I almost named this post “You are not psychic.” And I swear I already have four or five by that name, because the left’s favorite thing is to tell us what we’re really thinking when we say something. And what we’re really thinking is what they want us to think, so they can revile us.
This is how crazy sh*t became enshrined in their credo like “everyone to the right of Lenin is racist.” Because if you say anything — and I don’t mean remotely close to race — they don’t like the explanation is always “You’re saying that as a secret dog whistle.”
But this is more serious than the left’s belief that we all meet down at the ol’ conservative lodge (I can’t find one in our town) and agree on secret code words which we’re going to use to hide our racisssssm sexisssssm and homophobia.
I mean, that’s completely insane, because honestly the right has jobs and couldn’t meet every week if you promised us free beer and chocolate.
BUT the left believes it, with a gut-deep belief. Other things they believe: that the biggest problem in the US is white supremacy. That white supremacy can be multiracial (arooo?) That if you’re on time to work, are efficient, can read well and know how to do your job, you are a white supremacist.
The list goes on. In the end — because the left ARE racists — they equate whiteness with competence and intellect and the white supremacy they’re so scared of is “people doing their job minimally well.”
And it’s not being psychic. They don’t actually claim to read our thoughts. They just “know” what and how we think because they were taught to believe this is true.
So, to begin at the beginning, the left are the “good boys and girls.” I honestly don’t know if this was always true, even back in the 1920s when Agatha Christie treated communists in her books as misguided, fundamentally good people.
We have this idea of the leftist revolutionary, not afraid to stand out for what they believe, etc, but we get that from the media and entertainment which has been in their hands for a century.
Having grown up in an old-style country, most of the hard left ping the same spot that the religious fanatics ping. Look, a lot of them, in Portugal, changed from insane Catholics, to insane Communists when communism was the “ruling” ideology. I’m not absolutely sure this isn’t true for a lot of the left in families that were…. how do I put this? “System religious.”
System religious is the type of person who does all the observances to the point of ridicule, but who cannot understand the larger picture, or that there is ANY give in the system.
The same type of older girl who would accost me outside mass and tell me I was going to hell because I’d turned away coming from communion and turned my back on the sacrament two seconds too early (and cause major collisions in the line) two years later was a communist and telling me that unless everything was redistributed to the penny, society was “unjust.”
This is because it’s the same type of mind. There are people who get confused by interaction with individuals, and annoyed by individual differences and preferences. So, instead of trying to figure it out, they try to find a system that explains everything. Bereft of one, they will build one. This is one of the stages of the development of teens. They build “explanation systems” for just about everything they are likely to see in daily life. It won’t take everything into account, or fit everything, but it fits their limited place in the world and experience, makes interacting with others less scary, and lets them function.
In the course of growing up, the system breaks. You meet people who don’t fit the matrix you created. You are exposed to more and more complex situations. Eventually the system is abandoned, and sometimes you — me for sure — look back and go “uh. I had everything upside down and sideways.” (The same can be said for my first three years in the US when I was desperately trying to find a clue and a way of acting that would work. I would take stray comments as gospel, etc.)
The problem with Marxism is that it’s adolescent system with DEFENSES. Also that it’s so pervasive in the media, education, news, etc, that most people don’t know it’s just a system of cobbled together explanations that don’t really work and have never worked anywhere. When you hear someone say something like “Oh, but Marxist analysis is really good for–” theory of music/literary analysis/historical study… whatever, it’s already too late, and that person might never break free. Marxist analysis is only good within the system because the system has defenses built in. Most of them are lies, distortions, or, more and more, outright crazy cakes. But if you don’t look outside the system, it appears to be “good”.
This is roughly the same as if the only way you had to judge the quality of a fiction book was a tape measure. Bigger books were held to be better. Awards were given by measuring the book. You never actually opened or read the fiction book (Or in the case of Marxist analysis used it for its intended ludic purpose. Yes, all fiction books have a ludic purpose, even if they also have a “message” or some redeeming social critique. Look, even if you’re reading a book in a foreign language to get proficient, there has to be enjoyment in it, or you’ll give it up. I have in my library a copy of Dandelion wine, with the cover encased in plastic [because it went everywhere with me for six months] and pencil marks above the words I didn’t get, with the Portuguese translation. If you met me at fourteen, you probably saw me with that book in hand and a pencil behind my ear. But, you’ll say, if I was reading it to become proficient, why desecrate Dandelion Wine? Why not read one of my brother’s engineering books, in English? Or my SIL’s medical books also in English? Because as much “eating live frogs” as the first three months of reading the book were, the story pulled me forward and was engaging. And the last three months, I was reading at almost normal speed, with sometimes total stops while I got out the dictionary. )
And if I told you “But that’s a stupid way to analyze a book” you’d say “No. All the fattest books win the awards, so the tape measure method works for literary analyzis.” That is what you’re seeing.
Look, every adollescent system has defenses too. That time we told younger son we were going to take him for ice-cream and he shrieked we hated him and ran from the room, that made sense in his system. (No, I have no idea how. Maybe he thought he was too fat. At the time he could walk between drops of rain without getting wet, mind you. Or maybe he thought the system worked by separating from us, and since we wanted to go out with him we were evil.) His defense against questioning the validity of whatever crazy-cakes system he’d concocted to explain his world was to decide we must hate him and run screaming from the room.
It helps if you see a lot of the left’s attempts at psychic-powers as being exactly the same. In their system, we’re required to do things for certain reasons. Because if we have other, rational reasons for doing things, the simplistic Marxist system of viewing the world breaks. And that can’t be allowed, so each of the positions has a further retrenching position.
Take the kerfuffle over the plastic rocket, for instance.
As most of you know I have a degree in Literature. Comparative literature, for my sins. Nothing that could be done about it. In the antiquated system I worked with, having a degree in languages necessitated one in literature.
I knew that objectively and by the experience of most of us who read a lot since childhood (it’s an addiction) the quality of the books winning the plastic rocket was in free fall. It’s not just that the use of words is somewhat lacking. It’s that the ludic enjoyment of such books has gone down to close to zero. (The two aren’t linked. Edgar Rice Burroughs was a hot mess on the word level, but his stories are fun.)
So when we went charging in on more balls than brain, I expected their defense to be on the uncouth level. “The things you suggest are uncouth, and you don’t have the refined palate to appreciate the things we love” (said the aesthete while smearing shit on himself, not like those uncouth clothes the peasants wear.)
Since I have been fighting attempts to make me act the class I was born into — or to quote mom “give myself my own respect” — since I could toddle, I was prepared for that.
What I wasn’t prepared for was being called racist, sexist, homophobic. Or being told I was “afraid of change.”
That later one is actually extremely revelatory if you view it as a psychological defense mechanism, which it is for the people of system. “If I defend the system, I don’t need to examine it, which would make me uncomfortable.” I hate to say this but at some deep level, they don’t want to change, and therefore, change is bad. So you must also be afraid of change.
The change we were afraid of was SPECIFICALLY that we were afraid of women and people of color taking over our field and doing better than us. Since three of the people in the group were and remain women, I have no clue what that was supposed to mean. Also whether I’m another race or not seems to depend on the department of the government and, oh, yeah my political beliefs. (That multi-racial whiteness, ya know?) I couldn’t figure out what they were talking about.
I particularly couldn’t figure out what they were talking about because I’d broken in 15 years before, and started attending conventions as a new writer. A newly-broken-in male writer was a rarity. A youngish male editor was even more of a rarity, and if he existed he was almost for sure gay. And most agents were female. Yes, most of the field was white enough to reflect an SOS to the stars. No, this wasn’t being helped by taking the field into a “academic” direction rather than an entertaining one, which was already happening back then.
In the times I had attended award ceremonies, 90% of the award recipients were either female or gay or legends of the field which yes, usually meant fairly old. That might reflect past dominance of the field by males (though only partly. And mostly because science fiction wasn’t “respectable” oh 50 years ago, and women care more about that sort of thing.)
But again, when I came into the field, it was mostly female. And yeah, there were a few darker faces in the crowd. (About as dark as mine if I get a tan.) I was almost the only one with a non-British accent, though. Not that I cared much, except when people couldn’t understand us in crowded rooms.
So, what “change” was I supposed to be afraid of, precisely? Same as it ever was.
In fact, progressivism has been in increasing control since I was born, (before that, too.) So, assigning winners and losers based on group you belong to? Always a thing. Being prissily supportive of the left’s ideas? Needed to get ahead and signal you had an excellent education and were “smart.” etc. etc. etc.
There is no change in that.
Yesterday someone posted a cartoon, in an Heinlein group of all places, with a heavily armed cammo guy standing in an intersection with muslims, a rabbi, gays holding hands, black people and it said something like “What is he so afraid of.”
In defense of the idiotic cartoon the poster brought up that people have guns because they’re afraid of change, or some like idiocy.
And my reaction was, “No, mostly because I’m afraid of idiots like you, feeling righteous and running in possession of a “system” that explains everything, provided you don’t look outside it. I have been alive a long time. In my entire life, I’ve never seen anyone run for a gun at the sight of the Village People, and mind you, they’re older than I am.
Now the left uses “minorities” and “Advancing minorities” as a way to impose its system and feel morally virtuous. It always amuses me to see the inherent racism in their positions — not psychic, they are necessitated by their positions, though Zhou Bi Den talking about poor kids being as smart as white kids doesn’t help anything — and that they don’t see it.
For instance, they need to help women and minorities achieve. They need to give them awards (in my field and others) and assign them the plum roles, because otherwise they will get discouraged (apparently in their world only white people are capable of persistence in face of adversity.) And they need to eliminate these requirements to be on time and be effective, because otherwise people who tan can’t succeed. (Listen, there is a cultural thing in Latin cultures. We’re not supposed to be organized, exact or on time. That’s CULTURAL not genetic. I learned. I learned to punctuate (on the blog? Oh, please. I don’t proofread) which is optional in Portugal, if you’re “creative.” I learned to be on time. I learned to format manuscripts. If you believe people who tan can’t learn these things, you are the racist.) We have to claim that 2+2 can be anything, so we’ll have more women in STEM. We have to–
The truth is that society has had incentives to achieve if you can tan the entire time I’ve been here. The truth is that if you’re consistent and capable, and know how to do your job, no one cares if you’re a woman or a minority. The absolute worst that will happen is some people will assume you’re an affirmative action hire/promotion, until you prove yourself capable.
The left acts as though this were circa 1950 and 1950 as seen in the movies: everyone is white, and everyone dresses and looks alike, and if the stranger comes in everyone is terrified.
I wasn’t alive in the 50s. And I sure as heck wasn’t in the US. It’s possible this was true? Maybe? Some places. I don’t know. All I know is the movies and the books, and at this point I don’t believe in any of them.
The truth? I don’t care about the color or sex of a writer. Never did. No, seriously. I’d start reading a book — still do — based on the book’s description, and if I’m enjoying it a lot, halfway through I’ll turn to the cover to see who wrote it, and — now — might sit at the computer to see what else they wrote, and probably buy it.
I have a lousy memory for names, so when you had to go and buy at the store, half the time I couldn’t remember which authors I’d enjoyed. I’m pretty good at remembering word choice and voice, though, and so after say three books I enjoyed by the same author, I’d write his/her name on a little piece of paper I kept with me for when I went to the store.
THAT was the amount of interest I took in the writer.
Now there were people who rose above. I found myself with some writers — male and female — I’d grown up reading, in a mailing list, and was completely silent for six months. If I’d ever met Heinlein, he’d probably think I was a life-like sculpture.
So, do I care if more people of color are winning awards? Well. Not noticeably. For one, I don’t pay much attention to what people look like. (Which I understand is ALSO white supremacy. Look, I saw a blond for the first time at six. I was terrified for days, and I had nightmares about him for years. You see, his hair and skin matched, and I thought he was a plastic doll come to life. So, really strange might do that. But you know, at this point it would have to be purple with pokadots.)
And that’s my big issues. The people of system are trying to institute their socialist/communist system (At this point the difference is degree. And you can throw fascist in there too. Yes, I know the definitions are different, but in action there ain’t a millimeter of difference between them. Beyond the rhetoric of the system.) Being good boys and girls, having been exquisitely educated and BELIEVING everything the authorities told them they believe that system will bring about the equality of the sexes and races (never did. Never will. Societies in stress and living close to the bone are hard on women and minorities, no matter how many ridiculous lies the NYT prints.)
Being people of system, they can’t figure out how to step out of the system and evaluate the system itself. If you challenge what the system says it wants, it must be because you’re against their objectives or because you don’t like “change.” And when you show them it’s not change, it’s what’s been in place for decades, they say you’re isssst and phobic, like a thirteen year old running away from the dinner table. Because they can’t let you break the system. This is also why in professions they take over they first destroy institutional memory. It might also be why they feel the need to destroy the past, including their bizarre fear of sculpture. Yes, even statues erected by freed slaves show how long ago that was. Why there’s no one alive who remembers it first hand. And the freed slaves could erect statues, that long ago. Well, that destroys their vision of themselves as forever storming the barricades on behalf of all that’s right and good.
Because the system must be preserved at all costs, no matter what ridiculous distortion and lying is needed to assure it. Without this system they internalized the world might as well be chaos.
Therefore, as the system breaks before their eyes, because the technological change is changing everything, and their attempts at holding things still, like the covidiocy, just end up changing things more, these are people in increasingly greater distress and anger. And they don’t know what to do with it, except attribute their feelings to us. Which is why they’re clamoring for “vengeance”.
It’s going to get very rough. And when it does it’s going to escalate quickly.
Meanwhile those of us who aren’t people of systems, and who wouldn’t recognize systems if they bit us in the ass must learn to work over and around.
Because weird as it seems, in the end, civilization depends on us to rebuild and to adapt and to make it work again.
Fortunately most of us handle change pretty well.