.

If we succeed this might be the weirdest revolution of mankind, but it WILL be a revolution.

Arise, Sons and Daughters of Martha.  Our only chance to keep our republic is to claim our individuality and work around the stifling government that would herd us back to the nineteen thirties.

Go.  Innovation is in your blood.  Creation is your heritage.  Claim it proudly.

Be not afraid.  Go forth and bring us the future.

346 thoughts on “Arise, You Sons Of Martha – A Blast From the Past From November 2012

  1. This is completely off-topic, but there’s something I’m curious about and I’m hoping someone who’s been here long enough can enlighten me.

    I hang out in the Let’s Play sub-forum at Something Awful and recently some wag there made a pun involving D&D beholders and 80’s music. It was so groan-worthy I instinctively reached for a carp to throw before remembering where I was; they don’t use ballistic fish as punishment.

    This made me realize I have no idea why we do it here. So now I’m wondering exactly how that tradition get started. Why do we use carporal punishment?

    1. People were using the carpapult back when I joined in, [looks at calendar] ye gads, 2012. I think it comes from Sarah’s weaponized salt cod planks, but I could be wrong.

      1. Smacking somebody with a fish was definitely a thing in some chats I was in around the late 1990s/early 2000s, but it was a trout instead of carp.

        1. Right that’s the Fish Slapping Dance. Didn’t know it came from Asterix. We used to get to (try) to read Asterix in french when we had time at the end of french class. I suspect there were LOTS of puns we missed due to our lame knowledge of the language. Don’t remember carp flinging.

          1. Carp fighting was a major part of village life, usually starting with the Blacksmith insulting the Fishmonger’s wares.

            Asteroid is an example of absolutely brilliant example of skillful translation, at least in the English versions. They managed to make puns of everything that was a pun in French, and the vast majority were as appropriate as the original.

            I have – somewhere – a book on the Asterix phenomenon, that goes into some detail about this.

            1. *saves one of the books from the roving toddler*

              The bard, Cacofonix, is singing in the woods.
              Maybe it’s because I’m Amorican that I love Amorica so….
              The Romans out on the “dangerous mission” to capture a bard, flee, and the leader yells:
              These Gaulish secret weapons ought to be banned by the Helvetia Convention!”

              I had no idea they’d been written in French when I first ran into them.

              1. I think I knew, because of an encyclopedia of comic strip characters that was common in remaindered catalogs in the 1970’s. Then I ran into English translations in English Language bookstores when my folks took me to Europe in 1975. My folks loved them, too.

              2. I may be wrong, but I think I first read them in German in the 80s. Whew. That’s been a while. Asterix and Obelix also taught me some Latin that I didn’t get from the nuns, too…

                1. I know they’ve been translated in to English, Spanish, German and I think one other language, because it was noted as a wonder of translation skill that they worked puns for all the pun stuff.

                  1. As I recall, yes. Now I want to find those old dog-eared comics and read them again. Spanish would have helped- took me longer to learn basic Spanish than I ever took German.

                    These days its hard to find translations of that quality for something simple as a funnies, let alone supposedly professional papers. But it would never have worked out if they hadn’t- half that fun was word play throughout!

                    1. My mother is learning Latin. At nearly eighty, because she wanted to add another language. *shakes head*

                      My trainees, sometimes, tell me they wish they knew what I do, or some such. I know nothing compared to my parents’ generation! I’m just trying to catch up. *sigh* One day I’m going to die and probably my last thought will be some combination of “I still need to learn this!” and/or “I still need to write that!”

                    2. Maybe we’ll get to finish things on the other side. The problem will come in balancing between catching up on reading, writing, and keeping up with what’s going on with the important ones we’ll be patiently waiting on.

                      Or maybe yet those orphan worlds move on to another mind to torment them ’till they get written. More than one of mine I look back after and on first pass and ask myself “where in the world did *that* come from?” My grandfather the storyteller was more the one to spin Westerns and suchlike. And yet there it is. *shakes head* One day we will find out.

                    1. Asterix and Tintin taught me French. Asterix in Latin is delicious. My daughter has at least one That she uses in class.

                    2. I have to get back to Latin. I have Latin and Greek from Great courses,the full Oxford course materials, and a few years to bone up to teach the grandkids (hopefully.) I was just thinking when I get back, I’ll get Asterix in Latin, because that’s how I learn. Get the basics, then start reading in the language.

                    1. Included in those languages are English and American-English. I suspect they’ve also done specific translations for different vernaculars of Spanish and Portuguese. Possibly even Australian-English.

                      What I have found amusing when comparing various translations have been the different sound-effects employed, such as when Asterix slaps a Roman legionary. Regrettably, I’ve no examples at hand, so you’ll have to procure your own.

              3. I love the Portuguese in there. “I can’t sing, but I can recite poetry” 😀

                I HOPE to make a lot of money before both kids have kids. Because I can’t divide the collection. And don’t want to give mine up.
                (BTW reason haven’t sent box of books to library yet is that older son moved a bunch of things into library, looking for his stuff in the storage area. I can’t get to the books that I have doubles of. HOWEVER I’m now thinking when I have money — some of your kids might still be home — I MUST send you the “historic” Disney books. Like the story of Scrooge that goes back to Scotland, and has just enough “truth” to be good discussion. Explaining to your kids in the past people weren’t ducks is YOUR lookout. Should I ever have enough money, of course.)

                1. We got our Asterix off of Amazon, mostly Library remainders.

                  Oooh! Oooh! The 60th anniversary one is $15 for the first three books!

                2. The Scrooge McDuck that illustrates why money is not wealth should be read by everyone who can read…and then read to AOC over and over.

                  It’s called ‘A Financial Fable’ or ‘The Cyclone Moneybin’ depending on the publication.

              4. Yes I found some of them in english later and yes puns galore. Truly nice jobs of translation, thats REALLY hard to do. Cacofonix as a bard name is hilarious. The only reason I met them in the original french first was that the 7/8 grade french teacher was originally from france (american Dad french mom lived in france until about 12) and had them. They were her copies of Asterix and were treated VERY gently. But puns in another language are hard especially when your vocabulary is probably less than that of a native toddler.

        2. The hilarious part is when people ask me “Is that a thing you do in Portugal?”
          ….. I confess I’ve been known to answer “yes.” Just because I’m a writer and it amuses me.

          1. Oh, come on, you’d do it if you weren’t a writer, just to mess with people.
            The ‘Five Second Rule’ does not apply if the food is wet and cat hair is involved.

      1. I need to reread those. I’ve been doing a lot of comfort reading this year. I should probably continue with the comfort reading and cut down on the comfort food.

  2. If one looks purely at the numbers, the comics industry now consists of Japanese manga publishers, indie comics primarily from Indiegogo, and indie webcomics. Marvel and DC, along with woke small presses, are about the segment of the industry that was once occupied by only small presses, and maybe not even that much.

    Marvel and DC have managed to drive the ship aground during the world’s biggest period of superhero fandom. Which proves that sin makes you stupid… or at least, turning over the reins to a bunch of bickering mean girls of both sexes means you’re already stupid.

    Marvel and DC were already digging their own graves in 2012 when you wrote this. Indie webcomics and very small presses were all that was fighting them. But between Gamergate and Comicsgate, this huge resurgence of American comics has come about, from both pros who were tired of junk or had been canceled, and from the very deepest of the grassroots, including comics fans who hadn’t bought comics since they were kids and got excited for them again.

    Just last year, Richard C. Meyer got approached by Chuck Dixon, on behalf of Sylvester Stallone, to put out a licensed Expendables comic where the Expendables waged war in Hell, against supernatural creatures and military figures from all ages. 3355 backers raised $239,283 for the graphic novel in about a month. The book was going through final proofing last weekend and should be shipping soon.

    So think about this. In a time of pandemic when other comics publishers were giving up, Meyer actually created and shipped several new comics, including not just Expendables, but a couple of pandemicsploitation comics. He’s got a campaign to reprint Iron Sights 2 (with a goal that includes a copy of Iron Sights 1, sneakily) that has already made 200% of the goal. And he does all this while putting out tons of YouTube videos about comics present and past. And he has made literally more than a million dollars, and is on course for 2 million.

    Marvel with a full staff doesn’t do this. DC with a full staff doesn’t do this. They put out tons of crud comics, on starvation wages, and then they spend all their spare time on Twitter.

    1. I haven’t picked up anything from either of the Used-To-Be-Big Two in years, save one odd graphic novel at a con a few years back. Just… anything past the 90s didn’t have enough characters, instead of Wangst and Explosions.

      Manga, now… manga you can actually find character development.

      I’ll have to check out this Indiegogo. 🙂

      1. The last Marvel or DC comic I bought was a collection of DAMAGE CONTROL stories they nearly didn’t publish. I’ve browsed a little since, though not in the past year.

        1. They had a late 30s reprint I was all ready to buy, but the “racist” parts led to it not being published.

          Because, you know, archival Batman and Wonder Woman with backup stories containing stories not acceptable to woke 5 year olds (all wokesters are 5 regardless of chronological age) aren’t worth publishing when it’s nearly free money (the creative work was done before management was born).

          1. I just had a random thought as to why cancelling the racist stuff of yesteryear bothers me: it’s the insistence that the world can’t be perfect unless we forget the sins of the past.

            It’s as though looking back on racist stuff from the past, and being able to think “Hey, that’s racist! But we’re better than that now! I wonder if there’s anything in my life today that I consider hunky dory, but should consider to be as bad as that racist stuff people accepted back in the day, but couldn’t notice back then?”

            Because we should never reflect on how much we improved, nor how much improvement we still might need to make….

            1. What bothers me about trying to cancel the sins of the past is that it’s all people being offended on behalf of someone else. I’m not sure if I can explain why, but people being offended on behalf of some group they don’t belong to just strikes me as wrong.

              1. It might be your spidey-sense warning you about a boundary violation.

                There are times and places where you would warn someone, “hey, don’t do that, it will upset so and so,” but they are all…well, private. The whole point is that you make it so that the other person doesn’t have to pay the social cost of saying “because of ME, you can’t do that.”

                By doing it publicly, they both make the person pay that cost– even if they would not have been offended, or would have been willing to ignore it– and are presuming the right to make judgements on behalf of another.

                They are trespassing on another’s rights, in the name of helping them.

      2. Richard C. Meyer (aka Ya Boi Zack, aka Comics MATTER on YouTube) is a character. He was an infantry gunner in Iraq for the Marines, and then got out, and then got bored and went back in — in the Army — and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s got like five kids, all of whom he supports, and all from different racial backgrounds because he likes everybody. And he puts out a ton of comics, creating jobs.

        So yeah, he’s a fun guy.

      3. DC had a really fun new character, The Silencer, whose book was consistently good and respected DC’s history (even doing a funny and appropriate lampshade of the iconic cover of Superman holding a dead Supergirl in one issue). It lasted 18 issues and hasn’t been revived despite having a female lead.

        She wasn’t a stunning and brave independent woman who needs no man lead, though. Her principle motivation was to keep her past from harming her husband and son, so no feminists went to bat for her.

        The New 52 Wonder Woman was actually and interested reboot and the rolling back of it was just as interesting.

        Beyond that, all I’ve really focused on from DC is LSH and they killed them off when New 52 imploded. They are only now reprinting the Five Years After storyline. It’s going to be a $100+ bound volume in November. If I buy it, still unsure, it’ll be the most they get from me all year.

        Comics has finally driven me off, although I have been on most of Ya Boy Zack’s IndieGogo (the mean girls got him kicked off Kickstarter) except the Stallone one.

        1. Last comic I bought, I think was Unsounded when she went Kickstarter um… maybe a decade ago or something. DC has had stories I *wanted* to like, but never could get in to enough to purchase, many times. And I used to even finish *bad* storylines, because even bad story was better than no story… until it wasn’t anymore.

          DC and Marvel gave up the snorkel and grew gills years ago, alas. They’re so in the tank these days the betas are charging rent.

      4. Note: The wokistas are trying to destroy manga and anime (or at least, attempt to limit their access now – there’s a number of YT anime …uh, commentators that remark on this. Example:

        I’m currently indulging in reading the Girl Genius novelizations (and writing fanfic that I have no intention of ever publishing anywhere, it’s incoherent self-indulgence) because characters.

          1. Never read it, but I think there’s a Jesus-and-Muhammad-are-roommates webcomic out there.

    2. The wall-o-manga at B&N is impressive. I happened to note that they have the early manga for an anime series that I used to watch on occasion . . . No, it didn’t follow me home, but the temptation was strong. I frequently see kids and adults taking 2-3 manga books to the checkout counter.

    3. And it also looks very much like Marvel is stealing fan artwork, tracing it, and reprinting it in their comics. At least in their Star Wars titles.

      Last year (I think) videos started popping up in my YouTube Recommendations with titles like “Marvel Steals Art!!!!!!” I thought it was just a bunch of hooey until one of the SW fan channels I subscribe to, which I trust, published one. So I watched it.

      Holy crap.

      The author lays out his case in great detail and even puts together side-by-side and overlay comparisons of the supposedly-stolen artwork and the images from the Marvel books. They’re nearly always a perfect match. And the author always links to the original artwork and provides the publishing date of said artwork: a lot of it was published YEARS before Marvel started working on their lines.

      And they keep doing it. It seems like every time a new book comes out, there’s more and more obviously-pirated fan art in it.

      Never thought I’d be glad that I’d stopped buying the Star Wars books. But now I am.

        1. A lot of artists at Marvel and DC seem to do this with normal things like cars and trucks, nowadays.

          I mean, sure, people are on deadlines, and sure they get desperate. But tracing? You can’t even trace it and then change it up?

      1. If I recall correctly from Feiffer’s THE GREAT COMIC BOOK HEROES and Steranko’s HISTORY OF COMICS, that’s been part of the scene from the very first. Which isn’t to say it’s right, just that it should surprise nobody.

        1. Yeah, my understanding is that it’s been common since the good ol’ days, but this is so incredibly blatant, and they’re so freaking LAZY about it, that it’s sickening.

          There was one panel where they traced custom-painted models from one of the Star Wars tabletop games (Can’t remember if it was X-Wing or Armada) that somebody had posted on Pinterest, and traced the freaking pegs used to attach the models to their bases into the panel.

          1. Sheesh. That sounds like the old Cold War story about the Soviets copying one of our fighter plane designs (F-18 Hornet?) and including the tailhook for carrier landings — at a time when the Soviet Navy had no carriers. It was in the stolen blueprints, so they copied it by rote.

            1. Would have likely pre-dated the Hornet, as iirc the lone Soviet carrier actually dates back to that era.

              There’s a similar story involving the B-29. Three of them landed in the USSR during World War 2, and were interned there. The Soviets promptly mapped out the design to buiod their own – going so far as to make tools for the planes that used Imperial measurements instead of metric. And when the Soviets unveiled their copy, it even included an armor patch that had been slapped on one of the interned American planes.

                1. Didn’t follow Navy planes, but that sounds right. The F-15 and F-16 were getting promotional video on MSM around 1976-74. Only had a B&W TV then, but I remember the shot included both taking off on the same runway (side by side, I think) with one or both going vertical.

                  And the F-15s still fly overhead at the training wing in town.

                1. I heard they duplicated the “Boeing” on the rudder pedals. I haven’t been in a B-29 in decades so I don’t even know if the B-29 even has “Boeing” on the rudder pedals.

            2. They put tail hooks on airplanes that normally don’t get anywhere near aircraft carriers. The F-15 and F-16, for example. They’re sometimes used when landing on extra short runways.

              1. And you never know when they might need to operate off a carrier. See Doolittle Raid. Putting on the tail hook when you don’t HAVE a carrier…..

                1. Actually, the ultimate example of this was when the landed a C-130 on a carrier. It didn’t have a tailhook, though. It just braked to a stop.

                  You know, this reminds me of a story I heard in college, from a couple of the guys I got to meet who had worked on the A-3 Vigilante. It seems they were out on the carrier for orientation. (You need engineers on scene when you do flight tests and before you go to a carrier to work, you apparently have to go to a carrier just to see what it’s like.) Anyway, what that aircraft carrier was doing when they were there for orientation was the carrier qualification of the F-4. They said that the Phantom came down for it’s first arrested landing and it hit the deck, caught the number three wire, and the tailhook stopped, but the rest of the aircraft just sort of kept going.

                1. They put them on runways, too. The AIM says that they usually are put in the overrun areas and are marked with 10 foot diameter yellow circles. I don’t know which airports have such things, however.

                  1. A co-worker was Naval Reserve in the ’70s, and relayed info on a fatal accident at Alameda NAS near ‘Frisco. For some reason the A-3 tried to abort its takeoff, and the brakes weren’t sufficient. The pilot deployed the tailhook, but the arresting cable wasn’t present. AFAIK, the ejection seats weren’t zero-altitude types, so the plane and crew went into the SF bay.

                    Not sure if any of the three on board survived. Vague memory says not.

                    Murphy was working overtime that day.

                    1. Aerial photos show that NAS Fort Worth and NAS Kingsville both have arrestor wires. I hadn’t thought of looking at military or mixed military/civilian airports. I didn’t see arrestor wires at any of the three air force bases I checked, but Randolph AFB (San Antonio) has what appears to be barriers in the overrun. One of the things that the aviation training cognoscenti are pushing these days is recurrent training that actually practices dealing with the things that kill pilots. One of those things is rejected takeoffs because you have to decide in advance the conditions under which you will abort because there isn’t time to decide on the way.

                      Many years after college, I was working with someone who had been a crewman on an aircraft carrier in Vietnam. He was surprised to hear that the A-3 was originally designed to drop bombs because it wasn’t well suited to that role. By his time in Vietnam, the A-3 did reconnaissance and little else.

                      Aircraft design can be thought of as a process by which the takeoff weight estimate is refined. This continues right up until you can actually weigh the aircraft prior to takeoff. The thing about that is you need to nail the initial weight estimate fairly closely because that initial weight estimate is used to size the engines and the wings. The A-3 first left the ground at about twice the initial weight estimate. That’s actually pretty common for aircraft of that vintage as engineers who gained intuition during the end of the propeller era learned to deal with jets.

    4. And then there’s the reason I quit reading the Star Wars books in the first place: the utterly bizarre and nonsensical character and plot choices the creators made.

      I gave up on the main Star Wars series after a story arc where LITERALLY NOTHING WAS ACCOMPLISHED. Our heroes were hiding out/were guests/were being held not-prisoner on an isolated moon owned by some ultrawealthy ex-Imperial agent with a mysterious past, the Empire found them, interesting new characters died for no good reason, all of the plot threads that had started to be woven together were not only cut, but completely burned away — seriously, the mysterious ultrawealthy ex-Imperial openly admitted that he had no idea why the Empire had given him the moon — and our heroes escaped and went back to the fleet. Nothing was accomplished, nobody was saved, no new characters joined our heroes.

      Literally the only thing of note for happened for six book was that Luke Skywalker fell in love only to have his heart broken at the very end of the arc.

      And then there’s what they did to Doctor Aphra.

      I LOVED that series when it first came out. It was basically The Humorous Misadventures of a Pretty-Much-Amoral Female Indiana Jones Rip-Off IIIINNN SPAAAAAAAAAAACE! And it was rip-roaring good fun.

      Then they changed creative teams after the first two plot arcs and the second crossover series with the main title.

      So, Aphra was always pretty heavily hinted at being bisexual. No big deal for me. But prior to the creative change, she was flirting OUTRAGEOUSLY with Luke Skywalker every time they crossed paths, to the point where the fanbase was predicting that the two of them would wind up together.

      Instead, starting in the third story arc (which had absolutely nothing to do with what the previous arcs indicated the series was going, BTW), they throw her into a lesbian relationship with a cybernetically-enhanced Imperial Officer. Again, not a deal-breaker for me… except that Aphra and this Imp crossed paths for like five minutes during the first plot arc and didn’t even lay eyes on each other except for maybe two seconds. It was so jarringly out of left field that I actually went back and re-read the entire series because I was certain I must’ve missed something in the earlier books. Nope. No HINT of either woman even being aware the other existed, much less attracted to each other, prior to the third story arc. And now suddenly they’re head-over-heels for each other to the point where they are having (barely) PG-rated fantasies about each other.

      And that Imp? She was hyper-competent and ultra-dedicated to the Empire during her initial appearance. Now she’s so dumb that she believes Aphra when the latter lies and says her name is “Joystick Chevron” (yes, that is the actual alias Aphra gives her) and defects to the Alliance because the Empire is hunting Aphra and she LOOOOOOOOVES Aphra SOOOOOOOOO much….

      OY! F***ING! VEY! (and I’m not even Jewish….)

      And then we get to the fourth story arc, where the tone of the book changes from “The Humorous Misadventures of a Pretty-Much-Amoral Female Indiana Jones Rip-Off IIIINNN SPAAAAAAAAAAACE!” to “How Much Physical, Mental, and Emotional Abuse Can The Writers Put Poor Aphra Through Before She Breaks?” Yeah…. not my cup of tea. At all. I finished the fourth trade paperback, saw what the plot summary for the fifth one was (the same as Book 4, but with the the Torturing of Aphra turned up to twelve) and decided that I was DONE with the series.

      1. Every writer has a sort of implied contract with the readers. Today’s Marvel and DC writers usually think they have an implied duty to hurt the readers and any story that exists. Characters don’t even exist for them; they have less character sense than a kid with her first Barbie.

        1. They often claim “You aren’t my customers. The stores are my customers.”

          That is a level of cluelessness I cannot explain.

      2. I read fanfiction authors back in the 70s who were into “let’s torture Han,” stories. I wonder if one of them got hired.

          1. Torture the main character is a thing. A lot of people like to read it when things are depressing, because the character suffers something worse and it takes one’s mind off one’s own troubles. And then, either the character dauntlessly resists incredible odds, or is rescued and helped, and then they wreak vengeance and save the innocent.

            For example, Ghosts of Tsushima. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER Don’t worry, it’s not the whole story.

            Starts with a classic situation — the MC is fighting the Mongols, and all his buddies gradually get eliminated, and then he gets it, and then he wakes up being helped by an unlikely ally. It seems like it would be a really depressing tutorial, but apparently it actually makes the player bond with his character, and with his new ally.

            Now, the key here is that Tsushima doesn’t torture the MC or other characters for the length of the game, or even for a very long time. The mood starts grim, but you can make progress and be victorious.

            Some fannish series get addicted to torturing the MC, and therefore the character never gets out and never gets able to kick butt and get revenge. Often this is pictured as “more realistic”, especially in medical fanfic. But it’s depressing. There’s only so much pathos and bathos that readers can take.

            1. I read about a GM that pulled the perfect “torture your players” moment. He had them playing a Warhammer 40K RPG as members of an Imperial Guard unit, and fed them into the meat grinder. Their characters were treated like expendable cannon fodder, and everyone died at least once (and were replaced) at least once each game session. It was a grueling, unpleasant experience for the players.

              And then, just as the players were about to reach their limit, the game switched gears, and the last few battle-hardened surviving members of the unit were recruited by an Inquisitor for his retinue.

              1. WH 40K players (WH fantasy is a different, but related breed) tend to have a higher tolerance for grimdark than your average paper ‘n dice mob. Optional rules for amputations and loss of eyes, ears, etc were fun. No swapping characters until permadead. Swap to Chaos rules on occasion. Fun times. *chuckle*

          2. I heard a claim that Lucas got the word to the fannish community that he would ignore the fanfiction…so long as no body wrote Luke/Han stories.

            1. The Lucas quote I recall from back in the day, with regard to not only Luke/Han but anyone+anyone, is “There is no sex in the Star Wars universe.” SW slashfic was, for a time, driven underground by threats from lawyers. (Initially they tried to quash ALL fanfic, but that went about as well as you might expect.)

        1. Wouldn’t surprise me.

          I mean, I have no issue with putting characters through figurative and literal Hell – I’m guilty of doing it to my characters – so long as the characters a) can give just as good as they get, and/or b) there’s a light at the end of the title. But Aphra couldn’t fight back and every time there was hope or a glimmer of light… LOL NOPE! IT WAS ALL A LIE AND NOW THE PERSON YOU THOUGHT WOULD SAVE YOU IS GOING TO HURT YOU EVEN WORSE!!!!!!

          That moment, right at the end of the fourth story arc, very nearly made me wall the trade paperback.

          1. I gave up on cross-media franchise novels fairly early. Some of the Star Trek novels of the ‘80’s were pretty good, especially the Original Series books by Diane Duane, and Janet Kagan’s one ST book. But the Star Wars books had me convinced that nothing good would come of the prequels long before Phantom Headache came out. And the vast majority of D&D novels that people told me were good struck me as third rate at best.


            1. Star Trek circa 1980 was really the only cross media novels I read. Some were very good. The Final Reflection remains a favorite novel and is the single best portrayal of Klingons in any Star Trek media.

          2. Also guilty of putting characters through the wringer (hell, first thing I do to my MC is torture him into nonfunctionality.. off camera, tho, and what we =see= is him fighting his way back, albeit bumpily). But I want to see *something* change or resist, not just everyone being stuck in the same damn dungeon forever and ever.

    5. I’m… considering indie comic s instead iof novels. or, get some readers with novels and do comics… or something. Some stuf is too visual for novels, and is structured to be episodic.

      1. Crunchyroll also got involved in the whole Vic thing that divided fandom. I can’t believe that isn’t part of it.

        1. How’d they get involved?

          Only thing I could find was mention that the lawsuit happened after Funimation ended their contract with Crunchy.

          1. Bad blood with fandom in general. I also think they fired Vic off some projects.

            I’m not really into anime, but just kept hearing about the drama from some more general geeky people I follow, mainly TUG (That Umbrella Guy). I may have gotten wires crossed on it.

            1. Oooh! That was enough to find it!

              Roosterteeth fired him, and they’re streamed on Crunchyroll– so it’d be something like “producers on streaming platforms Funimation and Crunchyroll fired him,” which gets confusing because Funimation actually produces, too.

              Notably it looks like fans of RWBY, Roosterteeth’s big show, are objecting to the whole soviet style erasing of the guy.

              1. The big issue is the #metoo was started with claims of taking advantage of underage fans with people claiming they “knew” in ways that amounted to “helped cover up”. Then, when the investigation came, it was with clearly of age adults (two of whom might have issues with the same underage fans they claimed Vic did) and even then were things that…well, were lame, like making a joke “I ate you” after eating a jelly bean with another VA’s name on it.

                I mean, what happened to powerful women who don’t need no man.

                1. I mean, what happened to powerful women who don’t need no man.

                  Their spiritual children are busy making videos about how they’re gonna punch a nazi, then hitting the ground HARD after their victim fights back and there aren’t any men around protecting them. (Frequently males, but the men are going “…dude, you realize that what you just did was assault and would justify lethal force in response, right?”)

                  1. My favorite is Moldy Locks bragging about going out to punch Nazis and showing off her wine bottle to use as a club only to complain they hit a girl.

                    Sweetie, did you think Nazis don’t punch back?

  3. though they think they invented it

    Every generation thinks that. Boomers and millennial especially. At best they find a previously discarded way of talking about that while adapting it to a new medium. Even Boomer artiste types realized that, as Ingrid Sishay makes clear in her introduction to the collection of Mapplethorpe sex photos.

    It is amazing what two generations of indoctrination make. The 70s crowd, for all their Marxism, open and otherwise, and all their “rebellion”, was still able to produce artists. Even if you don’t like Mapplethorpe’s sex photos, his other display artistry in the field of photography. He long term lover (and beard for his family), Patti Smith, produced some amazing music. They were close enough to generations not imbued 100% with Marxism (probably because they still had teachers, formal and informal, not 100% sold out) that the ability to produce art wasn’t striped from them in making them fighters for the cause.

    And, in the case of gay artists in NYC circa 1970, the fact that they suffered real abuse to sustain their Marxism that the Antifa crowd does not (seriously, read what the conditions of bars like The Stonewall were like and understand that it because they were essentially illegal businesses).

    But even Sontag would write in a later afterword to Beyond Interpretation that everything she said was assuming art criticism prior to her and was meant to build from it, not reject it. Much like hearing John Cleese complain London is no longer an English city without being self-aware enough to understand his role (lesser or greater, I can argue either way) in the destruction of that very Englishness as an idea, I believe her. They at least understood they had an inheritance without realizing they were the prodigals squandering it.

    1. Warning: I’m replying to myself and going on a huge tagent because of weird processes this post brought up.

      It involves walking around for about a year, wondering if you’ve gone completely insane, because “everybody knows” and yet… And yet you can no longer believe it. This gives you an impression of brokenness and loss of faith.

      Those of us who survive it and stay the course are independent cusses. People who are independent cusses socially tend to be creative too.

      Ever since I read the Sishy referenced above last night there has been a niggling thought in my head about why no one has done straight, boring sex with the focus on artistry Mapplethorpe did for gay men. I had some theories, but this part of your post ran headlong into that question and another question, arguably a superset of the one I had, while dragging your constant reminders “man is a social ape” along.

      The broader question is “why does embracing alternative sexual practices: swinging/S&M/Ds/homosexuality, always seem to come with a dose of exhibitionism”. I mean, some of them, swinging in particular, are almost inherently exhibitionist. Some require some degree of education, some S&M practices, to do well in a reasonable amount of time. S&M has a similar equipment argument.

      But that’s not it. Those arise, but they aren’t the core.

      It isn’t exhibitionism. It is closer to voyeurism combined with community thinking.

      If you are gay or have a significant level of structured Dominance and submission or any of the others you are outside the culture. You think you are insane for wanting to do this AND you often think you’re completely transparent (Jay Wiseman in SM101 writing about the first time he bought rope to tie a partner up is a prime example). You need the community to realize you aren’t insane (or to deceive yourself into thinking you aren’t depending on POV) and you provide the same as a duty/bargain/payback.

      Z and I have talked about the sense of relaxation of being somewhere that she can just be my leather girl and not worry about reactions.

      And this goes way beyond sex. First, I think it is a crucial thing leftists have done right in recruiting. By tearing down boundaries they allowed people compelled to a minority way of being, not just sexual but other, to form said communities in an easier man (again, see NYC law and vice enforcement in the Stonewall era…how many leftists came out of being want to be left alone by the cops?). Conservatives have been slow to allow for those boundary bubbles to function. Of course, a better filtered bubble would only embrace those who need to go there and keep the curious in the majority, and thus less stressful, path. I think that would be a good thing even I would never have found the kink world under the old strictures.

      But it also explains what we need (see my depression comment on yesterday’s post) to be more vocal. We need the community and that means we need to pay it back. It also shows us the way to build our side in the coming battle because leftists are now the one trying to use social exclusion to keep people in line. We need to build places for people to be themselves, be explicit that our political leanings are why we embrace that, and build them smarter than the leftists did by throwing the gates open.

      1. Done right, though, there’s a lot of leeway for eccentricity or just plain full-spectrum human living in a “conservative” mode.

        I mean, look at the saints. You start reading lives of the saints that are primary sources, or otherwise well-researched, and you find a whole barrel of monkeys who aren’t much like each other at all — except for being holy. Introverts and extroverts. High charisma and full of cringe. Bold and shy. Ridiculously sane and sufferers from mental illness. Every profession and every background and every kind of social status has saints and martyrs, in all their glorious weirdness.

        St. Paul’s female cousins were female physicians! Who decided that Aesculapius’ mountain (while in full operation as a pagan pilgrimage site) was the perfect place to put up a free clinic for Christian pediatrics, surgery, and mental illnesses! Who knew?

        When people are living full throttle for God, they have the freedom to do what needs doing, in the way that it needs to be done.

        And after a while, in a truly conservative milieu that isn’t full of busybodies, people are just like, “Yeah, that’s Bob who lives off black bread and apples so he can give more money to the poor. He thinks nobody knows he gives all his money to the poor, so don’t let on.”

        1. And being St. Paul’s cousins, they did experimental medicine for patients other people wouldn’t take! So they ended up totally unable to get martyred, because the Aesculapians kinda liked those weird Jewish Christian ladies from Tarsus and their monastery next door!

        2. The key word and tricky phrase is “done right”.

          In the modern west, too often conservative is “conform” and religious conservative is “conform to a fairly modern reading of the Bible that is even tradition rejecting for Protestants”.

          I think leftism’s success owes a lot to that thinking and, now that it is “secure” as the dominant culture, it is adopting the same conservatism without realizing it will get the same ends. Every day it seems a new person who is pretty liberal in thinking (from gay marriage to single-payer) looks at the left and sees Pat Robertson 2.0.

          1. There’s usually at least a few dozen different conservative groups, though– and they’re also under attack.

            When there are people trying to undermine you, it DOES limit how tolerant you can be.

          1. Heh heh!

            And yes, that’s one reason why I like reading hagiography and the Fathers. I can find all kinds of reasons why X is totally okay, even if it’s not normal today. Church history also helps, if you’re a member of a church that actually accepts history as an argument.

                1. Indeed. If we ever decide to employ ballistic punishment for something other than puns, I nominate boots as the weapon–of-choice.

      2. Some thoughts,

        I’m not sure it’s a matter of Conservatives not allowing those boundaries to fu cation, rather than a matter of the core buttinskiism of the Progressives having spread from the far Left to as far Right as the spectrum of the day went. Certainly, the more I dig into the real history of sexuality in the Victorian and Edwardian eras,mute more it looks like the cases of ‘repression’ the Left loves to go on about often break from Teh Narrative in one or two ways. Either they are a case of some existing would-be (or actual) Elite getting its knickers in a knot over people minding their own damned business, or they are a case of society telling some twit “You can do that, but you’re supposed to keep it to yourself, fool!”

        Not sure about that one.

        Then there’s the way Elites (not just the current mess of Fascist Left toads) seem to feel COMPELLED to be extraordinary. Or maybe that should be EXTRAORDINARY! Their children must be the brightest, their weddings and births must have been attended By figures out of mythology, their tombs must be adorned with scenes of the Second Coming or Judgement Day.

        This current bunch seem to have it slightly worse than some. I think they really suffer from the gnawing fear that they are ordinary, or maybe less. They MUST be ‘speaking Truth to Power’ or there’s nothing to distinguish them from the demented wino on the corner who shouts at people. They MUST be tearing down hundreds of years of ‘inauthentic’ artistic impulses, or they have wasted miles of canvas and gallons of paint and years of their lives that they could have dedicated to doing something useful like plumbing.

        And sexually, they MUST transgress all the old boundaries in the name of abolishing old evil taboos, or face that masturbation is safer, costs less, and is almost as satisfying (unless you really value the person you are with, and being narcissists they don’).

        1. Most of the limits I had in mind are from the 1st third of the twentieth century as far as I can tell. So, you can probably blame the Ladies Temperance Union.

          Or maybe not. A biggie I had in mind was anti-crossing dressing laws (which are behind much of Stonewall) and they seem to date to the 1850s plus or minus. That said, their use against the gay community appears to be a twisting instead of direct attack. New York’s law was aimed at rural farmers pretending to be Indians to avoid taxes.

          That kind of busy body behavior has been, in my lifetime, more associated with the non-libertarian right than the left, although that changed in the past decade.

          1. Oh, there were all sorts of laws. They got ignored a good deal. Mencken makes it clear that Baltimore had a well nourished Brothel society, in spite of the usual raft of laws about it. London had discrete clubs for homosexuals, and cross dressers.


            ASI wrote, I’m not altogether sure about that idea, I simply throw it out there.

            The Elite drive to be Special is clearer, and this bunch have it to a pronounced degree. Probably because, for the most part, they aren’t. Oh, there are individuals who have built something real. Most of them strike me as cases of wanting to belong at the Cool Kids table. The core of the Fascist Left is a concatenation of dim bulbs whose only distinction is being Woker Than Thou. Many of them strike me as the sort who would need three tries to get out of a straight hall with no side doors. They are mal-educated, unaccustomed to manual labor, and would need years of remedial study to be productive memory of society.

            And I strongly suspect that on some level they know it.

            1. Midwits. At best. Not smart enough to be much above average, but just smart enough to access the lower rungs of intellectual ladders they’ll never manage to climb — and they’re mad with resentment and envy.

              1. You don’t even have to be a midwit (I like that word, BTW) to parrot back the kind of pablum these toads esteem. I mean, my Gods, look at the idiocy of ‘renewable energy’! Anyone capable of getting down stairs and around corners should be able to tell, without thinking very hard, that it is ridiculous. Not even getting into the materials involved, where they come from, and how toxic they are, the amount of LAND that solar and/or wind would have to disrupt is obvious. But the Fascist Left swallows it hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, and wading boots.

                Ok, some of the leaders must know it’s a scam. But the rest of them?

                1. Some kinds of renewable energy make sense. I have solar panels on my roof, and didn’t pay an electric bill for 8 years. They generate more power than I use, almost 30 megawatt-hours total so far, and it all gets used within a few hundred yards of where it’s produced so, near-zero transmission losses.

                  Now they’ve made some changes to the laws, and I pay about $10 a month from July to January. Leave it to the government to screw up something that was working fine.
                  There is nothing so simple the government can’t f*k it up.

                2. They worry about climate change while wanting to take massive amounts of energy out of the system that helps generate wind and rain and then covert it to waste heat in concentrated areas around cities.

                  Yeah, that’ll do nothing to climate.

                3. And of course hydropower, the most renewable of all energies, somehow doesn’t count. The so-called “liberals” have an amazing ability to get literally everything that matters exactly backwards.

            2. When everyone is “special” the only way to stand out is to be even more Special, and to be exhibitionist about it.

            3. This is a good example of why I object to unenforced laws. It is easy enough for those with an agenda to twist them far from their intended purpose, especially when those leading that charge know damned well they couldn’t get a law for their purpose passed.

    2. We have nothing on the Victorians. NOTHING.
      Fortunately various relatives had stacks of risque material which I of course found, so I was never under the impression sex was my invention….

      1. I’m reminded of Murder in the Caribbean, where Miss Marple reads one of her nephew’s modern novels and is unimpressed with its discussions of sex.

        “Sex as a word had not been mentioned so much in her day, but there had been plenty of it, not talked about so much, but enjoyed far more, or so it seemed to her…She knew about all kinds of perversions, both natural and unnatural (and some indeed that the clever young men who wrote books didn’t seem to have heard of).”

  4. Hard to center left don’t have to do anything. They’re the good boys and girls. They receive “wisdom” in the schools and they know by parroting it they’ll go far. They never doubt, never stray, never go out on a limb.

    I would argue the Left beat the Right in the first third of the twentieth century in a similar way. The new industrialized and mechanized world needed new ways of doing things. That also explains why Europe, with a old money class invested in the old ways, fell to Leftism more than the USA which was built by people looking to create those new ways. It might even explain the UK vs. Continental Europe. Napoleon’s insult that England was a nation of shopkeepers could easily be they were a nation of non-conformists, even after they shipped some of the “worst” of that lot to the colonies (and continued to do so throughout the 19th century…how much resistance to Labour was shipped down under?).

    It even explains why Marxism is so tied to those who would have been nobility or clerisy in the 18th and earlier centuries. It was their “innovation” to retain their power in the winds of change. However, it was tuned to one specific, and (compared to today) relatively slow change.

    1. I think the old Landowning Class went Left because it was a way to take control away from the jumped up jackanapes of Industrialism, and grab it for their oh-so superior selves.

  5. And if after more than fifty years of school indoctrination, media control, entertainment filtering, the left has only that advantage, it means at the very least that we’re a people with a hard head and that most of us find the way out of the plantation sooner or later. This is confirmed by the fact that what gave the victory to Obama was the legions of (unemployed) under thirty years old.

    Read, random thought:
    didn’t the shadow-boom go through at some point recently? It wasn’t just that there were more hard-up under 30s, but there were actually more under-30s, too… where is that graphic…

    One CIA visit later:

    The peak of the shadow-boom is just how hitting 30. And they had like two years of really, really good times. And are now getting a boot to the face…..

    1. Yep, and that shadow boom is almost uniquely American. Plenty of writers have been predicted what we’re going through based on that alone and roughly about this time. They also argue that in about a decade, when the Boomers are finally out of the workforce, much of the pressure will release. The argument is the stutter caused by boom, bust, boom, has broken how things work.

      A good example of the thinking (or maybe just the one off the top of my head):

      1. The previous boom hit their 30’ the 1970’s. 68, McGovern, Watergate and all the rest. God help us it ended with Disco.

        That Obama’s term and Carter’s term had so much in common goes beyond the fact that both were mean spirited, sanctimonious hypocrites. They were both presidents when a demographic transition took place from high population growth to lower population grownth. Their successors benefited from the increase in peak productive population as a percent of total (sorry about the alliteration.).

        There’s a sweet spot. We’re not far off it now. China is on the downturn, they had a huge boost from it but that’s past. Korea, Japan, and Western Europe are in a different place.

        I’ve studied this for years as it has been the basis for my long-term investment policy. The economists say it can’t be true, but they’re typically not very rich. Well, neither am I but I do OK.

        if nothing else, it explains interest rates and market multiples better than anything else anyone has come up with. It’s hard to prove empirically because there’s reallly only 150-200 years of decent data and there only been a few demographic cycles in that time.

  6. I don’t think YA erotica helps anything, but maybe I’m a prude.

    I don’t think you’re a prude, but I do respectfully disagree. I mean, who needs erotica that models healthy attraction and sexual exploration more than teenagers.

    The issue is YA erotica is hard. One, 90% of material that calls itself erotica is porn. It just thinks it is erotica because it is words, not pictures, but words can be porn (TMI: I prefer captioned pictures to just pictures…well written captioning is a force multiplier). Second, you will run into a wall of prudes and parents who behave like it. One misstep would have you destroyed as an author, and probably investigated by police who figure you must like them underage. The payoff to the author is so tiny that the risk is just unacceptable.

      1. Oh, it doesn’t need to be graphic. It needs to be sensual and about processing the sensations. That and about artful and tasteful communication of desire, which admittedly few adults bother with anymore.

        1. Dude. Clearly you were never a teenage girl.

          Reading adult romances with sex scenes is a thing girls do, at a certain point. In no way did girls usually want to read about boys their own age doing it with girls their own age. The junior high and high school libraries just stocked a selection of fairly innocuous bestsellers, or girls passed stuff around, and nobody made a big deal about it.

          Actually, it was the YA erotica of my day, like Flowers in the Attic and Blume’s infamous Forever, or the movie The Blue Lagoon, that modeled really bad stuff for girls. Forever kinda meandered to the conclusion that teenage sex is bad, mkay, but first there was a lot of really unhealthy behavior, and Flowers in the Attic and The Blue Lagoon were basically incest pron.

          So yeah, the idea that kids nowadays do sometimes read about kids their own age is creepy; but honestly, we all know that YA erotica is written for adult female fans of YA who want to read erotica, or for wokeness points by SJW writers and publishers.

          1. Oh, I don’t mean it needs to have YA characters. I mean it needs to be aimed to YA readers.

            We’re the same generation as I passed around the Flowers books. Scruples was a big one in my school as well and the oldest sexual image in a book I know came from it.

            But imagine erotic written that:

            1. Was full of actual arousal.
            2. Included the actual dance of communicating desire in a flirtatious manner which is fun in and of itself.
            3. Focused on emotional as well as physical sensations and how they correlate and feedback.

            Hell, while I’m at it, can I have some adult erotica that does that? There is some, but not much. I suspect that is how Anne Rice seduced me so easily and that her Beauty books do that, especially the third item on my list.

            1. Arghhhh! Scruples! I hadn’t thought of that book forever, and I don’t think I ever actually read it, but I suddenly remembered the cover!

              Right after I forgot the word amnesia.

              Maybe I should worry about my brain….

              1. Oh, it has the FF encounter that if you could wear out pages by reading we would have.

                I remember one of the sentences even now.

            2. Now that I think about it, a lot of the pass-around books were… um… completist. I mean, the sex scenes just went on and on, and spent a lot of time on stuff that a lot of sex scenes would just skim over. I wonder if that was the attraction for teenage kids?

              I mean, geez, Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequels.

              Also, a lot of the pass-around books were not exactly dealing with common American situations of contemporary life. So again, it was distant from teenagers, which may have made it more alluring or more safe.

              1. I haven’t read any of the Earth’s Children (I think that’s the series name) books. It’s kinda on my list. I have been informed the science gets better in the last 3 than the first two.

                1. I never really got to Books 4 or 5, because by that point I’d totally grown out of it, and I also didn’t have hours to sit in class and read without anything needing my attention. Honestly, I never cared much about the characters, either.

                  But there are a few really good things about material culture. That put me in good stead for anthro classes in college.

                  Not a lot of love for Neanderthals, though. Holy crud, if there were a Neanderthal Defamation Society, they’d be all about canceling Clan of the Cave Bear.

                  1. The author lost me when her heroine, in labor with a Cro-Magnon/Neanderthal hybrid (she was raped), is given “rattlesnake root,” to help her along. The book is set in Europe, so, no rattlesnakes to name the plant after. That shot my suspension of disbelief right there.

                    1. I read entire Earth Children series. More to finish it out. I skipped the, uh, details, yea, lets call it that. It was tedious & repetitive. Meant a lot of the last few books, pages were skipped, regularly. Was really, really disappointed with the direction of the last book. Realistically or not, I expected more interaction with the two types of peoples tha n what occurred. There is fan fiction that I like better.


        2. You’ve give me the thought that, considering how …degenerate… things have become, maybe what we need is virtue porn. That is, erotica that’s not about sex, but about restraint, and remaining chaste in the face of desire. Give ’em something more wholesome to emulate, at least.

          What? not a best-seller??

              1. Also, a lot of procedurals like NCIS and any planning show such as Leverage. Anything that focuses on characters or people doing something, doing it well on a consistent basis, and celebrating that they do it well.

                  1. I didn’t realize Bones qualified. I guess the ads and commentary I saw was mostly the romance between the leads.

                    1. It’s not always entirely realistic, but ‘Bones’ shows highly competent people working together to solve murders, bringing in multiple viewpoints and sometimes debating when they have differing ideas about what the evidence means. Debating with facts and logic, not trying to shut up everybody disagreeing with them.

                      Hodgins, assisted by the current intern, sets up elaborate and frequently hilarious ‘experiments’ to determine exactly how much force, at what angle, would cause specific injuries, or result in other features of the crime.

                      The characters are a bunch of very different people, some of them quite Odd, and their interactions form a constant background to the forensic and detective work.

    1. Most of the YA erotica I’ve run into wasn’t modeling healthy anything– in most cases, you could make a solid case it was setting the kids up to be exploited; in the rest, there was still the overwhelming assumption that even moderate self-control was flatly impossible.

      1. So the same as adult erotica.

        I swear, in the world of erotica Gor deserves a place of price because at least it has an ethos it openly admits, has characters who aspire to it, and punishes characters who do not. Now, many might not like that ethos and most will think it can’t work (doesn’t map to humans), but at least it has one.

        Most erotica exists in a moral universe so vapid that “if it feels good, do it” is too deep a thought for the characters. Hell, my first real try at a novel was detective noir/Femdom cross over (femme fatale who hires our hero is Femdom) so there would be erotica that models healthy interactions instead of wank fantasy that is going to get someone hurt if they take that mental model to a local munch.

        *rant off*

        1. .So the same as adult erotica.


          May be related to the subject matter– most folks who are looking to connect to people on only that level aren’t going to be in a great emotional place to start with, so the good erotica is sold as “(Genra) story with a strong romantic/erotic subplot” unless it’s got an additional appeal to it. Would cover Gor because of non-standard subculture appeal.

          1. For that matter, would cover my unfinished novel which had three S&M scenes, but also a good deal of flirting by a rope bunny with the main character (which itself would probably have happened as actual rope scenes in a second book).

            I put serious effort into the search for the missing leather boy and into how the attraction between the PI and the femme fatale built as attraction beyond just physical desire.

        2. Most female-targeting erotica and romance has nothing to do with realism, and everything to do with inducing a dreamlike state that encourages mental stimulation of physical parts.

          In a lot of cases, such as Seventies mainstream romance, you get a fairly realistic setting and travelogue, along with snappy realistic comments. But then you periodically have the heroine hit a sort of dream/nightmare threshold, beyond which the normal rules no longer apply. This can especially happen in Gothic sorts of romances.

          The old amnesia romances were really big on sticking you in a dream situation. (As an aside, if you forget the word amnesia, you can’t really bring it up by search terms. It’s all dementia answers.)

          I suppose there is always a market for a more realistic novel dealing with any topic.

          1. A lot of MGTOW and MRA types have a real hatred of romance novels, calling them “porn for women” and arguing they are as damaging to marriage and dating as visual porn that men prefer is, but society gives women a pass on “their porn”.

            1. They probably have a good argument on the erotica ones. I’m not sure they can argue it on the sugar candy totally wholesome ones… but yeah, they’re not realistic, either.

              The problem is that, frankly, a lot of humans need unrealistic or dreamlike stories to fill certain psychological needs, and especially during teenage years. Maybe because we can’t sleep 24 hours a day.

              If the books go wrong, you can end up very messed up. But if the books go right, they are serious survival tools for humans under stress.

              1. The complaint is one of expectations. I think they have a degree of a point, because the media and culture at large loves to harp on how unrealistic expectations can be created by men oriented visual porn (although the rates of anal sex by younger women suggest it is combining with the deep discount price on sex in general to change what is “normal”), but no one discusses how unrealistic romance novels, or even memoirs like Eat, Pray, Love are.

                It’s a broader version of the “body positive fashion images” of plus size models, where the only plus size are the women and the men are still GQ or Fabio types.

                1. In some ways, “it’s just a dream,” so I don’t worry about it.

                  In other ways, you really don’t want to imprint on “Bad Boys Are Good” and similar ideas.

                  I would say that a lot depends on the sanity of the dreamweavers, as well as the requirements of publishers. If Harlequin decides that the formula should start with anal sex for virgin girls, and if the culture somehow holds that up (Islamic influence, maybe?), then you are going to get some very weird and icky romances.

                  1. Uhm, I hear stories, that I cannot directly confirm, that anal to preserve virginity is creeping into some US religious communities.

                    That said, I wonder how much of that is just the insane glorification of sex as the end all, be all of human existence (common in the media since the 70s) is at play.

                    1. It sounds really stupid, and it sounds like an invasion of weird secular ideas, so it’s probably true. (And I blame Bill Clinton’s definition twisting.) “Infection of the imagination” at its worst.

                      What’s the old saying? The coverup is worse than the original problem?

                    2. One of the strange things about being into kink is being saddened by very young people getting into it because they are jaded by normal sex.

                      I mean, adults, I get. You can be jaded sexually at 40, but we get kids barely old enough to get into clubs and events who have done things I didn’t do until my 30s and 40s and done them enough the thrill is gone.

                      To a person they almost all haven’t had connective sex of any kind.

                      They are different from younger people (yes, sometimes the same ages, but usually about 5 or years older) who find it because they are just wired in a way that responds. They have almost all had connective sex, but still were disappointed by the kind/depth of connection.

                      But to be so hedonistic without any emotional attachment to others to be jaded about anal sex at 18 or 19.

                      It is enough to bring tears.

                  2. But yeah, “I am a woman with shiny special powers, so I can do whatever I want” does seem to show up a lot. I was pretty angry about the RL blogger who had her husband fund her cooking adventures, and then it turned out she was sleeping around with another guy on her husband’s dollar. And then she got all upset that her husband objected and left her?! Come on, chick, it’s pretty obvious who was in the wrong! And yes, the fictional and nonfictional versions of those stories are horrible.

                    But honestly, a lot of those SJW/special hooha books don’t read as romances, because the characters (and the writers) obviously don’t actually care about the guys. It would be different if it were supposed to be a saga of sleeping one’s way across the world, a la some of those Seventies historical sagas; but they aren’t. Even the stupid male-harem series like Hamilton’s will at least provide some kind of personality to the guys, even if the personality doesn’t ultimately count.

                    1. It’s funny. I realized I’d more or less completely disconnected with US pop culture when I started watching Once, and was, frankly, absolutely gobstruck when the main characters were telling one of the central heroes that he should cheat on his wife.

                      For various reasons, I’d ended up drifting into watching mostly anime and old movies after college, when I watched TV at all. It turns out, for all the weird an even perverse stuff anime gets into, adultery is one thing that just does not happen, at all, ever. I don’t even think the villians do it. It just, doesn’t exist…

                    2. *running over mental listing*

                      …wow, I can’t think of one, either.
                      A couple of killed wife situations, even very explicit abused wife (which broke her mind to the point she hurt their son when he did something that flipped the “you’re like him” thing) type things, harems of course, but even cheating on a steady is a Big Deal.

                    3. Sometimes people’s parents or grandparents _have_ done it, and they have That Kid Nobody Wants to Take In. And there’s a lot of adultery or divorce in murder mystery shows, and usually it gets somebody murdered. And some corporate types sleep around with expensive prostitutes in murder mystery shows, and again it usually ends in tears.

                      But yeah, serious adultery’s Not Done in Japanese society. There’s a pretty low marriage and sex rate as it is, so most guys either stick with their wife or divorce and support her. Not much room for second wives or mistresses on the side in modern Japan, and even less in acceptable anime.

                    4. Or there’s the man who abandons his wife and kids, so the good housewife has to support her kids alone, and then years later it turns out that he was actually murdered and didn’t run off at all…..

                  3. In other ways, you really don’t want to imprint on “Bad Boys Are Good” and similar ideas.

                    A tip for romance readers: If a guy in real life acts like a jerk to you, there’s approximately a 99% chance that it’s because he is a jerk. He’s not trying to drive you away to keep you from getting involved in his dangerous lifestyle, and he’s not protecting his vulnerable heart from being broken again. There’s no heart of gold to find if you stick with him, only a heart of jerk.

                    Sorry, that particular trope pushes a few buttons for me.

                    1. A lot of the authors (and readers) can’t tell “being a jerk” from “doesn’t meekly agree with everything I say.”

                      My husband is a “jerk,” because he will follow the rules even when it’s inconvenient. Knows them, can cite them, in extreme cases has print-outs of them.

                      He isn’t a jerk, because unless you give him very good reason to not do so, he’ll be working hard to find a way to be inside of the rules, and not violating the reason the rule is there, where you get what you want/need, or at least where you can go to start.

                      I call him a lawful-good rule lawyer.

                    2. Oh, Lord yes. And there’s this whole plot thing, where a man “lied” to you if he didn’t tell you EVERYTHING, including things he probably thought you had no interest in.

                    3. Oh, gads, yes. The favorite of abusers everywhere!

                      “You LIED to me! You shut up when I told you to stop talking about _______!”

                    4. Guys, you’re not looking at trad pub romances published in the last ten years. No, seriously. They’re STRAIGHT UP PORN, confuse love with great sex, etc etc etc.

                    5. Yeah, I know I’m living in the past. There are wholesome indie romances and all kinds of other indie romances for every taste, but most mainstream publisher romance is pron.

                      Which is why indie romance on Kindle is making so much in the way of bucks.

                      That said, Ilona Andrews and some other big name romance writers still keep putting out their standard brand of big name romance, which is not all pron. (Ilona Andrews, as I’ve mentioned before, is a male and female couple of military vets/gamers, and they obviously use their campaigns to write romances that are also fantasy, sf, etc.)

                      It’s the small name romance writers that have to kowtow all over the place to pron.

                    6. Ilona Andrews had two of their Main Characters have Mad Sex with each other and it still didn’t “solve their relationship problem”.

                      IE: They still had to work out the problems that prevented them from becoming a couple.

                      Of course, too many authors seem to believe “Great Sex” solves all of a couple’s problems. 😦

                    7. It’s the small name romance writers that have to kowtow all over the place to pron.

                      On Archive Of Our Own, the blatant porn gets a LOT more hits than my stories. Even the really, REALLY bad stuff, and I mean so badly written that it’s painful to read. Some of them seem to have never learned how to write a sentence, and they’ve got thousands of hits and dozens of ‘AWESOME!!’ reviews.

                      If that translates into dollars, I can see the temptation.
                      Not everybody should go to college. Some folks, you send ’em to college and you just wind up with an educated idiot.

                    8. You know, I read one of those “pron” as “prawn” and find my self wondering if there is a market for romantic satire? Not satire of romance novels, but romantic statutes of romantic novels? Sort of like the zombie fight from Lord of the Isles, but about romance instead of zombies?

                      Perhapse take a prototypical romance novel concept trope, play through the absurdity of the situation, and chart a ‘reasonable people’ path through the insanity to a functional relationship? No, I’m not really sure how that would actually work. Perhaps like some bizarre train wreck of TV Tropes as interpreted by St Gregory the Theologian?

                2. Even memoirs like Eat, Pray, Love are.

                  That’s one of the books that’s mere premise turns me off. “I have a nice husband, but he’s boring, so I’ll ditch those vows I made and go on an around-the-world trip to find myself.” Yeah, no thank you, unless it ends with her “finding” that she’s a selfish bitch and needs to go apologize to her husband first and then everyone else she likely hurt in her “quest of self-discovery.”

              2. And I don’t mean sexual needs. I mean psychological needs.

                People need stories where good conquers evil, or tricks evil, or survives evil and lives well. People need stories of true love. People also need stories of sacrifice and heroic death, or stories of investigation finding truth, or all sorts of other stories that give them catharsis. And sure, romance or sex stories can be part of that.

                Romance and porn can both go too far, and train people to substitute fake sex for real sexual interaction with people. But primarily, the stories exist as reassurance that somebody out there, even somebody fictional, is finding both true love and fleshly satisfaction of reproductive drives.

                When love is in the air, and tons of people around them are dating successfully and getting married, I think a lot of women get caught up in the living soap opera (if they can be happy for everyone), and don’t feel as much need to follow fictional stories. Whereas if everyone around them is going through a bad patch, a lot of women read romance of the fluffiest and most wholesome kind, as comfort books.

                So in some ways, I think romance novels and soap operas are a replacement for village gossip….

                1. Guidestars are necessary for navigation. Absolutely necessary. Someone who mistakes the guidestar for the ground they walk on on the other hand is in for a world of hurt.

                  The balancing act of tracking the guidestar vs realistic expectations and not declaring one’s current position hopeless is an unenviable task. But it would seem that all the alternatives are worse.

                2. The few MRA types I’ve run into on the subject– usually when they thought I was a guy– would consider the emotional needs being even recognized as an unrealistic expectation.

                  Some really, really hurt folks that can’t figure out their “solution” just makes it worse.

                  1. MTGOWs are sympathetic figures, but only to a point.

                    When the message ceases to be “beware of these dangers that society didn’t tell you about, and use your damn brain!” and becomes “stay away from women period, all women are snakes, don’t even *think* about trying to have a family”, you have cashed out all the sympathy that is available.

                    At that point they don the uniform of The Enemy and will be treated as such.

                    1. A lot of MTGOWs use M&M theory about women. To be honest, if I was 20 I might too. It’s not that I think all or even most women are like that, but at this time the cost of a mis-judgment is so high, and rising, that being aware of the dangers could mean avoiding women in general.

                      I’m not happy to say that and clearly I do not live like that, but I have 53 years of experience on making those judgments I was able to build in a world where mis-judgment didn’t lead to a social death penalty. Twenty year olds neither have the experience nor an environment where minor missteps lead to minor costs. It might be donning the uniform of the enemy, but it might be the best of a horrid set of options.

                    2. Being to the right of Stalin is a social death penalty, and has been since the mid-90s, at least.

                      I did it anyways*, and discovered– hey! The guys informing me I don’t exist? Lied.

                      On the other hand, their lies do have biological impulses on their side– it’s really tempting to believe that human interaction is mechanical, can be gamed without moral and long-term problems, and oh yes not only do you need sex but are entitled to it, so the lack of random hookups is proof of a wrong.

                      Especially when someone is lonely.

                      The trope of a girl sleeping around because she’s lonely is known and recognized as sad, even when the progs try to smash it– harder to pinpoint that kind of lonely in guys, because even with strong social pressure they can’t quite enforce the “if a dude is buddies with another dude they’re obviously gay” via the smacking each-other around exemption to physical contact.
                      IE: “DUDE!!!! Great to see you!” *pound on each-other’s shoulders in what would be a hug or may be a boxing match move*

                      * My secret advantage: a strong family and foundation. I knew, to my bones, that they would back me up if I was right. I know a lot of folks don’t have that, and have nasty suspicions that’s why so much of the Prog agenda involves destroying families.

                    3. The sex thing and the assumptions behind it intrigue me. That you find the assumption that they should get sex from any girl would upset you does not surprise me. That it upsets feminists does.

                      If you dig deep enough you see a lot of the game theory revolves around a feminist trope: that women experience sex just like men and only fail to have sex just like men because of social pressure. If you internalize that around 20 you believe women are having sex all the time because women dispose and men are pretty much willing to have lots of sex without fore thought at that age. Therefore women that age much be having sex with any hot guy who asks and only reject you because hypergamy or whatever.

                      Feminist should love one of their core ideas has become the default thinking for lots of men.

                      Of course, feminist don’t understand how men, especially young men, see sex and are willing to have it, nor they did think through what telling men women want to have sex like men would lead men to conclude.

                    4. That it upsets feminists does.


                      The feminists are fine with abusing someone who doesn’t want to put out for that choice. It’s almost mandatory, when they’re not insisting that we’re lying because it’s impossible.

                      But their power lies in being able to deny a specific guy sex, even though they have no objection in theory to casual sex and even think it’s a good thing. A sort of “not if you were the last thing on earth” punch.

                      I just realized that a side-effect of this is to damage the bonding that does happen, to both sides, when they have sex. Yeah, it’s stronger in women, but so is our….argh, I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like how my husband doesn’t say he loves me all the time, but he does stuff without even thinking about it that say he loves me, and he doesn’t even “see” that’s what he does. It’s like the difference between a comfortable silence and an uncomfortable one, really doesn’t fit in words.


                      You absolutely nail it about the feminist trope.

                    5. Oh, I agree it hurts bonding. In men, especially, it really does reduce it to a transnational status. You’re right, men do bond very differently. At its worse, it is very much a “I own you now” kind of bonding and not in a fun and healthy way. At it’s best it is “you are my woman now and all I do I do for us including dying to protect you.” When you deny the value of that side of the bond you reduce even a non-paying relationship to something emotionally akin to seeing a prostitute for me.

                      As for the insult, yep. Feminist love to call men “loser virgins with small penises who can’t get laid”.

                      Just like how quickly liberals will use “gay” or “homosexual” as a put down, I think what a person uses as an insult tells you more about their actual values then most of their “discussion” of their values does.

                    6. I wonder if that’s what they were going for with Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits— tilting it back from the darkness.

                      In episode one or two there is a very creepy, but intriguing, monolog by the secondary lead on a similar theme.

                      ***spoiler spoiler spoiler****

                      ***spoiler spoiler spoiler****

                      ***spoiler spoiler spoiler****

                      He’s a demon, and demons get power by eating humans, the more powerful the better; but because she belongs to him, he has to protect that value, and if he eats her, then that value is gone.
                      Super mega creepy, possibly the scariest part of the series thus far. Not that I’ve gotten that far in, hard to get time with the kids….

                  2. My experience with a lot of MRA types, and I’ve been around them plenty, is many of the darker ones are Chen Sheng or Wu Guang, the penalty for just being themselves is death and the penalty for assholes to women is death, so why not give as good as you get. It’s the Dazexiang uprising of the sexes.

                    To be honest, if you’ve reached the point where as a man you think your emotional needs are not only not going to be recognized, but often condemned as evil (and a good slice of pop culture does that), why not become what the enemy is. It’s just another iteration of how the Ctrl-Left is creating the Alt-Right (and in a very Marxist, thesis=>antithesis way…now if we can get past it to synthesis and one of the good, not the bad, we’ll be fine).

                    1. I’d have much more sympathy if I didn’t know that they’ll fight like hell to keep from realizing that no, not only are not all women like that, but most women are nothing at all like that– and yes, expecting casual sex from J. Random Chick, or even a friend, is completely unrealistic.

                      Dear Lord, I just realized– it’s like the various activists who are going around screaming that anybody who doesn’t actively enable and support them are “literally killing” them. Their world view has shifted to where if they’re not under attack, they don’t know what to do.

                3. People need stories where good conquers evil, or tricks evil, or survives evil and lives well. People need stories of true love …

                  1. More than “staying single”.

                    Not even playing “sexual games” with women.

                  2. It varies a lot, from what appears to be basic sane, celibate, vaguely religious type fellows (socialize with women like they’re– gasp!– humans, don’t flirt or be alone with them) through male versions of those obnoxious “like a fish needs a bicycle” types.

              1. Men going their own way.

                It is a reaction to how matriarchial we have become while entertaining and acting on all the complaints of patriarchy. It concludes a man is better off eschewing social contact with women to various degrees from zero to prostitutes for physical needs to short termcasual dating in favorite of pursuing a man’s own interests.

                A key idea is men canlive much cheaper and thus work less leaving more time for personal interests if they don’t waste time, money, and energy trying to keep a woman happy.

                1. Sure. Same with women. They can live much cheaper, and “pursue their own interests”.
                  It’s just rather sterile in the end. And both extreme feminism and MGTOW no matter how justified individuals feel, are symptoms of the same sickness. (And I’m not disputing that we’re too matriarchal, btw.)

                  1. Well, the argument is that women are much more interested in material items like decorating their home and fashion.

                    I’m not sure how much I buy of it and what I do is heavily “in this culture at this time” oriented.

                    As for being sterile, I’m not 100% convinced. Monastics have been with us as have secular individuals, often artists, who have a similar lifestyle.

                    What I think is telling is you can make a convincing argument for MGTOW on a risk/reward basis. Many of the men with blogs/podcasts/YouTube channels will tell you they’d rather a wife and children, but the risk of accusation on the lead up or divorce after are so high (and they do mean risk, not odds…they are very explicit in talking about the cost of the event even if it is low odds) that the payoff isn’t proportional to the risk.

                    The mentioned elsewhere book, Eat, Pray, Love, is a big touchstone in terms of what a woman can do to a man, still get “cash and prizes” for doing it, and be celebrated for doing it. It is contrasted to the suicide rate of divorced dads.

                    They aren’t a viable future, but they’re a damned important warning.

                    1. “and they do mean risk, not odds…they are very explicit in talking about the cost of the event even if it is low odds) that the payoff isn’t proportional to the risk.”

                      That argument can be made in a number of other areas as well. Closely related is the idea that even WORKING with women is too high a risk, simply because she can hit you with an accusation at any time, and even if it’s proven untrue, a) nothing will happen to a false accuser and b) that accusation can be re-made at any time; there is no actual ability to prove you didn’t do something and that be that.

                      We see it in policing, where the officer in the Michael Brown shooting just had to have his lawyer deal with a THIRD attempt by a Democrat prosecutor to bring the same case they couldn’t prove 6 years ago….. and there’s no guarantee there won’t be a fourth, fifth, and sixth, because all it takes is one “newly discovered eyewitness” to re-file the charge. Meanwhile, the accused can watch the evidence in favor of his exoneration deteriorate, his witnesses memory fade, and all overlaid with the idea that his family, friends, eyewitnesses, etc. have to have legal talent on retainer and be subject to doxxing and other intimidation.

                      See also self-defense and dozens of other areas. Our system has been corrupted beyond repair because we have a large segment of our society that doesn’t believe in it, but knows we do, and is using it against us.

                    2. I have long preferred not to work with women. I’ve watched two employers have to pay off women for invalid complaints because, as their lawyers told them, “it is cheaper to pay an out of court settlement than go to trial.”

                      Both wound up out of business later for nominally unrelated reasons. I suspect, however, once you are known as a payer around the courthouse, you need to keep a protection fund at all time. The financial and mental stress of that can’t be good for the ability to stick through bad times.

                    3. I’ll be honest: if I have my way I’ll never work with or for women again, unless I’ve known them for years and trust them.
                      Women play games as a matter of instinct. I don’t have the spoons for that.

                2. Also known as The Nero Option, although few can achieve it so capably as Mr. Wolfe.

                  Of course, there was once a time in this fair land when Men and Women were permitted only mildly over-lapped lives, with Men having their clubs, lodges and such establishments with Women holding their equivalents (which often consisted of their homes, where Men were permitted only temporary and highly limited visitation, in the evening, overnight and weekends. Only the deeply incorrect would dare suggest each was happier then.

                  1. Well, a lot of energy has gone to preserving and expanding women only space, while eliminating male only ones.

                    In fact, some women will claim the only purpose of male only spaces is to oppress women.

                    1. They’re the same unspeakables that make it so that most women aren’t welcome in “women-only” or woman controlled spaces, either.

                      That’s why they go after the guys, because they GOT control of the women-lead places, and they are a desert now. You get occasional oasises, which tend to last as long as their guardian dragon, but that hits the same dynamic as guild leadership does but with less of a paper based record of what happened.

        3. Erotica ( and its lowest form, porn) is the sexual version of the Adventure Story; a chance to experience vicariously what would be absolutely awful in person under realistic circumstances.

              1. Pirates no, but I’ve seen a lot of Nazi roleplay (not my thing and starting to become controversial at the local club).

              2. And I was thinking more “I’m not freaked out by most Mapplethorpe sex pictures from the 70s because I’ve seen most and can neither confirm nor deny I’ve done a few”.

                1. I did pretty much figure that was what you meant.

                  One of the odder things about current year is that a lot of people have lost the idea of playing Good Guy vs. Bad Guy, even in the simpler kind of games. That’s why the SJWs hate combat videogames, and love to introduce supposed moral ambiguity into games like The Last of Us 2. They don’t want to explore moral ambiguity; that’s pretty obvious. They want to try to punish videogamers for going into combat and defending their characters’ lives.

                  So either the Bad Guys are so bad that you can’t possibly play with them as characters, even if the object of the play is to literally punch Nazis; or they are really not so bad, and therefore it would be wrong to dislike them. And either way, you yourself should feel bad and evil, and grovel a lot.

                  So basically, the implications for your friends’ “game” are bound to be bad, in current year. The Nazis can’t really be represented as bad or good or played with in any way, because they are a magic tile of toxicness. And I suppose that will gradually happen to everything, because any possible “game” would have to be transgressive in some way, and real transgressiveness is exactly what SJWs cannot stand.

                  1. Yep. And it is showing up in weird ways now.

                    Great example is crossdressing. Crossdressing is dead thanks to trans activism. As soon as you engage in it, you’re immediately asked your pronouns and assumed to be some kind of gender non-binary or in the process of transitioning.

                    Now, I get gender non-conformity has long been a part of kink scenes, but this is different. Drag, crossdressing for arousal, and a lot of gender non-conformity are performance and pleasure things. The idea that a man might shave his legs and wear stockings and garters to the club because he enjoys the sensation of them on his skin and being a bit of a gender fuck to mess with other people at the club just isn’t in people’s heads anymore.

                    I mean, it isn’t even in the heads of people I know got it five years ago.

                    Not to mention that lesbian fear than transactivism is stealing future lesbians coming true in that more and more straight female tops are using male titles and pronouns. It was bad enough that so many male submissives though “submissive equals female so I need to crossdress/doing sissy styling/etc”, but now the other side is playing that up too.

                    Then again, when “real” socialism comes, all that will go more underground than anyone born in the US remembers. Equity means no differences allowed , meaning that wonderful melange so many on the left celebrated will be compressed into the grey goo the pour into molds to make New Soviet Men.

                  2. That’s why the SJWs hate combat videogames, and love to introduce supposed moral ambiguity into games like The Last of Us 2. They don’t want to explore moral ambiguity; that’s pretty obvious. They want to try to punish videogamers for going into combat and defending their characters’ lives.

                    And the first game was *full* of ambiguity! Joel is not what anyone in their right mind would call a “good person”. But he is better than most of what he fights, and he tries to be better for his adopted kid in whatever ways he can be.

              3. Plot-wise, I can see all the pieces– explains why nobody is there to save the MC, the LI has existing ties to the group to give conflict, turns the threat to life up to 11, EVERYBODY involved is very much on the bad boy scale because they’re freaking bad guys….

                But my brain keeps imagining the smell and I wanna hurl. :green:

                Couldn’t do past the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, either.

                1. The bilge would be smelly, but the decks would be nice and clean. If a ship is made of wood and you don’t want it to sink, you have to keep swabbing the deck and holystoning it, and pumping the bilge out, and cleaning and mending, and this and that.

                  I mean, not much difference between a pirate, a merchant, and a Navy vessel on that score.

                  And there wouldn’t be much bathroom smell, because the bathroom was over the side, and there were lots of chores that made guys get down on the side of the ship and have baths, like it or not. Also, pretty good ventilation.

                  OTOH, even USS Constitution struck me as tiny, and a pirate ship would be a lot smaller than that.

                  1. I was thinking the people, honestly. Been on enough cattle drives where a significant portion of the group went “oh, we meet at 4AM, no time for a shower” and it was bad.

                    Plus breath, and….

                    I know that in real life, folks didn’t really realize it was there. Kind of like how the guys on the ship didn’t smell how their berthing stunk of teen boy and I don’t mean body spray.

                    Still breaks my ability to even consider the appeal.

                    1. All I’m going to say re Age of Sail hygiene: When CS Forester wanted to show how eccentric Hornblower was, one of the first things he reached for was him taking baths on a regular basis under the wash-deck pump…….

        1. Still on first cuppa:
          They already do that; that’s why they ditched seasons’ worth of character development to have the Avatar in the second series hook up with the Azula espie.

          Oh, wait, probably means actual virtue.

          Like in the Incredibles, noted in many, many places for being the healthiest relationship of a main character in years, if not decades.

          Problem being… has to be produced by people who would know a healthy relationship if it walked up, grabbed them by the shoulders and shook some sense into them while yelling “GROW UP, YOU SEX OBCESSED TWERP, AND QUIT BEING A PREDATOR ENABLER!” in their face.

          Which rules out like 90% of Hollywood.

            1. You can find the creators bragging about it. Because it’s so empowering to have teenage lipstick lesbians making maladapted relationship choices, and totally doesn’t make it look like the guys drawing it are kinda pervy and you shouldn’t leave your young daughter around them.
              Thankfully, I hadn’t had time to get the episodes lined up to be watched by that point.

              Basically the same impulse that made them not just reject the Zuko/Katara thing, but Joss it as nastily as possible, got to bear fulll fruit without any “hey, maybe doing take-that to your fans is a bad idea” tempering.

              *looking at patterns in both of those series, and Dragon Prince* Hm. Is Whedon involved in those creators, or do they just behave the same?
              (Although Dragon Prince didn’t get as bad, so far, just kinda lost interest after they started being “subtle” on the preaching.)

              1. That’s too bad. I never shipped Zuko and Katara but there is usually no reason to be cruel to fans.

                1. I’ve seen a lot of cruelty to fans in American comics. Those people certainly seem to find a reason for it. And to be fair, some fans do give them reason (though they delight in the nasty responses from creators: ‘I’m getting on their nerves, great!’)

  7. Those of us who survive it and stay the course are independent cusses. People who are independent cusses socially tend to be creative too. Or at least we are so far out of the box that we can’t find it.

    Now this one, I can vouch for– I am not very creative. I just have…well, a different pantry, I guess you could say, so the dishes I make when I’m TRYING to do one thing are different than someone using a standard pantry. Sometimes I’ll like mine better.

    This is where diversity is a strength– because it gives a lot of different perspectives.

    1. For those unaware, the Kipling Society has both the poems themselves and a Readers’ Guide to concepts and phrases less familiar to modern readers. I read through a book of Kipling’s collected verse as a teenager, and loved it; but when I found the Readers’ Guide a decade later, I discovered how much I’d been missing.

      The Readers’ Guide for “The Sons of Martha” is here:

      Click in the upper left to go to the poem itself; click upper right to find the index for other poems. Not all of the poems (and stories!) have guides, but almost all of the popular ones do.

  8. Movies on youtube:

    I’ve been watching old auto races on youtube in my downtime because I’m disgusted with the political bent our modern sports/entertainment leagues have been gyrating to. One of the guys has posted a handful of races that he has been upgrading the quality from the old Beta/VHS tapes he had. It’s not from the networks that hold/held the copyrights, but stuff he’s doing himself on his own computer. The quality is nearly as good as modern high-def broadcasts. I suspect we’ll be seeing more, and better, self made movies/series as time goes on. The chokepoint is going to be the venues hosting these things, as they all seem to be diving hard left at the moment.

  9. I’m an Official Son Of Martha.

    Mom’s first name was Martha. 😀

    1. Mine too, but for some reason all the women in her family go by their middle names. So she never used it, even as a child and legally dropped it when she got married as she switched to using Middle, Maiden, Last on all documents from then forward.

  10. What else is getting out there by getting around or ignoring the gatekeepers?

    That story on Instapundit today about the old Trans-Am road trip — it’s obviously a story about car fandom. Almost everywhere they went, they found muscle car fans who would help and shelter them, with no politics getting involved and no government or Karens getting in the way.

    Of course, there’s also a Long Dark Night of the Downsides of Libertarianism.

    But yeah, I loved the garage guy.

  11. 2012? When all we had to fear was another term of Obama? Seems so very long ago.

    At least we dodged the presidency of an Elder God, risen from the Outer Darkness — although her candidacy seems to have driven many mad.

    1. Back when we were still building the superconductive supercollider, although fights to end the project had started, I tried to create a conspiracy theory that the collider was the largest summoning circle whose purpose was to summon Satan into this world with the population of the DFW complex as the sacrificial victims.

      When Bill got elected I added that Hillary was the witch priestess who would lead the ceremony.

      So, I don’t think she’s an Elder God, she just works for them.

          1. Maybe the Democrats finally figured out that every time Granny Maojackets von Pantsuit opened her pie hole another Deplorable decided they absolutely HAD to make it to the polls again this year. So, Shrillary is tied up in a closet somewhere with a ball gag.

            1. Shrillary is tied up in a closet somewhere with a ball gag.

              She’s a big proponent of Planned Parenthood, so that ought be “… with a Baal gag.”

      1. > with the population of the DFW complex as the sacrificial victims

        Morons. They should have built the gate in Austin…

      2. There is no more Hillary, there is merely an Elder God in a Hillary suit. It explains so much, so very much, from the weird pantsuits to the disjunctive reactions that give weight to the physically damaged rumours to the demand that underlings never make eye contact.

    2. 😀
      Trump’s presidency seems to have driven a lot of people mad, too. (That could be a good thing or bad, depending on your perspective; I’d call it a dark cloud with a silver lining.)

      But yes, his former opponent really does exude the same kind of vibe as the things the townsfolk in Shadow Over Innsmouth worshiped in the slimy dark.

      1. Queen Hillary, High Priestess of the Deep Ones?

        When playing the Chosen One card, it does matter who (or What) did the Choosing.
        Did anybody ever survive to graduate from Miskatonic U?

  12. … writing a book on how America had ruined my life.

    You mean by giving you opportunities to prosper from your (and Dan’s) own efforts? By enabling you to fulfill childhood dreams (even if that meant living in Colorado)? By offering you chances for success if only you would sell out your identity and experience and play the Woke Victim? Or how your kids were abused and mistreated in public schools because of Progressive school policies and perspectives? Or how a union-protected school teacher mobilized ignorant brats in an attempted use of cancel culture to destroy your blog because you wouldn’t endorse their narrative about America being evil?

    I’d read that book.

  13. at some level the right had bought the left was the future.

    I do not agree – I think the Right recognized that excluding the Left was a tactic of the Left, that rejecting them because of politics would render the Right as malformed as are Progressives. The Right believes in assimilation, not purification, confident enough i their ow principles and ability to defend them that there’s no need to “protect” them by refusing debate.

    Sadly, we had an insufficiency of Reagans.

    1. Sigh. More coffee is requisite to avoid vocabulary failures such as afflicted the prior remark.

      The difference between Right and Left is, in part, that the Right is integrationist: accepting differences of opinion as a natural consequence of individualism, of different experience and values, focused on tolerance of divers views in a live and let live environment.

      The Left segregationist: demanding submersion of individuality and conformity to assigned group identity. Everything is politicized and there is no tolerance of dissent, no matter the individual’s experience or values.

      1. Sure, but that’s not what I mean.
        Growing up, I ran into a lot of people who assumed communism was the future, even if it was worse (feeding the whole population, etc.) so they resisted insufficiently.

    2. In the ‘70’s, the Republican Party was Progressive Lite with a weak side order of Anti-Communism. Nixon was a Big Government pillock; the Left hated him for being Anti-Communist, for beating Helen Douglas way back, and for ashcanning McGovern so thoroughly. His domestic policy was the same as theirs; every problem must be solved by the State.

      I would have voted for the man, because McGovern was a nitwit, but I loathed him.

  14. Off Topic but I do not recall where and when precisely it was recommended. This title is really excellent: It follows Anne De Bourgh’s trip to Scarborough with her cousin Georgiana Darcy. I hope you post it as a favor to your readers next Sunday (Some of us rely on these posts for our reading recommendations.)

    A Summer in Scarborough by Anne Ferreira

    1. This was written by my Daughter in Law (pen name. Because her real name kept getting comments that men don’t understand women.)
      Before she was my daughter in law, she was my mentee. I will neither confirm nor deny that when I told my son he’d like talking to her, and here’s the email, and oh, he could critique her/help her with writing I was yentying. (I can quit ANYTIME I like. Anyone have a suitable early twenties who likes engineers and is willing to work with younger son on his dressing habits and make him exercise because lockdown has destroyed his figure? BONUSES if she likes dark Latin types. He’s handy around the house, loves cooking and is extremely kind and sweet. [OMG, I’m dead when he reads this. DEAD.])
      She is an AMAZING writer.

      1. Well I left my son’s resume to your prior yentying, in comment to another post … Agree. He finds out, I am soooooo dead. DEAD.

      2. WordPress delenda est…..

        This was missing “Trigger Warning: Excessive Heartwarming Wholesomeness”.

        his dressing habits and make him exercise

        You could’ve stopped at “engineer” you know…

      3. >> “I was yentying. (I can quit ANYTIME I like.”


        We’re entering “cry for help” territory, aren’t we?

        We might need to start planning an intervention, guys. For step one, I’m thinking we strap Sarah down and make her listen to anti-love songs. Elton John’s got a few:

      4. I mean, I know one, but she doesn’t think she’s looking right now. 😛 She would probably kill me (metaphorically) if I tried to set her up with anybody. And I can’t guarantee it would be a good fit, because she’s a bit more relaxed of a person than a work-a-holic.

          1. How to casually connect them in such a way that I don’t die? I’m a believer in people figuring it out for themselves, but they have to actually meet for crying out loud. Ummm, if you email me, I could tell you more about the young woman, but not gonna do it via public-until-the-hard-drives-die media.

              1. So, you’re going to keep your scheming secret from your son by publicly discussing how you’re going to keep it secret on the blog he knows you have?

                Imma just leave this here (for no particular reason):

                  1. If nothing else, she can make him suspect any introductions of ulterior motives. The suspicion of scheming could also be amusing. 😀

                    Can you see the email I use here? It’s not my primary, but I’d get something sent there.

  15. You guys are a bad influence on me.

    I was reading this article, and one of the side-notes made my mental ears prick; it goes out of its way to mention banning “indigenous religious practices.”

    Yeah, as an adult, I’d always realize they were skirting something, but I would’ve looked for something like “painted temple religious practices.”
    Now I know to search for “Pachacamac sacrifices.”

    It was most famous for child sacrifices, if you’re wondering. Boys. Relatively low-squick, considering they were killing kids and compared to the more famous examples, but good grief can we stop with the vapors about people banning human sacrifice?!?

      1. I read an older book on the Inca that didn’t talk about human sacrifice, but stated the Inca systematically didmtheir best to eradicate the culture of their conquered peoples and make them over into Incas. They destroyed knot records and took high status hostages, who were brought to the capital and raised as Incas, so they could be returned as cooperative rulers later.

        1. Looks like the new spin is that the gods of the conquered were “integrated” to the Inca Parthenon– I will give them credit, they do mention it’s as minor deities.

          Basically what the Romans did, and anybody else who didn’t go for the “eradicate the conquered entirely” option.

    1. I’m the eeeevil teacher who shows pictures of the excavated skull racks and other charming bits of Mesoamerican culture when we talk about the PreColumbian Americas. The more I read, and the more archaeologists find, the more I think T. R. Fehrenbach was right in _Blood and Fire_ about the roots of a lot of Mexican [and Central American] culture going a lot deeper than people want to admit.

      1. You’re probably already aware of it, but there are a large and growing percent of cartels that are actively invoking those “charming” bits. I know it was a thing in the 80s-ish, although they usually spun it as either “satanism” or “witchcraft.”

        1. You know there’s that whole group of The Great Courses videos/audiobooks by Leonhart, yeah?

          Hoboy, a lot of that stuff goes back a looooooooong way. And it traveled. Hoboy.

          Not recommended for bedtime listening, much less listening to go to sleep and then waking up to a full description of Jaguar God rituals, and how people took heads so they could make people their spirit slaves for all eternity. Ewwgghhh.

          OTOH, pretty good for walking around doing mundane tasks and feeling horrified, much like listening to true crime.

          And then the good civilizations tend to hit you as even more good than they normally would.

          1. Okay, I have just found one of the disadvantages of audiobooks. You don’t see the spelling.

            It turns out that “Yzma” is one of the many alternative spellings for the Ishmay culture and empire, which was inbetween the Wari guys and the Pachacamac guys.

            Argh. Argh. The Emperor’s New Groove is hurting me again with its terrible wonderful jokes!

          2. I’ll pass it on to the geek lord, he needs lots of driving fodder. Thank you!

            (I can’t even watch a video without the kids piling in to watch it— so anything not standard broadcast radio is restricted.)

              1. Unlimited? I’d like that! They’re good for semi-active listening around young kids.. It helps me sit down and just drive cars on the mat rather than wandering off to do other things. So it does need to be not scary.

      2. I have literally read a book about pre-Columbian Aztecs that simply asserted that the inflated sacrifice counts (not enough skulls, not enough population) were Spanish demonization, and not even denying that they were Aztec bragging.

          1. The scale of which the Aztecs bragged is larger than the evidence by an order of magnitude or so. (Which still leaves them the most human sacrifice prone of any human civilization I believe.)

            1. The Aztecs may have killed the most, but other Native American civilizations could get even creepier. One down in South America, I think either Moche or Chimu, honored their death god (who looked like a human skeleton) by taking someone, flaying the skin and flesh from their face until it was near skeletal, and then keeping them alive as an ‘honored’ guest at feasts and other major social occasions. They got fed and ‘entertained’ by young lovelies, or so at least one archaeologist claimed.

        1. I gotta wonder which population numbers they were using– because the “Spanish genocided the New World and it was totally a population and culture on par with Euorpe before disease killed 95% of everybody” definitely had enough population.

          1. One Aztec claimed that they had killed 80,400 captives at the dedication of a temple, in a single feast. Even in Europe, stuff on that scale would have been noticed.

            They didn’t mention the population, they just assumed “Demonization!”

            1. *facepalm*

              *shakes free fist at apologists*

              Oh, for heaven’s sake… take a LOOK at that number, with like five seconds worth of thought that isn’t dedicated to the assumption that the Spanish are Worse Than Evil, and a hobby-level knowledge of even Jewish symbolism. (I say “even,” because it’s a rather different development path, but a common one due to multiple vectors.)

              Oddly even number, isn’t it?

              That’s basically a giant, waving flag of “SYMBOLS GO HERE.” What did they want, it to be “666”? Or maybe 443556? (666×666) 216,000? (6x6x6 thousand)

              Can’t find a source, but repeated results that 400 is a KNOWN important symbolic number for the Aztecs. Meaning: beyond count.

              1. Hmm — on the other hand, they would have liked to have made a symbolic number of sacrifices, not just claimed to have made them, which is why the improbability of that high a number given their population is important.

                I have heard people saying that the martyrdom of St. Hippolytus is obviously made up because it claims he was dragged to death behind a chariot, just like the legendary Hippolytus. As if we didn’t know for a fact that the Romans re-enacted legendary scenes in their gladiator games,and as if the name couldn’t have inspired those staging the games as well as anyone writing about them. (St. Hippolytus was definitely a real historical figure. He was the first anti-Pope, though he was later reconciled and in fact died with the Pope of his time.)

                1. They probably did use a (well, bunches of, really symbolic actual number, but the objection to the number was that it was way too high and thus had to be slander. That’s excuse-for-desired-conclusion level grabbing. (just like the “similar thus made-up” argument you mention; people usually don’t make things up out of wholecloth)

                  Considering that 400 meant countless, and the number offered was 201 times that, I would have started looking at things like numbering system, how many sub-tribes/families/power structures there were,

                  Base twenty system, I would either look at symbolism of 10, or see if there were ten families. In which case the obvious symbolism would be something like “the entire society got as many prisoners as they could, sacrificed them, and then we sacrificed a bunch of US, too!” Another possible variation is they captured countless enemies, sacrificed half of them, plus any leaders/high value/priests.

                  Or everybody’s family said they’d brought in “countless” enemies, and the improbably huge number was a way to say “shut up stop counting everybody won the pissing contest alright?!”

    2. Ah, but you see, anybody can be against human sacrifice, there’s nothing special about that at all. To be able and willing to defend human sacrifice, well, that must be the sign of a singular and special mind.

      1. And it was only Indians, after all. They didn’t even have the excuse of the humans involved being the same color/race/nationality/alphabetsoup as the Spanish!

        1. It really amazes me how easily many Progressives manage to believe that minorities simply cannot handle basic standards of behavior they hold Whites to.

          I wish I was amazed at how little they get called out for this.

          1. Very racist indeed, but the “soft,” racism of patronization and condenscention. It’s what motivates anti voter ID drives – those poor African-Americans are so traumatized by their ancestors’ experiences they can’t possibly stand up to a poll worker and show ID.

            1. The excuse I’ve heard is that they’re all so poor they have to work all the time and can’t spend any time to go to the DMV to get an ID.

    3. Vaporous one: “The Conquistadors burned all the Aztec codices they could find! Oh, the horror! They wouldn’t even let people grow amaranth! How stupid of them!”
      Me, reading the history of the ball game and the long, long calendar of sacrificial rituals: “Given the amaranth was made into cakes using human blood and other things as part of the rituals in which they tore people’s beating hearts out, yeah, ya think?!?”

            1. Some SJWs that claim to play DnD made a push after George Floyd’s death, claiming that Orcs had something to do with blacks, and that the owners of DnD should stop contributing to the violence.

              The first response was to post an apology/warning on all the pre fifth edition material available for purchase. Next, they started censoring/editing some of the previously published material to remove ‘racist’ references.

              I would be surprised if there weren’t material previously published that based villains on the Aztecs.

              I would be surprised if the current bunch weren’t willing to censor such material in a way that would fit Ian’s criteria.

              1. Oh, the ‘evil-orcs-are-racist’ thing goes back at least as far as the start of g4 of AD&D, where they made a lot of noise about it. Up to and including having a KKK of elves, humans, and dwarfs out to get those innocent Orcs (who were still robbing and killing everyone).

                I’m not even gonna touch them tooting their own horn about ‘duh-versity’ while at the same time destroying literally every non-white European human culture and race in the Forgotten Realms! This after some of us had begged for literally years for more on these people. No, I’m not bitter.

                Myself, I think that if you look at fantasy Orcs and immediately think ‘black people’, the problem is with you and not the game.

                1. I once had a DM who had a rule that you couldn’t attack first if you were Good. You had to waste surprise and let them take a free whack at you.

                  And never once did it PAY OFF. Every single evil species always attacked.

          1. I confess to reading a bunch of Age of Sail adventure stories wherein the Spaniards are always described as being unusually cruel even by the standards of the day by the (usually) English protagonists.

            And I figure, “If guys like that decided that your culture needed killing, then it really needed killing.”

            1. I’ve read books written from the Spanish perspective. Let’s just say that (a) the English of the time were hardly saints, especially where the ‘Papists’ were concerned, and (b) when you do things like send ship-loads of men and munitions off to the Barbary Corsairs so they can better raid and enslave said Papists, no wonder people aren’t going to like you.

    4. Because they consider human sacrifice a sacrament.

      I even remember bumper stickers “If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”, which says a lot more about the hard core pro-abortion (not pro-choice, but pro-abortion) left than it does about men or Catholics.

      1. If men got pregnant, they would be women. Inescapable biological fact involving the definitions of male and female.

  16. “for parents like me who can be home with the kids but lacked the time to properly homeschool, we need … Online homeschooling leagues? Online schools? Online resources that can help de-indoctrinate kids who went to public school.”

    Time for the return of the one-room schoolhouse, except neighborhood rather than rural.

    1. “School” or “learning” pods. The New York Times and Washington Post are already on the case about how bad, and wrong, and BadWrong they are, so that’s an endorsement right there.

      Bring in the occasional tutor with STEM or other specialized knowledge, and it becomes even more pearl-clutchy for the Usual Suspects. Besides, even in two-parent families, children will still benefit from interacting with responsible non-parent adults – uncle/aunt-figures, and mentor-figures more generally – and children been harmed by the official Left policies restricting that contact.

    2. I’ve been saying that since the beginning of this mess when they shut down the school. Six to ten families is a lot lower risk pool than the way public schools are set up now, should we actually have a plague event. And amazingly, we might get that with how stupid the teachers unions are being. Lord save me from fixing my enemies* mistakes for them. Especially with states and places where two incomes are the standard and parents have less flexibility. I’m looking at you CA where a SF home nearly requires a duel* income family. Of course, long term, I expect that remote work would spread out the workers and depress housing prices in those areas. But currently, good school and SF home? Dual income or Mommy and Daddy are buying a house for their precious grandbabies.

      I’m not even kidding, just walking around Southern California home showings (feeling a curious sort) saw several of those. Heck KNEW several of those. It was very odd to me, I don’t want my parents paying for my house. I’m an adult! Demographic migration data indicates that many of those leaving are just those people who want to have kids AND a single family home AND don’t have extraordinary resources (family or money). Your middle class and future middle class IOW.

      *the schools really don’t seem to like sincerely religious people
      *pun intended

      1. My hope, long term, is that when the folks who suffered through this with mommy and daddy remote working will, eventually, move.

        And that means that daddy got a better job, generally– but mom is without a job at the moment. Hm, look at aaaaaallllllll the nice houses we can get for half the price of the good school district. It’s twice the house, and there’s a YARD, and the commute is the same. I could stay home with the kids, you know, it wasn’t that hard. My cousin Jane says….

        Which also gives the mom an “out” for not getting work, one that can be sold to even the most obnoxious, nosey cousin, “we found the perfect house, but didn’t like the school district, so-“

  17. Actually, we’ve got to be the sons of both, because the point of Martha was that she was so wrapped up in what she did that she sacrificed the very reason she was doing it.

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