People of The System

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.

501 thoughts on “People of The System

  1. Way back when, when the first generation of Marxist historians were writing (so, let’s call it the 1950s-60s), the idea that working class people had a history of their own, and that economics might be a way to look at history, was new, radical, and useful. Back then. And the guys were excellent historians despite being Marxists. Now? Nope. Dogma has replaced skill at story telling (story telling with footnotes and good sources and doing the work and being honest when you find things you don’t want to find but include them anyway because that’s the truth.)

    1. I had this problem reading “War and Peace” last month. Tolstoy spends chapter after chapter on essays denouncing the Great Man theory of history, and on how history is made by the normal people in movements where any one individual can be replaced … and all I can think is how Asimov did this exact thing in the Foundation series.

      What starts as the avant garde always turns into the derriere garde.

        1. Yeah. The Great Man theory is inadequate for describing all of history; thinking that the world is but the plaything of kings and generals is like thinking the surfers control the waves. But yet there are a handful of men who functioned like tsunami-creating earthquakes in history, creating the waves instead of merely riding them to glory. Alexander, Julius and Octavian Caesar, Martin Luther, Henry VIII, Napoleon Bonaparte, Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler — they changed history like the Mule in the Foundation series. They weren’t mere products of their time, who could have been replaced by someone else with a similar background and history would have gone the same; what they accomplished could only have been accomplished by them. No generic doppelganger would have managed it.

          1. Hmmmm … I realize that a comprehensive listing is impractical, but I would think Temujin, Timur the Lame and Atilla merit inclusion. Mssrs Colt and Browning also did much to change the world.

            The History Channel is currently running season two of The Food That Built America, a series about the contributions of Henry John Heinz, Milton Hershey, Clarence Birdseye, and others who developed modern food processig.

            Then there are the anonymous contributors, such as the smiths who first forged Damascene steel, the guy who invented the axle …

            1. Oh yes, those were the ones off the top of my head. Though being a “Great Man” isn’t just about being important in history — it’s about making history in such a way that no one else could have done what he did. To use Napoleon as an example: in the chaos of the 1790s, someone brutal and ambitious was bound to come out on top. If it hadn’t been Napoleon, it still would have been somebody who reverted the country back to an autocracy of some kind. Could that doppelganger have reformed France into a working country that could win wars against its neighbors and create client states throughout Europe? That seems far less certain. Or another example — Martin Luther succeeded where Jan Hus failed. The circumstances weren’t identical, but the characters of the two men had big differences in their success.

              So with all due respect to Mssrs Colt, Browning, Heinz, Hershey, Birdseye, and others, I would classify them as important men but not “Great Men.” Someone was going to figure out how to do what they did; perhaps not as soon or in the same way, but eventually. I might put Edison in the “Great Men” category, because as important as his inventions were, his ability to capitalize, market, and institutionalize them were far more important in shaping our world. Andrew Carnegie might be another possibility; there were plenty of self-made men in the gilded age, but his charity set an example for other American businessmen, an example even someone like Bill Gates follows in his own terrible way.

          2. I disagree about Martin Luther, Henry VIII, and Lenin. They were each participants in pre-existing long term societal trends. At most, one can say they were first pus-filled boils to pop in their respective plagues. There would have been other pus-boils had those three not existed.

            1. I have often thought that if Marx had not existed somebody else of similar idiocy would have filled the same role. It seems to be a pustulent cluster of ideas that appeals to a large enough segment of the human race that it was going to be invented anyway.

      1. What starts as the avant garde always turns into the derriere garde.

        Lady, in a world i which corporals delivered the punishment that would get you Spanx.

          1. Don’t know how wallaby would taste like, but I’d advise you to not try to eat RES.

            He might regenerate inside you. 😈

            1. Beloved Spouse miss you too, but finds mental health better served by eschewing politics for Bible study and working way through the early works of the Four Queens of Crime.

              Beloved Spouse also says it is not you who would need to fear gutting. I says I can takes care of meself and well punish any threats.

          2. Nyah – you don’t want to dine on (or with) wallabies as they’re certain to disagree with you.

      2. There are those who embrace the label.

        “The Derriere Guard, founded by composer Stefania de Kenessey, represents artists in all media who work at the cutting edge – by rediscovering and reinventing traditional forms and techniques.”

        What produces the stuff of the derriere end of the alimentary canal is when those in the derrier garde position believe themselves to still be avant.

          1. It sounds a lot like some of Richard Bledsoe’s ideas.

            Then again, I’m the man convinced a crucial thing we need to do to win the culture war is revive westerns.

              1. Not all Westerns have to be set in the American pioneer West. There was good reason that many SF tales became known as “Space Operas” following the template of “Horse Operas.” Louis L’Amour set several of his “Westerns” in the sixteenth century explorations of America’s East Coast (see: Sackett’s Land, To the Far Blue Mountains, and Fair Blows the Wind). Heck, Ride the River, set in the early Eighteenth Century never crosses the Mississippi but is essentially a Western. There’s no reason one of your Musketeers stories couldn’t fill the function of a Western.

                Really, it is a matter of the themes and values presented. Consider a tale of a girl whose village is butchered by Hannibal’s army, crossing the alps ahead of them to warn the Romans.

                  1. Sure – and Star Trek (the Original Series) was too – Wagon Train in space.

                    Although some argue it veers between there and Horatio Hornblower.

                    1. What Star Trek, the original series, was and how Roddenberry sold it to the Suits are two different things.

                      At the time Roddenberry was trying to sell the show, “Wagon Train” was a very popular TV Show.

                    2. I might be persuaded by a full concert consisting of a Klingon chorus singing at least three Sabaton songs, O’Brien and Bashir singing Marty Robbin’s The Alamo, and a puppy.

                    3. Since going by the way the singers pronounce the words, it’s written more phonetically than language-focused, it’d be the same song….

                    4. but would they sing them in the original Klingon?

                      If they didn’t, would that make it faux-filk? 😛

            1. Peter Grant is writing a western series right now, and it’s pretty good, I think. *grin*

              “When the Civil War ends, where can a former Confederate soldier go to escape the long memories of neighbors who supported the winning side? Where can Johnny Reb go when he can’t go home? He can go out West, where the land is hard, where there is danger on every side, and where no one cares for whom you fought – only how well you can do it. Walt Ames, a former cavalryman with the First Virginia, is headed West with little more than a rifle, a revolver, and a pocket full of looted Yankee gold. But in his way stand bushwhackers, bluecoats, con men, and the ever-restless Indians. And perhaps most dangerous of all, even more dangerous than the cruel and unforgiving land, is the temptation of the woman whose face he can’t forget. When you can’t go home again – go West!”

              As you can see, it *ain’t* a book the SJW’s would love. I wish I had the talent to write like Louis L’amour, but I don’t. If I did, it’d probably be more like Firefly (in that it would be in space, because space = frontier, dammit!).

    2. Yeah, but skill at story telling is haaaaard Too hard for the poor wittle heads of women, brown people, and gay people. You know the ones too pathetic to succeed without our help, because the all-powerful white dude is keeping them down.


      Nowadays Marxism is so intellectually bankrupt it’s plug and play. Story has both sexes in it? Sexism! Has different “races” in it? Racism! Only straight people? Homophobia! You can find a flaw to exploit (even ones that only exist in your head) with Marxist criticism (critical theory is just as bad).

  2. You should take that cartoon and add onto on the gay, black etc. people T-shirts that say “whites should die” and signs that say “whites are evil,” “exterminate white men” and the like.

    It would make the cartoon make more sense.

    1. Yes. White people cause all the problems.

      Cause Muslims and rabbis get along perfectly. Likewise Latinos and blacks. And they all love love love LGBTLMNOPs too. It’s just those evil white people screwing everything up all the time.

  3. 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.

    Or the pithy version I’ve used a few times: Sufficiently advanced fundamentalism is indistinguishable from gramascian damage.

    When you hear someone say something like “Oh, but Marxist analysis is really good for–”

    Marxist analysis is really good for predicting what marxist analyzers will say.

      1. Why on Earth would I want to use a sentence like, “Sufficiently advanced fundamentalism is indistinguishable from gramascian damage”? I mean I like complex words and all but my speed is more Supercalifragilisticexpealadocious.

    1. Ian said:
      Marxist analysis is really good for predicting what marxist analyzers will say.

      Nah honestly you’d get a better read of marxist analyzers from a mix of the old Eliza program and random number generators than from using Marxist Analysis.

    1. A phrase I sometimes here is ‘citizen of the world.’

      And these days I think: and the Prince of the World.

      I remember when I learned that Diogenes was the first person to ever use the term ‘citizen of the world,’ or ‘cosmopolitan,’ and it was regarding his allegiance to his city-state. Essentially Diogenes invented the term as a dodge, a way of shirking his repsonsibilities to the society that shaped and raised him by pledging his allegiance to a non-existent entity that could make no demands on him.

      1. a way of shirking his repsonsibilities to the society that shaped and raised him

        Feh. Seems simpler to deny that any such “responsibility” exists.

        > [society raising someone]


        1. [society raising someone]


          Okay, paraphrasing and poor choice of words, but you know what I mean.

          And denying responsibility carries disreputable connotations. You can assume the trappings of virtue by pretending you’re doing something more important.

      2. It’s my planet. I’m just generous enough to let you share it. Although I am getting a mite bit annoyed at a couple of tenants down in D.C.

        1. I’d step outside your Reality things, but I seem to have lost access to the portal…

          …and I don’t which one of us is being punished. Or is it rewarded? Complicated, worlds are.

      3. “When in Rome, live in the Roman way. When you are elsewhere, live as they do there.”

        The skin-suit version of “Citizen of the World” denies this in favor of making the entire world a single uniform place (while at the same time howling in protest that Coke and McDonalds is creating bland world-wide uniformity.)

        1. Oh, gawd. I heard that soooo many times. I spent three summers in Serbia in the early aughts. I had colleagues say to me “Oh, I really want to go there before it gets all Westernized!” My response was, you mean before they get toilets that aren’t holes in the ground? That always got a stare. Then I’d tell them that we’d always get a coffee at the McDonald’s so that we could use the restroom there (western toilets). Oh, and the vegan who said she wanted to travel there. I told her that Serbian food was meat, wrapped in meat, stuffed with meat and tofu was unknown. She got really pale. Serbs I met *loved* Coke and McDonalds. *Because* those were Western.

          1. I recall thinking, before the Iron Curtain’s rust was revealed to all in full, that if ever traveled to the East Bloc (including USSR) that it would a Good Idea Indeed to stock up on various Western Things for the trip, even if I would never use them myself (e.g. Marlboros…) and even if I might (Levi’s etc.). I do NOT regret never getting the chance. The world is BETTER overall now, even if worse in a few spots.

            1. Yup. But I was in Hungary in 2016. Delightful country, wonderful people. In many ways, I’d recommend a trip to Eastern Europe over a trip to Western Europe.

              1. Agree about Hungary. Wonderful place filled with nice people and good food at good prices. I could not wrap my head around the language though. All the old empire cities, except Prague which is filled with idiot tourists, are great.

                1. And beautiful Maygar women are among the most beautiful in Europe.

                  Although for my buck Crete won that contest based on my limited, and mostly Mediterranean, travels.

                  And no, I’m not talking tourists on the beaches, but the native young ladies serving said tourists in the shops.

                  1. In re., Magyar women. yep, along with what the Victorians would term spectacular embonpoint. For me though, the Valle Padano is tops.

            2. Being a bunch of political scientists, we created a country development scale based on plumbing. And it was started by one of the further leftists of the group. Goes to show what experience does for outlook.

          2. Ah, yes, the Romanian monastery toilet. I decided I’d just hold it till I burst when I saw that.
            (Luckily the next church we stopped at had flushers).

            1. My elementary school toilets were holes in the ground. With kids under ten using them. It looked EXACTLY as you expect.
              So…. I developed UTIs from refusing to go at school, no matter what.
              I also once peed myself on the door mat, because I refused to go at school.

          3. Well, if the natives of Serbia want to westernize/modernize, then that too is part of the “Serbian way.”

            1. Well, yes. But my lefty colleagues didn’t see it that way. They viewed as forced on them by the west. June Arunga wrote a great piece in 2006 about her experiences at the WTO meeting in Cancun where she had a couple of Canadian women explain to her that the development in Cancun was terrible…where she saw opportunity and vastly improved living conditions. She asked them why they thought locals wouldn’t want indoor plumbing and got a sniff and said the culture was disappearing. Being new to the world of development, she decided to be polite and not tell them what she really thought.

              1. It’s a prime lefty trait to confuse “what people want” and “what people have forced on them.” Now it can get complicated since different people want different things, and sometimes even the same person can be of two minds about wanting something. But lefties do seem to have a special talent for getting it wrong.

                1. I have heard people grousing that the Republican Party will continue because they can con peopled into voting against their own best interests.

                  1. My take is that the GOP is the “GO Along to GET Along with the DEMs” Party. They don’t want to outdo the Dems, or beat them, they’re happy to be in the third-class seats.

                    1. These were Lefties who think we would believe their line if only the evil kulaks Republicans didn’t persuade us otherwise.

              2. She asked them why they thought locals wouldn’t want indoor plumbing and got a sniff and said the culture was disappearing.

                Sniff! I’ve lived without indoor plumbing and it cannot disappear fast enough to suit me.

                Anybody thinking it worth preserving needs to go to an outhouse on a hot Texan day or a cold Alaskan night.

                Woman attacked by bear while sitting on outhouse toilet
                … Following a rustic dinner of sausages cooked on an open fire and a day of snowmobiling to the remote hideaway near Chilkat Lake, Stevens became one with nature — to a dangerous degree — when she faced the wild animal hiding out in her brother Erik’s latrine.

                “I got out there and sat down on the toilet and immediately something bit my butt right as I sat down,” Shannon said, according to the Daily Mail. “I jumped up and I screamed when it happened.”

                But she initially assumed a small creature like a squirrel had landed the blow.

                What happened next was something out of a horror movie: Erik heard his sister screaming from about 150 yards away. Armed with a headlamp, he lifted the toilet seat to find the wild beast “just right there at the level of the toilet seat, just looking right back up through the hole, right at me.”

        2. I’ve amused myself going to McDonalds over in Europe. You can get a MUCH better fast food meal over there than in the USA.

              1. Why would a horse phase you for eating dog? He was a friend? And where would he get a phaser anyway? Oh. You meant “faze”. Never mind 🙂

                    1. Not really a typo so much as using the wrong homonym in a way that is quite common. Those two words get confused quite a lot.

                      Typos get forgiven. Homonyms are just excuses to pun mercilessly. And we never pass up excuses like that. What would people think?

              2. Ahhh, memories. My Korean was as bad as her English, and there was confusion between “gaegogi” and “bulgogi”. Days later i found out the difference. Oh, well.

                IMNSHO, dog tastes slightly better than horse.

                1. I am pretty certain that I ate horsemeat – a stew served with boiled potatoes as the main supper entrée in a youth hostel in Paris, in the summer of 1970. We knew very well that it wasn’t beef: it was sweet and rather stringy. My best friend on that expedition, who was the daughter of a WWII veteran of France in 1944 was fairly certain that what we ate was not mule…

                  1. Oh, yes – I knew very well what gaegogi was, when I was in Korea. The Korean co-workers that I had at the outside job seemed to view a liking for dog-meat as rather … outre and countrified. Like eating squirrel or raccoon, in the US. A backwards and poverty-indicating thing.

                  2. The problem with horsemeat is that since horses are very inefficient meat-makers, it tends to be using up the horse after it’s no longer useful at its normal job. Old animals are not noted for good meat.

                    1. *Insert Gif of dude from Serenity doing the “um” emote*

                      We’ve got….a very large, very young, population of very harmful horse meat in the US.

                      Which they’ve been working like hell to keep mauling the range it’s on.

                      For those following along:
                      Yes, this is the “mustang” herds such as those that my godfather use to manage, before they were nationalized as “wild” mustangs.

                    2. And there are people who support “Pleistocene rewilding” and would say that was GOOD because the mustangs (and feral burros) replace the American equines of the Pleistocene. They also support introducing more carnivores to prey on them (and us, but that’s just the price).

                    3. I suspect some of those idiots would support one of those predators “snacking” on a human child. 😡

                    4. Oh, yes. I’ve seen one defend that we expect Africans to put up with occasionally being eaten by a lion, so we should, too. (What you mean “we,” white man?)

                    5. I saw an example of hypocrisy in such matters while watching a documentary on the Komodo dragon.

                      The narrator was talking about getting pictures of the Komodo dragon and WAS WORRIED ABOUT ONE OF THEM ATTACKING HIM AND HIS CREW.

                      Later on the narrator was all so concerned about the dragon being an endangered species and how the people living near the dragons weren’t concerned about its endangered status.

                      IE They didn’t want to be attacked by them and wanted them dead (or at least gone) but he wasn’t concerned about their lives (and was concerned about his life earlier).

                    6. I understand that many Japanese people object to Kaiju and have even attacked them even though there’s no provocation, just a little inadvertent breakage.

                    7. But, but, horses are an invasive species! So are cows, pigs, sheep, goats, donkeys, cats, dogs, rats, chickens…

              3. Once upon a time, a couple years ago, I was getting help moving a couch. Okay, I was told to stay out of the way while the gentlemen moved the couch from its last owner to my living room. So, I did what any quick-thinking woman would do in that situation: I cooked dinner for the gents!

                However, I was a little nervous about the dish, because I’d chosen a tagine… and I was the only person at the dinner table who’d never done an arms deal in a souk, so I didn’t know how it’d rate against the original. I need not have worried; when the first gent arrived and banged open the front door in order to check maneuvering path and secure the storm and main door open, he took a deep lungful at the smell of the tagine. “Soul food!”

                Instead of checking the final resting spot marked out for the couch, he strode over to the tagine pot, exclaiming happily, “Smells like good home cooking!” Reaching the conical ceramic lid, he popped the top, grabbed tongs, and fished the chicken out of the vegetables and fruit. “And hey, you can identify the meat this time!” He turned and yelled at the next gent entering the house, “It’s not dog!”

                …I love my friends, weird as the world has made them.

                  1. If you have German roots in your family, people at table inevitably discuss bowel movements at some point.

                    And you’d think enough generations would have… passed… that this would have left the culture. But no.

                    I love my family….

              4. At my house you wouldn’t be eating dog but the dog would be eating with you. I have been known to set a place setting for Nemo. It was on the floor by the door to the back yard. If I wanted to freak someone out I’d set a place setting for the dog at the table. There’d only be 4 of us at the table: Me, hubby, dog and guest. Nemo adored people food. Dog food was usually a last resort when he couldn’t get people food.

      4. To be fair, Diogenes lived naked, in a big discarded earthenware jar set on its side, in what was basically an annex of the town dump. So he was not asking anything of any city where he lived, except tolerance of his short naked self and his snarky remarks.

  4. Mein Gott. Stop it! Stop it!

    Just when you’ve posted another brilliant essay that leaves me in awe of your ability to clearly explain complex, subtle ideas — you do it yet again!

    My brain will explode. -_o

    Oh, well. Honestly, I’ve repeatedly noticed that phenomenon myself but nowhere near as well as you’ve explained it here. Primal terror of the unknown and sheer mental laziness combine into an utterly toxic witches’ brew of pseudointellectual pretension and militant indoctrination.

    “March, my brothers, for the glory of the Lord and our savior Christ!”
    “March, my genderfluid companions, for the glory of Equality and our savior Communism!”
    “Destroy the godless heretics!”
    “Destroy the running-dog racist capitalists!”
    “Destroy the fill-in-the-blanks! All must die horribly!”

    As witnessed recently, even a few otherwise well-meaning and smart folks will apparently leap at the chance to stuff meanings into my mind and words into my mouth that exist nowhere but in the heads of those emotional commenters. And the fundamental problem of general willingness to believe twenty absurdities before noon is amplified tremendously within the teeming hordes of thoughtless idiots at large who seize upon the ideological flavor of the moment for personal salvation and cool message buttons. Plus that delicious daily two-minutes hate!

    Intellectually, it’s a fascinating social problem. Terrifying, yes, but fascinating. Can we survive it? Will the human race blow itself up before the Age of Aquarius dawns gently upon us all? O_O

    (P.S. For some readers who may tend to excessive literal-mindedness, no — not an actual Age of whatever. It’s just a metaphor.)

    1. Eric Hoffer explored this tendency, in The True Believer, wherein he noted that fanatical believers on either end of the spectrum are much more alike than they are to the non-fanatical. He observed that the religious fanatic was much more akin to the militant atheist – they were both alike, and their true opposite was the gentle agnostic who really didn’t care one way or the other.

      1. militant atheists hate it when I call them High Church Zealots, and get even more spittle flecked when I tell them I’m an atheist myself. “we don’t have a religion!” yes, yes you do, and like most zealots you argue it poorly

        1. I have gotten the same reaction but then les extremes se touchent has always been true. it started with me with the Marxist biologists I had to deal with as an undergraduate who were not at all pleased when I pointed out that They were the zealots.

        2. Aye. I am a nominal atheist, but if someone is (sane) religious, GREAT! As pointed out here, unless they are militant zealots or suchlike, it means at least whoever it is, realizes he/she is NOT G*d. him/her-self. And there is much value in that.

      2. If noticed that for any system to endure for a long time, it has to develop safe roles for its fanatics.

        Sort of the way some one who decides to live on the sides of Mount Athos living off lentils they always toss a handful of dirt into (“That is so we won’t enjoy it”) is every bit as much a fanatic as one can be, yet provides a useful service to the community at best, and at worst, does no harm.

        1. *blink*

          Suddenly the way such mechanisms always manage to keep the fanatics from having kids make a horrible sense.

          Best case they destroy the children’s lives. Worst case they produce a lot of fanatics or proto-fanatics.

          1. I had not thought of that. However, did not, historically, prevent monastics from raising children, and often monestaries would function as orphanages. But from the reputations of various ‘Penquins’ over the years, I can see that that does not necessarily yield an idylic life…

            I’ll also note that the Orthodox, especially, have a married priesthood, too, which does build a certain sustainablity into the system.

            1. The Orthodox have the best system. Parish priests who actually minister to congregants, who need to offer advice on being married and raising children, get married and have children. The church hierarchy who need the freedom to devote their entire lives to the church, who cannot spend the necessary time and energy to care for a wife and children, who need to be free to travel as Paul did, are celibate.

              Also, while the system was rife with abuses to be sure, monasteries provide something sorely lacking in modern Christianity: a family for those of whom God has not provided a spouse or children. People were not meant to live alone, but the most modern Christianity offers for us is dating and adoption advice — as if godly living was only possible as a married parent.

              1. Married priests who can only say Mass on certain days following when they don’t have sex, unless he and his wife don’t have sex at all anymore. Although all the Orthodox are supposed to abstain from sex on all fasting days, as was also historically the case in the West until early modern times. (And the extra pre-Lent weeks of warm-up partial fasting were actually a Western idea that went East, by all accounts.)

                You can’t have X without also having Y. Married Orthodox clergy is also a form of male-female asceticism in the home. The West doesn’t have it now, because it was really difficult.

                1. Anyway, asceticism done right is a very cheerful and fun thing. The real Christian ascetics have an amazing inner glow of love and joy. Getting to that point is not easy or fun, but anyone soured by the process is Doing It Wrong.

        2. Drawing on memories from more than a half century of reading science fiction, perhaps another way is permitting fanatics to form private armies and bash it out with each other in restricted venues far from civilization and far from peaceable folks who want nothing better than to watch from afar as heads burst and intestines gush forth. Betting is actively encouraged with a portion of the proceeds going to widows and orphans of the dead from “Fanatic Wars.”

              1. I followed it up with a John Norman Gor book. Does that count?

                After returning GWC to the library (no money of mine has ever found its way into Tepper’s pocket.)

                1. I bought it used, because it was science fiction, and I had no idea.
                  Tepper always makes me feel like I should wash with boiling water, lye and a wire brush afterwards.
                  She assumes psychopaths are NORMAL.

                  1. I feel the same, but every now and then I feel the urge to give her a read. There’s a fascination, like poking a sore tooth or probing an abscess.

                    And she’s got some talent (or had talent, I think she’s dead. Don’t really bother to care). She could’ve been great instead of condemning herself to a niche.

                    I read one of her interviews where she fantasizes about declaring certain groups non-human, sterilizing them and putting them in camps. The irony is that some of her portayals of certain groups, homosexuality etc, her ideological heirs would stick her name amongst those to be banished.

                    1. And yeah, some on the other side have talent. They’re just…. twisted.
                      My issue btw with giving people awards for being black/women/gay imams (I REALLY wish I were making that last one up. I’m not.) is that it stunts some very talented people. They think they’ve arrived when they should still be collecting rejections. Well, one of my issues.

                    2. “And yeah, some on the other side have talent. They’re just…. twisted.”

                      Now I have a vision of those on the other side with talent as the plants that grow under the porch. The soil is rich enough, but they get hardly any light, so they’re withered, yellowish brown things that twist in unnatural shapes to get at what they crave.

                      Save the analogy breaks down in that most on the other side aren’t searching for the light- they are sure they’ve already got it. Shining out of their own fundaments, to mix metaphors.

                    3. She is dead and I agree that she was rather gamey. Spending you life working for planned parenthood would reveal that. She seems to have hated everyone, men in particular, but everyone as so many greenies do.

                    4. I confess an abiding fondness for “Grass”, which works very well as a personal metaphor for me to stop philosophizing and DO what God wants. (I typoed “meataphor”, which is equally apt.) I try really hard to read across the ideological spectrum, and some of her stuff has made me think.

                      However, of the five books I have walled in my life, two of them have been hers. She has a running theme of “We Elites will rule in peace and stagnancy while we let Those Plebes think they’re actually doing something worthwhile” that I despise. I quit reading her after “The Fresco”, I think.

                    5. -“We Elites will rule in peace and stagnancy while we let Those Plebes think they’re actually doing something worthwhile” that I despise. I quit reading her after “The Fresco”, I think.-

                      That’s ALL her stories to one degree or another. Again, she could’ve been great if she hadn’t been locked into one messed-up ideology.

                    6. -She seems to have hated everyone, men in particular, but everyone as so many greenies do.-

                      She hated men for being men and women for being attracted to masculinity (and thus perpetuating it, thus the ‘necessary’ sub-plot of GWC. Wouldn’t you just love having your kid pop out looking like the creepy male feminist nurse?)

                      To her credit as a storyteller, Tepper was at least in touch enough with reality to recognize that women LIKE masculine men (even if ‘masculine’ = ‘psycho’) and would have to be tricked into going along with rebuilding society.

                    7. -“And yeah, some on the other side have talent. They’re just…. twisted.”

                      Now I have a vision of those on the other side with talent as the plants that grow under the porch. The soil is rich enough, but they get hardly any light, so they’re withered, yellowish brown things that twist in unnatural shapes to get at what they crave.-

                      For me, both Parasite and The Last Jedi both fall under the umbrella of ‘it’s brilliant, and I hate it.’

                      Parasite’s message was pure poison, but it pulled all the right heart strings.

                      And TLJ did exactly what Johnson wanted it to. Author and Youtuber David Stewart has an insightful analysis vid where he describes TLJ as the fever dream or nightmare of someone who actively despises Star Wars and all the adventure and heroism the franchise was, forced to make a Star Wars movie.

                1. It’s world is both interesting and well thought out in many respects. Contrary to popular portrayal it is not based on the Moral Majority (Atwood is quite open it is based on the Islamic Republic of Iran in terms of how it rose to power and treatment of women) and it acknowledges that the prior liberal age wasn’t that great for women .
                  If I had to sum up Offred’s comparision of the world before the book and the one of the book it would be in a slightly mangled quote from another book (the above mentioned A Million Open Doors), “I learned being an actual rape object is no improvement over being a virtual rape object. Well before it was fashionable in conservative circles much less certain feminist circles, Atwood realized the sexual revolution was designed for the needs of highly attractive men whose development stopped at about 16. The world of “Feels on Wheels” and the other things Offred remembers was no feminist paradise and some of the Gideon claims about it are spot on.

                  She also gave a reason for the radical change beyond “Religious men are meanies”, specifically a universal decline in fertility. Handmaids had to be women of proven fertility whose children were not produced in a manner blessed by the church in Gideon.

                  It has a lot of flaws in execution with respect to that world building. This comes in two forms. First, Atwood fails to explore a lot of interesting ideas (see “Feels on Wheels” above and a general sexualizing of life that would make Bill Clinton blush). Second, she really does work to shoehorn a generic feminist “men, especially straight Christian men are hypocritical meanies” into a story and setting that does not support it.

                  Having read here, at MGC, and some other places about the tendencies of editors at the big publishers as well as things like the changes between the first two Coyote books by Allen Steele and the latter ones (although elements show up in the second), I wonder how much of that is Atwood’s own politics and editorial demands for an early form of grey goo.

                  So, it’s not a great book…it’s a middling dystopia novel. I’d say it’s real quality is the average of Women’s Studies programs worship and the strong rejection their opposites tend to have.

                  1. Strange, I’ve never hear that she based her “world” on the Islamic Republic of Iran.

                    I’ve heard statements from her that she saw “counter-parts” to the people of her “world” in “modern-day” New England.

                    Sorry but while I have no problem with your review, from everything I’ve heard about her “world” the “popular portrayal” is how I took her intentions.

                    Do you have a cite for her claim?

                    1. From the Infogalatic Article on the novel:

                      Atwood also draws connections between the ways in which Gilead’s leaders maintain their power and other examples of actual totalitarian governments. In her interviews, Atwood offers up Iran and Afghanistan as examples of religious theocracies forcing women out of the public sphere and into their homes, as in Gilead.[21][19] The “state-sanctioned murder of dissidents” was inspired by the Philippines, and the last General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party Nicolae Ceausescu’s obsession with increasing the birth rate led to the strict policing of pregnant women and the outlawing of birth control and abortion.[21] However, Atwood clearly explains that many of these deplorable acts were not just present in other cultures and countries, “but within Western society, and within the ‘Christian’ tradition itself”.[25]

                      The footnotes go to two separate articles, both from the past decade, where Atwood brings up Iran in comparison. She does argue that some of the same were present in the West, but it is clear Iran was a model.

                      Also, it is probably no accident that she choose New England as the center of Gilead (the novel occurs in Cambridge and the assemblies are in Harvard Yard). That region has long been the home of religious fanatics in this country from the founding of Massachussettes Bay Colony to today when the religion is Progressivism. Similar to Sarah’s antagonist about mass and then socialism, if the country turns religious in a “Gileadish” way, expect New England to lead the charge.

                    2. Depicting it as if it were still colonial era — and early colonial era — religious fanaticism doesn’t work. Massachusetts was probably the most earnest attempt to make a pure theocracy the planet’s seen, but it collapsed.

                  2. The timeline is absurdly shortened, because Offred has to remember life before, as an adult, but still be young enough to be fertile.

                    Also, she sticks together “real-life” customs without regard for their context.

          1. Or colonize planets where they can restrict colonies to only that fanaticism. Either they have a working system already, adopt one, or wind up disappearing.

            Lots of books cover that from A Million Open Doors, where it is the core of the history of the planets involved, to a bit of throw away background in one of the Titan trilogy (the second book, can’t remember if the is Demon or Wizard) where it talked about salvaging L4/5 colonies settled by fantastical groups who didn’t take the time to understand the environment of space.

            1. Titan

              A lot of salvaging the space colonies was just Gaia collecting the results of her experiments. Like the lab she paid to make Robin’s people short, and then sprinkled in some genetic defects to get a few to travel to Gaia for help. And don’t even get started about Nova…

              1. No, this was a discussion on Earth when the pilgrims in Wizard are being selected, unless those were all Gaia sponsored as well and I just forgot it (or maybe it wasn’t that series and my memories are crossed).

                1. Not all, by any means, but Gaia had her fingers in a LOT of pies and made arrangements to sample them every so often. The comic books that sent Conan on his quest were published by a company controlled by Gaia, for example.

            2. Massachusetts tried that technique. Part of its problem was the outsiders, but the big one was that they could not raise the children to carry on.

        3. If noticed that for any system to endure for a long time, it has to develop safe roles for its fanatics.

          Like how Christianity has a spot for either extreme social service sacrifice– literally maiming self to help the dying– or lock self away to think and write and examine God?

          Seems functional to me.

          Christianity has a LOT of non-saint contemplatives, who did no harm.

          1. And enough condemnations of busybodies to — in theory — tamp down on the obsessive Church Karens.

            It doesn’t always work, but then waht does?

    2. If they were capable of reading minds, they’d be pissing themselves.

      I’m several steps past “Live and Let Die”.

    3. Zealots are not the same as enthusiasts, extreme ascetics, people with scrupulously problems, obsessed people, etc.

      Your zealot is filled with bad zeal because he has secret doubts. The more he doubts and refuses to deal with it, the more he is hard on other people, to drown it out. That is also why he can jump into another system so quickly and completely; he is not a convert or gullible, but has just found another coping strategy for his secret doubts and emptiness. He has to convince himself to believe something really hard, even though brute-forcing it does not give him peace.

      Even if you are not Christian, Jewish, etc., a lot of the spiritual classics that deal with discernment, leadership, and mysticism will talk about various sorts of people and problems. Good zeal vs. Bad zeal is a common topic.

  5. “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…”

    Yes. For a certain kind of person, what is important is not the *content* of a belief system, but rather the pleasure they derive from being part of a group and engaging in self-righteous cruelty toward those outside the group. Milan Kundera used the term ‘circle dancing.’

    See my post Conformity, Cruelty, and Political Activism:

    1. Similar to Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy, wherein one group dedicates itself to the *system* while the other remains dedicated to the goals the system was created to achieve.

      It is a natural desire in humanity to want to be understood. To belong. Those that willingly choose to *not* conform to the people around them are always, by definition, outsiders. And they are always fewer in number than the conformers, I would argue.

      There are conformers on the right, too. In nigh every group of sufficient size. I’d call those people on the right “the establishment types.” The Mitt Romneys, the Mitch McConnells, you know the kind. The ones that want power for power’s sake are among them, but more than that they share a belief in big “C” Conservatism that is most definitely not limited government, free market, or even truly different than Democrats of the same stripe.

      That sort of person identifies the group with themselves. If the group is attacked, they, personally are attacked. If the group is winning, then they, personally, have won. So the voters, the people they are elected to “represent,” they aren’t in the group. We aren’t. We are merely a means to an end, and that end has nothing to do with our interests. At best, they think of us rarely. At worst, they seek to do things “for your (our) own good.”

      Which is why politicians need to be changed out with regularity. And why I believe most people who run for office are either fools or utter narcissists. Trump *was* foolish for running for president… And I thank Himself that he did, too. I’d much rather see more fools of Trump’s courage and character than the others.

      1. Trump is more than a bit of a narcissist. Part of why some of us were less than thrilled when he started his run.
        that being said, He turned out to be far, far better than hoped, let alone thought.

        1. He turned out to be far, far better than hoped,

          Agreed – and that says something about the system and those within, don’t it?

          1. I suspect that a very large percentage of those in politics are narcissists. So politicians pointing fingers at Trump and saying “narcissist” is another example of projection.

            1. There are different levels of nascissism. Someone who is just full of themselves isn’t nearly as bad as the person who actively destroys everyone around them.

              It’s like the difference between a neutron star and a black hole; a “small” increase causes a complete transformation in nature.

        2. Trump is not a narcissist. He is a person who makes funny self-aggrandizing noises, but underneath it, he is doing other stuff. He has a shtick, as most salesmen used to have, but the shtick is not him.

          1. they are not mutually exclusive. See, one needs to be somewhat narcissistic to get to that level.
            To not be, is to not be there, we are just lucky he decided that his love of country was worth changing many of his stated views, to prove a point, and get back at 0bama (talk about evil narcissists) for personal insults.

            1. Having a good opinion of oneself, or a strong and woundable sense of personal honor, or keeping grudges and paying them back — that is also not being a narcissist. (That is a classic Western warrior hero.)

              Not everyone is “on the spectrum,” not everyone is ADHD, and not everyone is a narcissist.

              1. Technically, by the actual standards of modern psychology, yes, we are. The *slightest* deviation from the norm, seriously- there’s some type of disorder to explain it all. IF you’re extremely focused on learning a trade and getting job in it? The shrink is going to write down “Obsessive compulsive”- happened to me, seriously.

          2. Part of the self-aggrandizing is probably part of a life in sales. I have issues with even modicums of that, which is part of the reason I SUCK at sales. I know that. I’m trying to overcome it.

            1. Me too. I can barely convince myself much less anyone else.

              But my youngest son is a natural salesman, he could sell snow tires in Hawaii and you’d believe you need them. He started a business from his bedroom a decade ago – selling stuff, of course – and now has two dozen employees and owns a warehouse; both of his brothers work for/with him. I could never pull off something like that in a million years.

          3. This would be part of the reason he and Rush Limbaugh had such understanding of one another – both adopted a bombastic public persona. Celebrity creates a false familiarity in the public mind, something soap opera actors have long dealt with.

            There are certain authors, readers of their own audiobooks, who I will have trouble with if ever I meet them because their voices are so very familiar that I have to work hard against the idea that I “know” them and, more importantly, that they know me.

            1. I know a couple people who were raised by or otherwise were close to narcissists and they were so ‘triggerd’ (there’s really no other word for it) by Trump’s manner that it was impossible to talk to them. One woman wrote me a message the size of a novella (she attached it in a Word document) analyzing every detail about Trump she could find and matching it to a list of narcissist personality traits.

              I tried pointing out that Trump’s own children would have presumably been raised by a narcissist and they seem fine. She wrote ANOTHER analysis about how secretly damaged all the Trump kids must be.

              Oh yeah, and “make (country) great again” is apparently a translated Nazi motto.

              1. dear LORD.
                No. I’m actually reading how to deal with narcissists. I’ve known two in my life. NEITHER are like Trump at all. Narcissists don’t tout own horn, it’s just they never take responsibility for anything bad.

                  1. Neither are like Trump.
                    Speaking of typos…
                    Actually his bombastic self aggrandizement is more the “This is my public persona” of someone who prefers to be private.

                1. Citizens are programmed pretty easily these days. They’ve been programmed to believe POTUS Trump’s behavior is “narcissistic.” It’s not. Not even close.

                  Programmed people are dangerous, and they certainly don’t understand human behavior.

              1. I’ve got part of my personality reserved for public performances, for public in general.

                I greatly prefer to be by myself about 99% of the time. But my outside self has a much more robust personality.

              2. I call it the introvert’s survival mechanism. In public, one has to ape the mannerisms the achieve the appropriate responses. The older I get, the broader and deeper that toolbox of phrases and actions gets, to the point I actually look like a normal human for short periods of time when dealing with the public. While the real me is just counting down the minutes until I can get away somewhere nice and quiet, with maybe a book to read…

                1. Nope. Cojn are the kind of cons you need *real* cojones to go to. The kind that big boy and girl authors attend, like LibertyCon. Not for the faint of art!

                  *sends out the cats to meet the rain of fish!*

              3. I so know this … it’s being “on.” It’s the outgoing, engaging persona that one adopts for things like … umm … being a radio DJ, Or doing a book thing, appearing as an author. It’s your own personality, dialed up to about 200 percent. It’s exhausting to carry on for very long; I used to think that it was like having a vampire siphon off a quart of blood, every time I was on air. I can do it for hours at a time … but it takes a toll. It’s exhausting. I know that there are celebs who can do it, and revel in it – I met Ted Nugent once and he was an Olympic-level champion, compared to me.

        3. I generally say that he is an egotist rather than a narcissist, but am willing to accept that others think differently. There is a difference, though, and I think people lose sight of that difference in discussions.

      2. I still don’t think he would have run if Hillary and Bill hadn’t yukked it up jeering at him when he made a casual comment at a dinner party…

        Pride and money. A suitable combination for enabling revenge…

    2. A thoroughly excellent essay on the madness of the crowds. I especially liked the quote from C. S. Lewis, the famed author of the “Narnia” series of Christian allegory novels.

      1. I’m surprised that you think you have to specify which C.S .Lewis – as if there were more than one – especially in this crowd.

        1. It’s a habit born from far too many years of being frustrated at a lack of context in tossoff remarks. Having to repeatedly break off reading to search the Web for the wider context is tiring. I try in general to add context for less well-traveled readers even at the risk of verbosity, especially with acronyms and often when mentioning famed authors from the past who may not be familiar to a younger generation. People do drift occasionally into Mrs. Hoyt’s blog posts at the suggestion of search engines. In this case, it’d be nice if even one brighter spark was intrigued into reading the linked essay by the mention of the “author of the ‘Narnia’ series.” Every little bit counts.

    3. Reminds me of the Cargo Cult thing. Where *ritual* is purely for *ritual* not an aid to Something Else (that is actually worthwhile). But I suppose that is wrong, as Cargo Cult as bad or pointless as might be, isn’t perverting the ritual into a means of Domineering.

  6. Edgar Rice Burroughs was a hot mess on the word level, but his stories are fun.

    Just a few years ago I came across what purported to be the complete Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars stories as an ebook. Given I was a voracious reader from very early on it surprises me, but this was my first direct exposure to ERB.

    Oh, my freaking goodness gracious me. Saying ERB is a hot mess at the language arts is a slight on hot messes everywhere.


    Boy howdy, that guy can tell a story. Once you get your brain past his use of English, it’s a great ride. Sure, his characters don’t have enormous backstories and such, but the story, it just keeps rolling.

    Good teachable moment, that.

      1. If I could write like ERB, I’d never want for money. I can’t. Most people can’t, turns out, because there’s a veritable legion of people that have tried, and are still trying.

        Some of ’em are pretty darned readable, though. *grin* Just goes to show, the rules are more like, eh, guidelines. Long as you are entertaining, people want to stay along for the ride.

        1. I am surprised the whole Barsoom series hasn’t been banned by the left yet; a confederate veteran as a hero; Barsoomian slavery (of course on Barsoom it was the old Roman/Carthaginian type of captives taken in war type), etc.

          1. I’m going to guess that ERB’s security is achieved through obscurity. As I recall, HP Lovecraft received the baleful Eye of Soros Sauron because an award was named after him. John Campbell was too well connected with decent Hugo winners to avoid the cancellation, but so far anyway, ERB’s Barsoom stories have been below (beyond, above, take your pick) notice. OTOH, when (not if) he gets cancelled, I suspect it will first of all because of the Tarzan novels. Hell, they’re speciesist as hell. /sarc

            Silly thought: Maybe the Barsoom series is getting a pass because the vile critters include the Great White Apt.

              1. And all twelve people who paid to see it have since suppressed it from their memory.

                I snark – I thought it was not that bad, but it did cost an awful lot of money for what they put on screen.

                I also love how three-letter-media reviewers kept saying it was too derivative of George Lucas’ movies. Um…

              2. The less said about that, the better.

                When I was still young I ran across a copy of Llana of Gathol in a used book store and liked it so much I hunted up all the rest of the Barsoom stories. I then turned to the Pellucidar and the Venus stories. As an adult I have re-read most of them at least once. So, I was really looking forward to that movie and it was truly terrible. It must have taken dedicated work to take a cracking good adventure story and turn it into that piece of cinematic junk.

                OK, rant over. I now return you to your previously scheduled programming.

                1. Did you see what DC did to it?

                  In the Justice League cartoon.

                  You’lll either love it, or hate it, and I can’t tell you more than that.

                  1. DC stealing from ERB is on point, though.
                    John Carter was the main inspiration of Superman.
                    You know, back when he could leap talk buildings with a single bound, but not fly.
                    (Interesting trivia: Aquaman and his early stories were inspired by Conan and Kull. Sure, he got his powers from having a mad scientist as a father, but he was a barbarian ruling a deadly decadent court that hated him, fighting eldritch abominations, and interacting with dangerous magical mcguffins. The recent movie was much more on brand than Superfriends.)

                    1. The Tarzan animated series had a crossover with ERB’s hollow earth stuff, just like the original Tarzan stories. It is fairly far along, but worth it. Basically a weird show that bent the knee to SJW stuff early, but was fullblooded pulp later on.

                    2. I was under the impression that the inspiration was the 1930 novel Gladiator, by Philip “When Worlds Collide” Wylie.

                      According to his Wiki entry, Wylie also provided the inspiration for Doc Savage & Flash Gordon:

                      Gladiator (1930) partially inspired the comic-book character Superman.[citation needed]

                      The Savage Gentleman (1932) “Pulp historians point out that the themes of The Savage Gentleman are replicated to an uncanny degree in the pulp character Clark “Doc” Savage (1933) created by Lester Dent…” – Richard A. Lupoff

                      When Worlds Collide (1933), co-written with Edwin Balmer, inspired Alex Raymond’s comic strip Flash Gordon and was adapted as an eponymous 1951 film by producer George Pal.

                      None of which precludes John Carter being ispiration for Superman or even Hugo Danner.

                      Additional notes on Wylie, a somewhat neglected early SF writer:

                      His novel The Disappearance (1951) is about what happens when everyone suddenly finds that all members of the opposite sex are missing (all the men have to get along without women, and vice versa). The book delves into the double standards between men and women that existed prior the women’s movement of the 1970s, exploring the nature of the relationship between men and women and the issues of women’s rights and homosexuality.

                      During World War II, writing The Paradise Crater (1945) resulted in Wylie’s house arrest by the federal government; in this work, he described a post-WWII 1965 Nazi conspiracy to develop and use uranium-237 bombs, months before the first successful atomic test at Alamogordo – the most highly classified secret of the war. Wylie’s nonfiction book of essays, Generation of Vipers (1942), was a best-seller during the 1940s and inspired the term “Momism.”

                      At the time he was writing it would probably be improper to define Wylie as a SF author, as my understanding is that he was a mainstream writer who frequently worked in the genre. This may be because he eschewed many of the genre’s pulpish elements … and because the mainstream was not so “Literary” prudish as it now has become.

                2. Much better than the recentish Conan movie.
                  The director and writers evidently read Damon Knight’s tract denouncing REH, because they were *proud* of the fact that they hadn’t read the source material. They literally bragged about it during interviews.

                  1. There is that.

                    I will be among the first to admit the Schwarzenegger movie was, to be generous, a flawed adaptation but it did have recognizable elements from the Howard stories. Conan seemed a little wimpish to me but the celluloid character followed in the grand tradition of the Steve Reeves Hercules movies. I thought the portrayal of Valeria was tolerable but her inclusion seemed forced to me. I just wrote that off as the Hollywood obsession with the Tough Chick trope.

                    The more recent one was not just awful, it was a bad adaptation of a bad adaptation. It’s like the producers were playing the game of remake telephone with each transmission being translated first into Latin, then Hindi, then French, then Russian, Then Mandarin, and back into English.

                    1. There is a way to do remake telephone and have it work: it’s called “being inspired by $FOO”. For example, Star Wars is inspired most directly by Flash Gordon, as it started as “I want to make Flash Gordon, but can’t get the rights to it..

                      Of course, if you just take $FOO as inspiration you can’t call your movie $FOO and thus have big opening weekends based on the name and not the content. Instead, your work has to live and die on its own merit.

                      Recent modern versions of things from Conan to Star Wars to Ghostbusters have shown why Hollywood prefers the old titles being available to put butts in seats. However, as the most recent Charlie’s Angels and Star Wars have demonstrated, that is no longer working.

                    2. To be “fair” to Lucas, IMO Star Wars was inspired by other things than Flash Gordon including at least one Japanese film/story where a princess is rescued by heroes who entered the castle by hiding in a farm wagon.

                      To be blunt, Star Wars was based on a very common type of story.

                      Oh, I’ve heard that the “Force” was based on Japanese/Chinese “magic”.

                    3. Chuckle Chuckle

                      I don’t like the term “ripping off” in this context.

                      What I think is that Lucas wanted to make a movie like all of those he enjoyed viewing in the past.

                      In many ways, I admire that desire.

                      Of course, Lucas needed help in Writing what he desired. 😀

                    4. OTOH, “inspired by” leaves you free, free, free as a bird! You get to be so free that you may write an “inspired by” story where the inspiration remains your little secret forever because no one else notices it.

                  2. Making money off material they have contempt for is a staple of Hollywood…and SJWs in gaming if the recent FATE of Cthulhu is an example.

                3. Parabarbarian I don’t know I kind of liked it, and I’m a fan of ERB’s Barsoom. Yes there is the Dejah Thoris as scientist subplot that is basically unnecessary other than as a paen to feminist complaints. But there was some lovely forshadowing of the Therns and use of things from later novels than “A Princess of Mars”. It just didn’t work though for the general public as so much modern SciFi/Fantsy stuff is derivative of Barsoom that John Carter of Mars feels like it is the derived work rather than the reverse which is reality. I suspect if someone tried to do Galactic Patrol or other of the Lensman series you’d run into the same kind of issues as well as stuff around Clarissa MacDougal similar to the issues of having a more passive role for for Dejah Thoris closer to the original would have caused. Although ERB writes a ripping yarn he had a real tendency to overdo cliffhangers to my tast. Do that in a movie and you’re audience gets confused or annoyed. With ~2 hours time you really need to move to the denouement unless you KNOW you’re going to be a series and that was always dubious for Disney’s John Carter of Mars.

              3. I’m blissfully ignorant of what Disney did to Captain John Carter–haven’t seen a movie in a theater in a couple of decades, and only a few new DVDs. (We don’t have the bandwidth to chance Netflix, and hated Happy Feet due to the sucker punch, so DVD purchases are limited. I do have the Peter Jackson Ring trilogy, and will try to catch one the next time I go for a medical trip. $SPOUSE isn’t fond of fantasy, either Tolkein nor urban.

                1. I saw the John Carter film of a few years back. I have no idea how it compares to the original texts, but having gone into it with zero expectations — the movie was rambunctious fun.

                  1. Hmmm. I found it choppy at best. Scenes didn’t flow from one to another so much as leapt over a junkyard of dropped story bits. Part of this may have been that the producers were trying cram three books into a two hour time frame. Which is itself a pretty absurd endeavor.

                    Even without the emasculation of the original material, the movie was a bust.

                    The CGI was good, though.

                    1. From what I have heard the choppiness issue was the predictable result of lots and lots of reshoots and a fixed release date – basically, they ran out of time to feather in the changed sections that the execs demanded.

                      “Lots of reshoots” used to be an indication of an impending disaster, now it’s pretty common. This fact may explain the general disastrous quality of movie releases of late.

                    2. Everybody listened to Pixar’s explanation of how they developed stories and scripts, and then they decided that it could work for live action — except they wanted to develop scripts while the movie was already being shot.

                      No. No, you cannot. Unless you are shooting a commedia dell’ arte movie, or an improv troupe.

                    3. Junkyard is a good description. It wasn’t coherent. It was still fun to watch, so I didn’t care. Then again, I didn’t have any prior reading to compare it to.

            1. It occurs to me that one of the reasons why ERB might be ignored is because cancel culture can’t really cancel him. A good chunk of his books (including all of the Barsoom books that I read, which is why this occurred to me) are no longer protected by copyright, and are therefore in the public domain. The people who would try and cancel him can’t demand that his publisher stop printing because anyone who wants to read him can go find perfectly legal copies of most of his works online.

              The remaining books, of course, are after the magic copyright date defended by Disney, and therefore not legally available online.

              1. I would have thought that H.P. Lovecraft would have been in the same boat, though he did have an award named after him.

                OTOH, I thought that Tarzan has received some cancellation.

                1. Thanks to adventures produced in multiple popular formats Tarzan has become so embedded i the popular culture that any efforts at cancellation are prone to backfire.

                  Try what they might, Tarzan remains triumphant.

          2. But on Barsoom the women were doughty warriors, the equal of almost any man with blade in hand (and capable of fighting in mighty scanty clothes.)


            1. Although Dejah Thoris (and Women of the red and other races)was/were known to take action from time to tome that’s about 99% more clothing/armor than ERB ever put on her 🙂

              1. I wonder if ERB every tried to fight naked especially fighting with swords.

                Of course, I wonder how many times a Male Barsoomian accidently hurt his own male organ. 😈

                1. I’d always kind of wondered about that…

                  Even ignoring issues with sharp blades trying to do ANY vigorous activity without proper support seems like it would be VERY unpleasant for the gentleman, and even more so for the ladies. Certainly fencing without an athletic supporter when you stupidly forgot it was no fun even as a relatively fit 19 year old. And that’s without worrying about how to wear a cup.

                  1. Well, the lesser gravity might help some and the arrangement of organs in the Red Martians might be a little different from that of terrestrial humans. Being oviparous, the genitalia might be profoundly different. I will leave it as exercise for the student to speculate how the heck John Carter and Dejah Thoris managed to make a baby.

                    1. ” I will leave it as exercise for the student to speculate how the heck John Carter and Dejah Thoris managed to make a baby.”
                      You have to assume they have a common ancestor. And one of them is from a gengeneered species.
                      Or you know “Forget it, Jack, it’s pulp.”

                    2. Apparently, it was established that John Carter wasn’t an Earth Human but was actually originally from Barsoom.

                      Of course, even the first book established that John Carter wasn’t a standard Earth Human. Among other things, he was much older than he appeared. 😉

                      And of course, It Was Pulp. 😆

                    3. Officially? Canonically? Because while it is the most obvious solution and I’m sure many of us came up with it on our own, I think it never appeared in the works.

                    4. I am pretty sure that “it was pulp” was implicit at first publication. Later publications probably tried to obscure that.



                      Carter stands 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and has close-cropped black hair and steel-grey eyes. Burroughs describes him as immortal. In the opening pages of A Princess of Mars, it is revealed that Carter can remember no childhood, having always been a man of about thirty years old. Many generations have known him as “Uncle Jack,” but he always lived to see them grow old and die, while he remained young.

                      End Quote

                      Now the idea that John Carter was a born Martian was not mentioned in the above Wiki article and since I don’t remember where I read that the idea was in the Novels, it may not be canon.

                    6. He was a Martian all along, having been sent to Earth for some reason — whatever process they used to make him strong enough also made him immortal and removed his memory.

          3. In particular, his classification of peoples by skin color, and the fact that the one absolutely irredeemable group is the group with black skins.

            1. Actually the most irredeemable were the probably Holy Therns who were classic nordic white with blonde hair (actually wigs for the men, but that was what they were originally). The Black Martians (aka First Born) actually come to John Carter’s side via Xodar. But yes the division of martians into somewhat stereotypical caricatures does cause issue if you don’t remember these things we’re written in the 1910’s and 1920’s. Context is NOT a a strong suit of SJW/Tranzi’s. They just want to cancel everything blotting out history like MiniTru in 1984.

              1. Not to mention the fact that you’ve got this ex-Confederate who spends a lot of time freeing slaves, overturning ancient evils, and getting along with peoples of different skin colors, customs, and beliefs, even if he doesn’t quite free everyone and overturn everything. It’s a very weird and wild set of stories.

              2. A generation after the therns’ power is broken, Carthoris does not hesitate to describe Kar Komak as a thern because the truth would make them think him crazy, and he looks like it. No one even suggests that there is something odd about his having a thern companion, or doubts his assurance that Kar Komak is honorable.

                Sounds redeemable to me.

        2. Hell, if you could write like Mickey Spillane you’d never lack for funds — but it ain’t near so easy as it appears.

          From Mark Steyn:
          Hammer and Tongues
          … As they say on Broadway, nobody likes it but the public: In 1956 a ranking of the all-time bestselling American fiction found that six of the top ten books were by Spillane; a quarter-century later the all-time top fifteen boasted seven of his titles. Sales aside, I disagree with Chandler: I don’t think you can love the English language and not love what Mickey Spillane does with it. Once, for a satirical column about the monumental uselessness of the British police, I attempted a Spillane parody based on the whimsical notion of Mike Hammer taking a job with some slothful pen-pushing paperwork-shuffling English constabulary. I discovered, like many would-be parodists (Mordecai Richler, for example, who attempted something similar for a chapter in Solomon Gursky Was Here) that writing Spillane is a lot harder than reading it. He’s got so much precision in even the most unimportant sentences.

          1. True that. Louis L’amour was one heck of a writer, too, for that spare style. I *would* say I’d be happy to write just *one* thing with that sort of popularity, but that’d be a lie.

            If I ever did I’d be right back at it trying to spin another tale the next night. Low brow, pulpy action goodness, the kind that can successfully compete with takeout pizza for what you spend your hard earned cash on, that’s where it is at.

        3. If you could write like ERB and manage your finances you’d never want for money. You probably can, but ERB could not. He was always writing new tales in no small part because he was always broke.

          1. I didn’t know that about ERB. I can manage my own finances reasonably well, but I would certainly not turn down the experiment if given the chance to manage my own funds with a larger income.

            Some people can’t. Some people are ruined by money, because they cannot practice sufficient self control to keep their own impulses in check. Growing up I had a good close look at that in a close family member. Negative examples *can* work if you’ve the wit to spot them.

            I don’t claim to have any particularly strong wit, but my folks made sure I took the lesson.

          2. Spillane wasn’t always broke, but he claimed he only write when his finances were getting thin. Though that might have been authorial spin.

            1. The story about that I know most having saying it at the end of a multiple author panel on inspiration. He seemed to add it as a “hey, we shouldn’t neglect money” which seems to indicate it wasn’t just a persona thing.

    1. > tell a story

      Yeah, but his story repertoire was, what, three? After a while you’d forget whether the story was taking place in the center of the Earth or on Venus. And you knew exactly what was going to happen next, within a paragraph or two…

      People paid their cash money to buy his books, and to be fair, he didn’t have a whole lot of competition in the novel-length market in his day. That he was able to break in at all was a minor miracle, and he *owned* that market until after WWII.

      The reprints were flooding the market in the 1970s, and there were stacks of Burroughs in all the used book stores. At that level of concentration, probably a different experience than people who bought a handful over decades.

  7. Our Male, Mormon, Misogynist, Masochist friend has hit the nail on the head once again. I am, unfortunately, finding that my own profession (law enforcement) is getting taken over by the woke brigade. Granted, it’s a law enforcement department on a college campus, so highly susceptible to the BS. But it’s still somewhat disconcerting seeing just how far down the snake pit they’re willing to reach to keep the people who rarely, if ever, deal with us. I put out a teletype (which only goes to other law enforcement entities) today for a job opening. It included such politically loaded terms as “progressive”, “diverse”, and “community oriented.” Since most law enforcement personnel still skew conservative I think we just cut our potential applicant pool by at least half.

    1. Hell, the Manitou SPrings police department (when we lived there the town was majority gay) just used “Join up. We let you wear leather.” on a table at the Gay Pride Festival. AND most policemen were still conservative. (Even if yes, a large number were gay.)

      1. Which the left doesn’t understand which is why they so viciously attack those who are libertarian or conservative members of groups that they think should be inherently and unequivocally leftist. It is why they go after people like Candace Owens so viciously; the last thing they want are people who are living examples that the lefts’ narrative is wrong.

        1. The thing is, Candace Owens did not become a conservative until some time in 2016. Before that, she was more anti-conservative. She left the Democrat plantation, and that is something they can never forgive.

          Worse still (for them), she is intelligent, well spoken, and unflinching in the face of criticism and hate. Attractive, too. Married, and did not have an abortion when she got pregnant.

          Another thing I’ve noticed lately (yes, I’m dense sometimes) is that one of the things the Left seems to hate most of all is… Happiness itself. It was like that with Rush. It was like that with Breitbart. Even when Rush died, they weren’t as “happy” as they claimed. It was an excuse to rage, again, about everything he did in his life, instead.

          Even when Obama got elected, and re-elected in ’08 and ’12, it was more a “Ha! We got you! In your face!” kind of moment than true happiness. We know the way leftism works is incompatible with any kind of calm contentment, too. There’s always a crisis to be exploited and an enemy to hate, hate, hate.

          That just seems to be a really crappy way to live.

          1. They hated Limbaugh particularly because he beat them over the head rhetorically…and was having a ball doing it.

      2. As you are well aware, there is no inherent conflict between conservatism and sexual inclinations. Gays likely detest being randomly assaulted at least as much as straight people do, I suspect. Nor are they likely fond of having their homes invaded and their possessions pilfered. There may even be some principles of the Identity Is All Coalition with which they take exception (such as toleration of factions which want to drop them off buildings.)

          1. *waggles hand*

            The Left is going off of motivation.

            If you’re homosexual ‘cus you’re a dude that thinks dudes are hot, you are not a good hunting ground.

            If you’re homosexual because you think dudes should think chicks are hot and thus you want to think dudes are hot because that will hurt someone…..

            Yeah, not the same. At all.

          2. The left quite literally believes that people’s beliefs must conform to what their “group” is supposed to believe, and that anyone who strays from that is an apostate to be persecuted and ended. Their entire ideology is based on the premise that you are defined solely by your group membership(s); thus the whole intersectionality nonsense.

              1. Indeed he would. And here’s the thing. If you accept the premise as valid (that one’s sexual/racial/gender identity determines one’s political views), then the logical inference that one may and in fact MUST eliminate those of that identity in order to advance one’s own beliefs, or preserve one’s safety is completely valid. Fortunately, that logic is not sound, because the premise is absolutely nonsense.

                And they sure don’t like “lived experience” that contradicts what they proclaim is universal experience.

                1. Their ideology is inherently genocidal as it requires the elimination of all wrongthinkers, since wrongthinkers are defined by virtue of group membership, i.e., if you are a member of identity group A you are by definition a wrongthinker, the only way to get rid of wrongthink is to get rid of all the wrongthinker groups.

    2. And in a great example of projection, those words are essentially code words by the woke crowd to indicate that certain people who are of politically incorrect “oppressor” groups need not apply.

  8. I am less concerned about those who imagine themselves psychic than those who are clearly psychotic.

    1. Sometimes I amuse myself with little daydreams about traveling to the past and trying to explain the wonders and horrors of the future.

      “Okay, see, most everyone walks around with a lightweight, portable telephone with a thin, flat television screen that lets them talk to and see the faces of anyone in the world for free, other than the monthly subscription fee. The portable telephone also plays movies and has fun games. See, I’ve got one right here even if it doesn’t work for telephone calls because the cellphone network of broadcast towers doesn’t exist in your time. I’ll play Casablanca for you and show you a puzzle game. You can also read books on it, play music, and record short videos.”
      “Wow! So awesome!”
      “And then, see, a lot of these people use the portable telephones with television screens to stalk and harass good folks who think marriage is between a man and a woman. These people say that men can and should marry men and that the two sexes aren’t really different in any meaningful way.”
      *blank looks of sheer incomprehension*
      “And lots of those people, millions of them across the country, routinely yell angrily in public that good folks are racists for believing that hard work and having an upright moral character are good. They try to get good folks like that fired and stripped of the ability to make a living.”
      *a small child bursts into tears and flees the room*
      “Hey, now, mister. I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but just stop it. Your ridiculous fairy tales are scaring the women and frankly don’t reflect well on you. Perhaps you’d ought be moving on.”

      Oh, yeah. You know it. Psychotic indeed.

  9. I’ve noted before that the poets and outlaws define and delimit the world within the rest of us live.

    Now, today, as our rulers are above (outside) the law and and poets word checked, phrase checked, thought checked, muzzled by those controlling the press, all that is not compulsory is forbidden.

  10. Obama’s “I know what they need even better than themselves” that he regularly expressed, for instance “I know what Israel needs for defense better than Israel does” is typical of the lefts’ attitude. They really think they know it all and that those who disagree with them are evil conspirators seeking to thwart the “arrow of history” as the left moves “forward” into the future.

    1. And Obama was a literal icon for many black people. I met one who found his first inauguration to be almost a religious experience. It validated him, it said, “yes, you can be President. Since his followers identified with him any criticism of his policies was not only an attack, but a personal attack on them.
      Talk about a privileged position!

      1. I always wondered how Barry, whose only connection with slavery was when his ancestors on his absent Daddy’s side sold slaves, was able to become such a powerful icon to the descendants of those his ancestors sold.

        Similarly with Dot Not Black, whose Jamaican absent Daddy (I begin to sense a pattern) had so very little to do with her life, so any “cultural heritage” she has is from her Indian mother.

        1. Yeah, well, a lot of Irish Catholics were able to blind themselves to every fault that the Kennedys had, for a very long time, even though the paterfamilias was known to be a nasty piece of work. People wish it were true; so they try to believe in Irish Camelot, or Black Camelot, or Indian Camelot.

          The actual people who are caught up in the dream — I wish it would be true, for their sake. But actual Trump Camelot was orangedeedsbad.

          1. Papa Joe Kennedy was a supporter of the real actual Nazis. They also made their family fortune through bootlegging. Joe Kennedy’s business partner was Frank Costello. He was also one of the largest purchasers of booze from Canada during prohibition (the Canadian companies kept tariff records because Canada did not consider it illegal for them to sell booze to USA purchasers and they had to pay tariffs to the government on what they sold.

            If you want to talk about myths, the one built around the Kennedy clan is one of the biggest and deceptive in American history.

            1. As I understood it, before old Joe had the funds t import liquor he was a bank examiner who would use the knowledge gleaned from their books to short-sell barely solvent banks and take over their assets. Sort of the George Soros of his day.

              FDR reputedly put him in charge of setting u the SEC because FDR figured Old Joe knew all the ways to manipulate stocks but had amassed enough money to value legitimacy above greater wealth.

          2. In Ireland when I was a boy, every house had a picture of the Sacred Heart, the pope, and JFK. They were in love with him. My father couldn’t stand him, but my mother wouldn’t hear a word against him though she did turn on Teddy and the rest of the clan as time went on.

            I understood the whole Obama thing since it was the Kennedy thing exactly. the Irish were sh-t upon despised, and hated here in America and back home. When Al Smith ran for President, they burned crosses all over the country and of course there was the old “no Irish need apply.,” a legend perhaps but widely believed. Kennedy, God help us, was one of our own and the damned prods would just have to deal with it.

            it is a funny thing though. Every woman who gets involved with the Kennedy’s starts out as a beautiful, intelligent person who ends up, when she’s found dead, as a drug addicted, crazy person. Funny that, it’s almost as though it’s all manufactured but that’s just crazy talk.

            1. In Ireland when I was a boy, every house had a picture of the Sacred Heart, the pope, and JFK. They were in love with him

              Mom says that’s how it was in Lake County, too–and I just realized that all the Jesus pictures we have are “Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
              (In the early 90s there was a fad, possibly local, for showing only the Sacred Heart, no Jesus, sometimes made more confusing by adding swords which would make it Mary’s heart I think…..?)

              As she puts it, she can’t remember if the Pope or Jesus was on His right hand.

            2. Argle argle, “Can’t remember if The Pope or JFK was at Jesus’ right hand” got crossed with “Can’t remember if it was him or the Pope at His right hand.”

      1. Eh, you might be able to find a “charming” converted garden shed or “trendy” converted garage for a million…

        1. About 15 years ago, the cheapest “house” listed in the greater Bay area was $85k, and was on a 400 square foot LOT. Not house, LOT. Listing didn’t give the house size, but it was apparently a converted single-car garage.

          Now it sounds like a spectacular bargain.

            1. Well, yeah. You’d need that much to wall the place off and hire armed guards to keep the riffraff out.

          1. SF Bay Area/Silicon Valley Real Estate is not a sane market, though SF itself has been getting somewhat less crazy due to their mass exodus.

            Down here in SV after a cursory search I found a slightly polished 1964-built 1,400 sq ft tract house on a 6k sq ft lot listed for $1.19m, and less than a block away a 1976-built same-size same-lot again slightly polished house listed for $1.3m.

            You can find cheaper-per-sq-ft house listings in Hawaii.

          1. In the Bay area, that won’t buy the building permit. ($125k last I paid attention, about ten years ago.)

      2. I keep being thankful we have somehow managed to make missiles the preferred method of delivery rather than cargo containers.

        1. I’m about three miles uphill from Puget Sound.

          The one thing about being stuck on the coast is at least you get to see the action firsthand. And maybe get songs made about you later.

          1. During the Cold War, the #1 and #2 targets in North America were Colorado Springs, and Great Falls, Montana (the town where I grew up), being the main and backup NORAD command centers. We liked to joke that because we were already as good as dead, we were utterly fearless.

            1. Targets: I spent 5 years in Titan II launch complexes around Tucson in the early ’70s, and three more years in Minuteman-Modernized launch control centers around Knob Noster, MO, and lived about 5 miles away from the closest one, which was on base at Whiteman AFB.

    1. The Russians were pretty much running a scam, as was the guy acting as the intermediary as detailed in the linked story. The cartels basically asked for “a sub”, and the Russians offered a pretty well used Foxtrot, which were noisy as heck even submerged running on batteries only, due to them being designed well before John Anthony Walker, May He Rot From The Neck Down While Fully Conscious, sold the Soviets all that data including what their subs sounded like to NATO sensor systems so their sub designers could make their subs quieter.

      Foxtrots had a lot of range surfaced or submerged on the snorkel, but that would be running diesels and as such even noisier.

      As to the Iranians, they bought three much quieter Kilos from the Russians, but all three have been up on cinderblocks out in the Iranian front yard for a while according to the USNI:

      If the mullahs had bought or developed (heh) a missile boat they would have it plastered all over their propaganda.

      1. “If the mullahs had bought or developed (heh) a missile boat they would have it plastered all over their propaganda.”

        While quietly providing their Hezbollah proxies real working stuff so that they can push “plausible deniability” on a willing western leftist elite,

        1. Mossad is very good at its job. Hezbollah is a proximate enemy to Israel with lots and lots of funding. Mossad is very good at penetrating Arabic-speaking organizations. Connecting these dots is left as an exercise for the reader.

          Note with the China Joe Muppet Show now running behind the razor wire, whether any intel passed along by the Israelis would be believed is a very good question indeed.

          Hey Federal monitors – what do you think about that last question? Still liking your job nowadays? Fed retirement balance still seem worth what you have to do to keep it?

          1. Things that give me pause include the very serious question of… if we are so badly compromised that Israel can’t trust us to back them, then does this mean we’ve also lost any power to keep Israel from going… nuclear… on Iran’s ass?

            They’ve been at war since they’re founding. Sooner or later, they’re going to get mortally tired of having rockets launched into their front yard, and do we really think China Joe can influence them when they decide they’ve had enough?

            1. Sure he can:

              “You nuke Tehran, US nukes Tel Aviv.”

              Considering his backers have openly proposed nuking US citizens, what makes anyone think they won’t do that?

            2. I saw something the other day reporting that Biden’s administration is restoring funding to UNRWA …

              New hate-mongering scandals at UN agency that Biden means to send millions
              President Biden, in his obsession with reversing every Trump policy, means to reinstate funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency — hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars a year for an agency that teaches Palestinian children to hate “the Enemy” Israel and believe “Jihad is the road of glory.”

              UNRWA began producing its own educational material last year to aid at-home learning during the pandemic — and some of its content is more venomous than Palestinian Authority propaganda.

              The Jerusalem-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education blew the lid off the scandalous teaching materials in November, revealing they glorified terrorism in the cause of destroying Israel. Canada and Australia opened investigations, but UNRWA claimed it had dealt with the matter internally and replaced the “inappropriate” material.

              It didn’t. Though UNRWA blocked access to its material, IMPACT-se found it and released a report Wednesday showing the agency still teaches hate and intolerance to more than 320,000 Palestinian children.

              A math problem asks students the number of martyrs from the first intifada. A grammar exercise includes the sentences “The Occupier commits all kinds of torture” and “We are an occupied people.” An Arabic-language lesson has kids write out a text read by a family member that says that “our Arab relatives have sadly recognized our Enemies and began interacting with them,” referring to the Abraham Accords, and insists one day “our Enemies will be banished, God willing, as failing losers.”

              Even a history lesson about ancient Carthage’s destruction by the Romans asks students to name a Palestinian village destroyed by “the Israeli Occupation.” Indeed, Israel is referred to only as “the Enemy,” “the Israeli Occupation” or “the Zionist Occupation.” No maps in the materials even show the Jewish state.

              President Donald Trump was right to cut off funding — $360 million a year — to UNRWA, which devotes most of its budget to “education.” Biden ought to rethink his plan to reverse that: These hatemongers don’t deserve a dime.

              1. HarrisBiden agree with and support those who desire Israel’s annihilation, precisely because they share the same loathing of Jews.

            3. I think this would not be Israel’s default position. But if they get backed into a corner and it looks like they’re going to be herded into camps or pushed into the Mediterranean you can bet those items will come out and they’d hold none back. FICUS’ behavior and that of his party compatriots makes that kind of a situation FAR more likely.

              1. And considering the Saudis have become somewhat alarmed by Iran, Israel might have at least a temporary ally (not to be trusted, but still probably more reliable than the FICUS).

  11. “I would take stray comments as gospel, etc” – I would do the same as a new immigrant. My frames of reference were all askew, and I was frantically trying to reorient.

  12. One of the most useful things I did in college was join the improv group. Mind you, there are two major types of improv groups, and one of them is unhealthy and can be abusive (they’re the ones that go for the joke first and can end up picking on certain people in a distinctly bullying fashion.) The other type, the kind I belonged to, was interested in the whole process, and while we had a group of people who were the core group for the shows we put on, the actual pool of people in the club was much larger, and encouraged to participate in the practices.

    The most important thing to learn in improv is to forget what you wished the situation was, and to deal with the situation as it is. You don’t waste time trying to backtrack to what you wanted the situation to be. Once you’ve learned that, it’s a major life skill that cuts your decision time way down—and, not incidentally, makes it less likely that you’ll be trapped in a system or broken by the parts that don’t fit. It also helps you analyze events faster, which gives you more time to plan a reaction.

    Don’t waste time on what didn’t happen, or what you think should have happened. Deal with what’s in front of you.

    1. I had a really great time with an improv group for non-improv people, taught by an actor/teacher/tech guy who was a big sweetie.

      I learned about “yes, and…” and also learned to review a scene, jump in *while* I was figuring out what to do and say that would further the scene. It was rewarding to find out I could be really good at it.

      We also did this thing where all 25 of us stood in a circle. Each one made a motion/noise. In turn. First person did his thing, then the second person did the first person’s thing, and her thing. Third person did thing #1, #2, then his thing….. Honest to Pete it was so amazing how people would remember. Even me, usually. And if we couldn’t remember, we were not allowed to look cast down or say “oh, I’m such a bozo” or anything like it because if we did we got to stand in the center of the circle and bow to everyone while they clapped at our bravery–to fail in public.

      1. I recall one Rennie who did a “fishing for men” bit or similar at a faire, which was unusual as it wound up being a case where “No, and…” worked.

  13. “So what you’re saying is….”

    It’s an extreme version of the “well, if it didn’t work, it’s because you didn’t REALLY try” shtick.

    Probably the same defensive mechanism, but still.

  14. 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.

    Maybe… Maybe that is a distraction.

    Because as Mrs. Hoyt says the aristos are not really very competent (many of their courtiers are, however, especially the court eunuchs). And how do they justify their elite positions and the power and the privilege (privy-lege) they enjoy unless the bars are very, very low indeed.

    Get us autists and dialectics and “but actually” and reasonable meaning-based people out chasing the red flag while the picador slowly stabs us to death.

    Mabye. Have to think about that aspect of it.

  15. 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.”

    K, I know different culture and stuff, but WHERE THE EVER LOVING HELL WERE THE ADULTS?!

    I had one wanna-be bully try stuff on me with a crying baby.

    I’d pulled her out of the crying room, out of the church, and 20 feet away, and she was screaming and flailing.

    So “helpful” 14-17 year old girl* comes out to inform me that people can still hear me.

    …I think I said something to the effect of asking why she had opened the doors, since they block the sound of trucks, followed by inquiring on if she thought that I was having fun dealing with a complete and utter meltdown.

    I guess it was a bit more than she was expecting, because she left, and stopped using the crying room as a place to play phone games during mass……

    *Samoan. So closer to six foot than five, quite pretty, and dressed with identically flattering fashions from puberty to first child.

  16. “an Heinlein group ” – any chance for a link? (since yes I grew up reading everything by him)

  17. It always weirds me out when “Marxist explanation for…” is trotted out, because Marxism has so fundamentally failed in its own internal logic. For example: The underlying assumption that value is created by labor has been demonstrated as untrue. Also, historical materialism has failed to account for history’s actual variations, and has an underpants gnome-esque belief that Socialism + ? = Communist utopia.

    It’s such a belief of religious fanaticism, though, that it shouldn’t be surprising.

    1. I think that’s why China and our own progs don’t get “taking out most prosperous nation in hte world that is the “universal buyer””
      is gong to tank them.

  18. 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.`

    He probably monitors the Liberals’ news and reads about their eagerness to send dissenters to re-education camps, their schemes to distribute WuFlu vaccinations “equitably” rather than an “at-risk” basis, and noticed their tweet-storms of hatred toward Rush Limbaugh merely because Rush openly expressed the view they were crazy at a level that they served as a reference in fruitcakes’ conversations.

    In modern America, when you hear pronouncements about somebody having no right to live the speaker is most probably an “enlightened” Liberal.

    1. I’ll just note that true urban camo is blue jeans and black hoodie. Add a black watch cap and black mask for safety and Bob’s your uncle anywhere from the Police Station to a BLANTIFA meet-and-smash.

  19. My first attempt at writing fiction was continuing on with ERB’s Tarzan series. I wanted Tarzan for myself (for what, I did not know, since I was nine) but I knew I had to get Jane out of the way first.

    I did not try this with Dejah Thoris, because I knew she would have kicked my ass.

    1. Heinlein spent a fair amount of time on Barsoom in “The Pursuit of the Pankhera.” Including a glimpse or two of Dejan Thorns. You might enjoy.

        1. I like both “Pursuit of The Pankhera” and The Number of the Beast.” Good in different ways. But rather fan-fiction-like in “Pursuit,” whereas “The Number” was a more balanced adventure tale. Just give me Gay Deceiver and a star to steer her by, is all I ask.

          1. The problem was that Heinlein was working with other authors’ fictional universes and characters. And while I like Barsoom, the Lensman Series is a work that shaped me. Growing up, I aspired to be worthy of a Lens. And RAH was having Smith’s characters do things that were out of character. I think he realized it…and scrapped half the book for a major rewrite.

            As to a SF ship…I’d take the keys to the Skylark of Valeron, but that 6th order projector doubtless has a slew of safeguards. I’ll take my own ship.

              1. You’ve found at least 2 of them. Although I haven’t slogged through Skylark of Valeron since mid High School… Lensman and the other 3 skylark books are in my reread from time to time pile.

              2. Liked Skylark and Lensmen a bunch.

                Took me a lot of work to track down enough stuff to realize that he also wrote some weaker books, and that I don’t actually love everything he wrote.

              3. I find it odd to contemplate anyone reading one series and not the other. I suppose it is doable but …

              4. [waves hand]

                So long ago that I was still in anything-with-words mode. Remember only that some parts were a slog. Should probably attempt a re-read.

  20. For instance, they need to appear to help women and minorities achieve.

    Fixed that for you. Because if they don’t spit in the soup the women and minorities are likely to realize they can achieve on their own, without some liberal sponsor’s seal of approval.

    I’m old enough to recall when feminists proclaimed, Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.’ Now? From a Left-wing site:

    This old saying still gets wheeled out quite a lot, as there’s a bit of inspiration at work there, a bit of flattery. “Right”, it invites women to think, indignantly: “let’s bloody roll our sleeves up then! How hard can it be?”

    But there’s more than one way of putting that thought. Here’s another: “If a woman and a man are equally smart and work equally hard, the man will go four times as far.”
    Slightly more galling now, isn’t it? That’s because the focus is off what the woman can do, and the point is clearer. Phrasing does matter, and there’s a problem with the post “Lean In” feminist chat: it is far too focused on what women should be doing. How can they adapt to get ahead? Where are they going wrong? How can they avoid falling into the traps that keep women down?

    But feminism is at its best when pointing out things that are unfair, and talking about women’s behaviour is not only a distraction, but also harmful. Put someone in the spotlight, and you just end up seeing their flaws, and if you’re looking for reasons a group isn’t succeeding, you will find them. …

    Enough of that, eh? You get the point.

  21. “…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 Left is quite fond of claiming that race is a social construct…never realizing that if it is, ANYONE can be ANY race, by adopting their ways and their behaviors. Which is largely true, at least in the United States (and to a significant degree, in Europe). Work hard, be honest, fit in…and you’ll be accepted. Perhaps not 100%, but accepted.

    1. Mike, back in the dark ages when I was training in physical anthropology we learned a thing or two about “race.” Y’all be aware, it’s going to be a bit of a rant.

      “Race” does not actually exist.

      Not in any physical sense you can find on a defleshed skeleton. Not in the DNA markers, either- populations are so mixed these days that’s a crap shoot. For the forensic scientist, faced with a reasonably complete skeleton (or with both skull and pelvis mostly intact and at least one long bone), you can tell a few things.

      You can tell around how old the deceased was. How tall. More or less what they weighed. If they were in shape or not, to a degree. Male or female. Though females and teenage males look fairly similar if you *don’t* have a pelvis to examine (hint: if you could fit an infant head through the pelvic opening, it *ain’t* gonna be male).

      What you can’t tell is race. Because race does not exist.

      Human beings are *less* varied in our DNA than dogs, horses, or chimpanzees. The term is “genetic bottlenecking.” It means, at one point or another, the total population of all humans got very, very low. They tracked this with mtDNA in women. We lost a whole lot of people, especially men at some point in the past. That reduced the total gene pool’s size- the amount of different genes in human DNA.

      This is why inbreeding is so dangerous for us humans. Literally. Sibling cats and dogs take far more generations to produce dangerous mutations than humans. The variability of most complex species is orders of magnitude greater.

      Now put that low variability with highly mobile populations for a few generations, and you get a mess that is indicative of everyone and no one at the same time.

      “Race” *IS* a social construct. A misleading one. Culture is much more concrete and observable than “race.” Cultures can assimilate. America is one great bit hungry melting pot that wants to eat up every other culture to get the best food, music, art, and clothes out of it and leave the stupid tribal hatreds behind. “Races” can’t assimilate are are, in my opinion, one giant stupid excuse to treat people that look different as the Other.


      Apologies for the rant, folks. Talk of “race” and “people of color” just *really* gets under my skin sometimes. Because actual science just does. Not. Support. It.

      1. no. This is true. All of it. Which is why the left holds gender a social construct, but race inviolable, immutable and dictating everything including what language you can speak.
        Because the bastards are bassawkward from reality.

        1. The main clue is that one of the assigned-victim-status pigeonholes, that of hispanic, is not “racially” distinguishable even using their own definitions from that of caucasian white honkey oppressor nonvictimizable persons.

          That’s why the various official governmental definitions go through all the “races” and then have a separate categorization question for “Hey caucasian nonspecific-gender-assignment individual of possible oppressor status, did your ancestors ever live anyplace south of the US border? If so, Congratulations!! You have been assigned to the victim class ‘hispanic’!”

          1. I have cousins throughout south of the border, and about half the classifications for my region classify me as “latin non-hispanic.” which is insanity. I mean the Iberian peninsula was hispania.
            For a while there the classification was “If you speak Spanish and have ancestors from the Iberian peninsula.” So you know, Marques was white, Marquez was Latin.
            It’s a miracle.

            1. And the presence of the descendants of the inhabitants of hispania in the Americas was in large part due to conquest and colonization, which the left keeps telling is evil. I really wish they would make up their minds.

              1. It’ll be a long wait. Taking a position and sticking to it means that they might have to forgo some POWER, and nothing is more important to them than POWER.

          2. I suspect their goal is to render all people incapable of logical thought by requiring adherence to such nonsense, but that attributes greater cunning than what I believe them capable.

            1. Ahh the Sapir Whorf theory as portrayed/applyed in 1984’s addenda about NewSpeak. Confuse them with non logic. I think the Left watch too may old Star Trek Episodes with computers

        2. I would be less bothered by the left being so crazy if they weren’t determined to take us all down with them. Reality always bites back.

        3. Their position or race being a construct via immutable changes to whatever The Party requires at any particular time. There are plenty of occasions, usually where white leftists are claiming to be black (Rachel Doziel {sic} anyone?) and when called out on it claiming that race is mutable., They are literally 1984’s Oceania in living action in their doublethink and adherence to Newspeak.

      2. Er. Agree with you that culture is the most important thing, but when it comes to “race is a social construct” – physical anthropologists and forensic scientists and artists might disagree? The bones do differ a bit.

          1. *Shrugs* I’ve read a fair bit on forensic reconstruction, and one person learning it who figured out how to consistently sort “identified as black” from garden-variety Caucasian by the angle of particular bones.

            1. So have I. There are SOME cases, but this is not sure. In fact when looking at unknown skeleton they often say “might be.”
              Mind you nowadays we can see code for color and type of hair and eyes, and that helps. (Though 23 and me thinks I have curly hair, the bastages. DO YOU know how much money I’d have saved on perms?)
              But the thing that is most impressive and which excites me is more based on what TXRed says. I mean, because they’d find, if I were an unknown skeleton, that some isotope was present in my bones, they’d know I grew up in the Iberian peninsula, and make deductions from that 😉

              1. No offense Sarah, but I’d prefer that you put off being “an unknown skeleton” for some time. 😉

          2. I think Ty-Sachs disease and sickle cell anemia could indicate the possibility of different races.

              1. Less common in people of European Ashkenazi Jewish descent, but still rare. About one in twenty-seven. It’s also an autsomal recessive, so you need a copy from both parents for it to express.

            1. This isn’t my area of expertise as my studies in genetics and disease theory is rudimentary (we were taught the basics and enough medical knowledge to get by without access to doctors given where we might be working, but this is in no way professional level knowledge), so take it with a grain of salt.

              Tay-Sachs, sickle cell anemia, and cystic fibrosis are autosomal recessives that give some resistance to certain other diseases. Far as I can tell, it is possible indeed that they signal different variations of homo given how long that they have been present in the human genome. The interesting thing to me is just *why* these mutations might have persisted over the generations.

              Take sickle cell, for example. Those born with the mutation have red blood cells that are stiffer and stickier, forming a sort of “C” instead of the usual “O.” Low concentrations of a product of the sickle cell releases carbon monoxide, which in turn helps the body resist malaria. According to the CDC, around 60% of those with sickle cell anemia survive malaria.

              Even if it was random mutation and not a gift from a common ancestor, it is still an autosomal recessive. You need both copies for it to be present. That means the disease resistance would take a long time to show up- generations. A blip in the timeline of the species. It is possible to turn out like that. And it could even be that the mutation first cropped up in a common ancestor and then showed up in our gene pool after.

              Autosomal recessives do provide resistance to some diseases. That is a strong indicator of why they remained present in the gene pool. Harmful recessives, if they are harmful enough (i.e. kill off the body before it can bear children) will not last. This is not to imply some level of “fitness,” another theory that has its adherents but can be misleading. The point is, the genes provide some level of advantage against certain other diseases.

              If an ancient population was struck by disease it tended to cause localized mass death. In those times people lived very close to the bone, starvation and disease were *commonplace.* If the disease only killed, say, 40% of the population, you *could* possibly survive as a coherent group. If the ones that survived had the mutation, and interbred, and this kept going on as they met other tribes and intermarried/raided for wives/whathaveyou, then the prevalence of those genes would rise and become much more common as those without it tended to die off if they got the disease the autosomal recessive defended against.

              When there is a definite threat that certain gene expressions hold a survival advantage for, over time (generations) those genes will tend to live while the ones without have a lower chance of survival. I’m sure there are probably legacy genes that code for advantage against some sort of thing or other that is no longer present, or rarely come in handy.

              Take the infant grasping reflex. Happens before the infant starts to consciously reach out and grab things like your hair or car keys. Did you know it’s strong enough to hold the baby’s weight for a few moments (they get tired easily)? ‘Tis. Consider how useful that reflex would be for a mother on the go in primitive conditions. *grin* Might save the little tyke’s life in a pinch, as it were.

              That is a non-conscious reflex that *all* babies have (they have a few others, too). Which tells me it is somewhere in the DNA. And it’s probably older than humans, as it is present in other animals, monkeys at the very least.

              Well. That turned out a bit longer than I expected. Oops?

              1. BTW some people with significant black blood — enough for sickle cell anemia — present and look white.
                So, yeah. Even those are strong indicators, but not markers.

                1. Oh yeah. It shows up in South America and India (well, the India/Pacific region), too, not just Africans. The latter show up around one in twelve (traits) and one in five hundred with the double recessive I believe. I’m not as certain about the other populations but I *think* its a lot lower and I can’t find much reliable data on that. It looks like it shows up anywhere that has or had a high incidence of malaria in the past. There are even cases of ethnic Greek and Turkish people showing up with the trait, though those I have some questions about. Probably inherited, because their ancestors, like my Scots-Irish ones, got around…

                    1. Here’s a Handy Map (scroll down)

                      Given that it’s not universal to malarial regions, looks to me like the sickle cell adaptation might have come in with the “unknown archiac hominid” crossbreeding that’s in the west-and-central African gene pool, with a little opportunistic spread elsewhere.

                2. Sickle cell anemia is prevalent in a number of white populations too — around the Mediterranean, where they have malaria.

        1. *wags paw* When you look at resources and habitat over a very, very long time, changes should appear as groups adapt both culturally and (eventually) physically. There’s a reason the Dutch are the largest people in Europe – they’ve had a very, very high protein diet for 2000 years or so. Higher than pretty much everyone else until the 20th century.

          The problem is we start getting into the “which came first – physical adaptation or cultural adaptation” and then things go off the deep end.

          1. There’s also the wide variability in expression to consider, too. I looked at and handled a *lot* of human remains back in the day. Modern and not. How each individual grows up, what stressors are placed on the body and what kind of nutrition they consume can have a greater effect than genetics.

            One of the things to pile on to the Dutch example is exactly when in their development a child gets that protein- they need it a lot more when they are young for all sorts of reasons not least of which is our giant brains (relative to body size for similar sized mammals) is an humongous energy hog. The kids will grow up and mature *much* faster than the average peasant because of that.

            Mate selection is a cultural force that can exert some force on gene expression in the long term. The research is very much not as solid in humans (likely because no human females want to be in the “control” group- not that I blame them in the least) as in animals. The force exerted is bound to be small and slight, though.

            To your last, my money is on them co-evolving. I don’t believe we can actually point to one or the other being the actual trigger, but once the ball gets rolling the two may happen at the same time.

            Isolated populations tend to homogenize to some extent, too. The rate of homogenization is how many generations pass with little to no outside genetics getting in to the population. You can get larger than average fractions of recessives this way, like redheads.

            Sorry. I get nerdy about this stuff sometimes.

              1. Yeah. It’s still in its infancy, but fascinating to consider. A whole ‘nother layer of complexity beneath what we have some (but definitely not complete) understanding of. I have questions about how this can affect the immune system and disease resistance especially, and what effect it may have of virii and bacteria(!) that go through much faster generational cycles.

                It’s enough for me to say there’s probably something there. That means studies, experiments, research, and time. With the state of science *now* as it stands, I am not confident of sound results any time soon. but someday when scientists rediscover the scientific freaking method, maybe research will be more solid and able to be replicated reliably.

        2. The bones differ a *lot* actually, so much that its a broad range of variability. TXRed explained it succinctly and well, so I won’t repeat that.

          In practice, you might get a partial skeleton that you estimate is a male around 6’1″ and 210lbs, muscle markings suggest was in good to excellent physical shape, age between thirty and late forties (depending on how well he kept active). What’s his race? Asks the investigating officer.

          You’re smack dab in the normal range for 90% of the classifications they want you to use. Anything you say is going to be a guess.

          If it was, say, 7’1″ instead of 6’1″ and 280 lbs instead of 210, a veritable giant of a man (or an NBA player), he’s probably not going to be an Asian guy. Probably. And if the deceased is *that* far out of the normal range, they probably don’t need you to guess his race, either (as outliers tend to be a lot more memorable).

          There are tiny people of all races, and giants, too. Yao Ming is a 7’6″ Chinese guy weighing around 300 lean pounds. The race of Han is not known for an overabundance of giants, but they *do* happen.

          At one point in time it was thought that black people had smaller skulls than whites. This was proven wrong, repeatedly, before racism became less common in the West (it is *still* common in other countries, though they don’t repeat *that* obviously debunked lie anymore).

          The only “race” that truly exists is human. Homo sapiens sapiens. We can (and do, joyfully) interbreed. The human race, as I said before, hasn’t got near the range of genetic variability (or physical variability!) of dogs, even.

          What gets mislabeled as “race” is simply as TXRed alluded to: local variation within the species. As localities meet and interbreed, these variations blend together. All different colors of skin, eyes, hair, skinny noses (the better to breathe the cold air with) and wide noses, tall and skinny and short and stocky.

          In death, skin color doesn’t matter. Culture doesn’t matter. Beliefs do not matter.
          Underneath it all, we are all the same variable, wonderful, human race.

            1. Forensic sculpture is a sort of magical art, because it is based on physical skull markers and stats, but… The people who are really good at it will wind up with practically psychic results, and the computers working from DNA are still not that good.

              Of course, part of it is that producing a likeness is not the same as producing a photorealistic picture or sculpture; an artist subtly makes what is really there, somehow more eye-catching.

              1. Indeed it is. They have a few clues to work from, but still from that they create amazing results. That extrapolating from a small data set is something humans are still quite a lot better at than computers.
                Recognizing faces is one of the first skills humans learn, and a lifetime is spent unconsciously building on that as we meet new people. The artist knows what a person looks like, especially faces- the computer, not so much. Even expert systems spit out some truly weird results sometimes.

                Bones are also formed and changed by the soft tissue, not the other way around. Greater muscle mass needs more surface area on the bones to attach to. That’s how you get such rugosity in some specimens. Males will nearly always have a bit more of this, some a *lot* more, and most interestingly (to me at least) the place it is most clear is in the skull.

                Adult women tend to have smoother skulls in general than adult males. Males have larger, stronger jaws and thicker bone there, again, in most cases. When looking at the female skull, it shares similarities with younger specimens that haven’t gone very far through puberty. “Neotonous” we’d call it. Males are more likely to have thicker brow ridges and some of us even have a saggital crest (!) even though our jaw muscles end around the temporal region rather than extending to the top of the head for stronger biting force.

                Even if a person medically “transitions” and mutilates their body as an adult, if they take hormones and all, the forces that shape our bones begin in childhood. They’d have to take those hormones in large doses as children, and even then, the bones would give hints (strong hints in some cases) as to what their sex actually was.

                Being able to extrapolate what sort of muscle mass a person would have had from the bones out, adding in the fat layer and then the skin is an amazing talent to me. There’s a lot of knowledge and skill that goes in to that final product.

              2. Pharrell Williams looks very African in features, but his recent appearance on Finding Your Roots revealed that he also looks a lot like the guy who owned his other ancestors. So that is a thing.

                1. When my son was doing a picture of me, working off a photograph, he accidentally (with computer) tinted it two shades two dark.
                  NO ONE would look at that can call it anything but African. Now, once he tinted it the right color, no one would say that.

            2. *grin* I still like to think that Homo Neanderthalensis weren’t simply a dead end branch on the way to early modern humans. I mean, we were both living on the planet at the same time. Why *wouldn’t* our hairy ancestors have gotten busy with the only other close branch of Homo in existence at the time? Enough people today are not at all shy about going after the partner they want, and I’d wager our brains are not different to a large enough degree that that would have changed too much over time.

              And not just Neanderthals. Denisovans may have granted some of us DNA for dealing with high altitude. Granted we don’t have but a single very partial set of remains from the Altai mountain cave, far as I recall, but that was enough to tease some DNA out to poke around in.

              I would not be surprised- at all- if there mere a *lot* more variants out there that the early modern humans out of Africa got busy with. The early diaspora spread out in waves over tens of thousands (and perhaps a hundred thousand or more) years. That’s more than enough for a helpful mutation to grow and become more prevalent in isolated populations. The problem is finding the physical remains in order to start researching.

              It is when the researchers start going off on *behavioral* traits inherited from our short, hairy, and strong side of the hominid family that I get twitchy. Physical objects, remains, and DNA fragments do not a culture make, and behavior is created by living beings reacting to their environment. But that’s just me ranting about those darned kids these days. *chuckle*

            3. I’d guess Trump is at the high end for Neanderthal genes (which max out at about 6%). Definitely has the head and body shape. So consider that the basic phenotype, as best it’s preserved.

      3. In support–

        I am a brunette with mildly red highlights. Auburn was the best I could ever claim

        Down in El Paso, the homeschool group *effectively* described me as “the red head.”

        Like, folks who didn’t know me from Moses found me by looking for “the red head.”

        I did have mildly red accents. As a small child. I’m…. um…. dull auburn? At best? Brown unless the sun hits me?

        This made me start looking at pictures from Japan, for the IRL versions of anime characters….their “red heads” are nearly black hair. BUT with red accent, for lack of a better word.

        1. I have nearly jet black hair. Some dark copper specks in my beard, the occasional one in the comb. When I was college, the Asian exchange students lived down the hall from me in the un-air conditioned apartment building.

          Yes, I was the redheaded redneck. *chuckle*

        2. My wife was a ginger, with freckles, now she’s Irish Blonde, which means pure white. I had red highlights on light brown hair, in bright sun I was a ginger, now it’s just gray.

          1. I was white-blond as a child, and my hair has darkened to its present browny-reddish chestnut-cocoa-who-knows-what-all color over the years. When I was in Spain twenty years ago, at a feria in Rota, the Spanish guys were hitting me on the bumper cars yelling “la rubia, la rubia!” at me, or so I recall.

            My mother, mind you, is 66, and rather resembles Polgara the Sorceress–black hair, a single lock of grey-silver. Chances are I’ll be the same way. Her mother took a while to go gray as well.

  22. (De-lurk) Some time back, you posted an essay outlining the forms and techniques of female agression and group dominance. What struck me was how closely they resembled standard Marxist techniques. I’m unsure of any significance, but it interested me.

    1. Some time back, I saw an article on female bullying in larger primate groups, and the actual goal of bullying towards lower-status females is to get them stressed out to the point where they stop ovulating.

      I read that and thought, “oh, that makes sense that there’s a genetic reason for bullying, because it’s mighty pervasive without an evolutionary reason to exist.” You stress out your rival so they don’t reproduce, and your own descendants get all the resources.

      Map that on to gloom & doom modes of thought, and they start to come into focus. The real irony is how the people deploying them buy into them as well, which should solve the problem, wouldn’t you think?

      1. In modern America that is no longer necessary – just harass all girls to go on the pill young enough and long enough to completely bugger up their reproductive system.

        I wonder there isn’t a correlation of Time On Pill and uterine cancer but if there is the MSM (and the medical journals) wouldn’t dare publish it.

        1. I’ve seen reports of such studies go by over the years, but you’d probably have to have a paper archive to find anything not compliant with the current Narrative.

          Search engines and online indexes are convenient, but provide easy information bottlenecks.

            1. I remember a study that found otherwise, The women on bcps had more intercourse so the had more stds.

        2. It is published that there is a slight increase in breast cancer. Hormones are tricksy beasts, and I know a lot of women who have independently decided that the Pill Does Not Feel Good and have quit it.

  23. Fortunately most of us handle change pretty well.

    I would like to coin a joke here but there’s no cents to it.

  24. I confess that when I think of “People of the System” my first image is of people being ground between the gears …

    And I am not even a fan of Mr. Chaplin.

    1. Aye. It was sadly hilarious to see an alleged *education/teaching* (HA!) group use an image of gear that would be lockup. Dumbassamide is a HELLUVA drug. Almost as bad as Narrative.

  25. 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.

    ….define “white.”

    Because the Irish weren’t.

    Yes, I know this takes a lot more cultural knowledge than they have.

    But still.

    1. Yep, plenty of Eastern European weren’t considered “white”.

      Although the concept of “white” (as Lefties see it) wasn’t really developed back then.

      1. Well, yeah; in polite company, it meant roughly “Christian.”

        IE, that’s “mighty white of you,” gosh that’s awful Christian.

        1. True.

          But that “Eastern European” was seen as “different” in the bad sense without the idea that “he isn’t white”.

          What the Lefties can’t realize is that people in the past could see other people as “not one of us” without the idea that they aren’t white.

          Part of the problem with the Irish (in the US) was “They are Catholic”.

          I believe that Italians had the same “problem”. (IE Their Catholic Religion).

          There was a strong bias earlier in the US against people who weren’t “Northern European” (mainly I suspect because they weren’t among the original settlers of North America).

            1. Yup. I have ancestors that gamed the system based on a similar idea. The paler ones, the ones that got put down on legal paper, they got to own property “officially.” The not so pale ones, well, they were the unofficial family that lived on said property as “the help” should anybody official ask. Property laws were weird in the late 19th.

            2. True.

              Older books/stories/article would have things like the “English Race”, the “French Race”, etc.

              Oh, some time ago (in the last five years?) the “Christ Was Black” thing came up again on Baen’s Bar (Truth vs Pravda conference).

              Besides an idiot who thought Christians believed in a “Blond Blue-Eyed Christ”, there was a sad-sack who didn’t like the idea that the Christ was White because the sad-sack had bought into the “Whites Are The Oppressors” idea.

              Of course, the Christ was a Middle-Eastern Jew in appearance and according to the early “scientists” who pushed the idea of “race”, people in the Middle-East were Caucasians (as apposed to Mongoloid and Negroid).

              1. Sometimes the usage was even narrower, with “race” referring to a clan or even a family. I’ve been re-reading the Sherlock Holmes stories where “race” is occasionally used that way. There’s also a fossil in Tolkien where Aragorn says ‘Would that Elrond were here, for he is the eldest of all our race, and has the greater power.’

            1. When state = church, then logically, people who didn’t belong to the official church = traitors (or visitors who ought not stay). Some of the arguments against New Mexico statehood (early 20th century) in the US Senate were literally “there are too many brown Catholics there.” With the problem being more the Catholic aspect than skin tone. *facepaw* People are so strange.

            2. Very much this. The NY Saint Patrick’s day parade was a civil rights parade and is becoming one again. Archbishop Hughes, Iron John, back in the 1840’ s during one of the regular anti Catholic riots told the mayor that they would burn the entire city down if one Catholic Church was burned. That’s why old Saint Patrick’s is surrounded by a wall with musket loopholes and why the AOH is set up across the street. Then again. Archbishop Corrigan made the Italians hear Mass in the basement of the churches because “they weren’t very clean”. Not a very politic thing to say to the Vatican. Pastors in the archdiocese are still assigned based on nationality today. They don’t like to admit it but everyone knows. There was a scandal when my old parish was moved from being an Irish parish to an Italian parish.

              1. Ethnic Catholic parishes were a 19th century thing for both practical and stupid reasons. There were fairly big differences in Catholic spirituality among Germans, never mind Germans vs. Irish vs Romanians vs. Poles vs. Italians, and language barriers were a thing. My family on both Catholic sides just disagreed with everyone….

          1. I’ve read books so old that “swarthy” was considered a serious clue the described person was a likely criminal.

      2. And given the way things are going, in twenty years Asians might very well be included in “white”. I’ve heard some on the left already view Asians that way.

        1. Japanese were “white” before Whiskey Whiskey Duce, for some– and now by being “not psychotic” most other “asians” are white.

        2. They believe in working hard, are precise and punctual, think the right answer to a math question is important — they sound white to me in all important elements. They even work hard and are notably self-reliant rather than turning to the state to meet their needs.

    2. It’s interesting to contrast modern movies set in the 40s and 50s, or movies and TV shows (especially the ones which have female “action” leads) that involve some sort of time travel to that period, with actual movies from that period. The time travel episode of Warehouse 13 or Agent Carter, for instance, contrasted against “His Girl Friday” and the first Superman movie. Newer shows tend to overexaggerate the unWokeness of the times.

      1. Captain America yelling that there were no black officers in the US military, for example?

        Or, heck, “Singing in the Rain” vs how they’d show women treated in the 70s?

  26. Look, I saw a blond for the first time at six.

    I’m sure I’ve shared this before, but my mom was roughly that age– four to eight, she was with her mom and went to a “lady’s club” in Klamath Falls with what as best I can tell was a wealthy lady from back East that grandma was acting as an escort to.

    A lady with “chocolate skin” came in, with her little boy, and mom got in trouble because she wanted to touch their skin, because it was so pretty.

    Next black person she met was during an Oregon track meet, some 10 years later, and he was Ethiopian black to the point 90% of the folks at the meet were looking at him going “oh wow, that’s pretty”.

    Mom can still wax poetic about how *pretty* his skin was, because she’d never seen anything like it.

    But that’s racist.


    1. Ten or twelve – and the most purely beautiful woman I ever laid eyes on in the real world (and this was at church, she was another member of the congregation) was a woman of color. Mixed race, I think – and skin the color of coffee with a lot of cream in it. Perfect features, elegant figure, beautifully turned out for Sunday service. She was so beautiful…

  27. 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.

    K, when I was like 14, I “met” RA Salvatore’s writing.

    I fell in love.

    Like 20 years later, I got to actually meet him.

    With my husband.

    At a special military event where he totally was sacrificing himself for the Army and Air Force guys.

    ….I totally shut down, mumbled something about how I’ve loved his stuff forever, and hid behind the babies. My husband was totally trying to chat him up.

    He didn’t respond like “oh my gosh who is this idiot,” he reacted like “Ah. Shy fan married to not shy fan. I will now be awesome.”

    …On a practical level, this makes sense, but I am so freaking grateful to him for not making my suddenly shutting down because “oh my gosh YOU CREATED DRIZZT!!!” response a big deal.

    I’m actually tearing up now, thinking of it. He had a bad cold, he felt like crap, and he came out because he knew the “troops” in the area love him.

    He stayed several hours late, too.

  28. Saw an idiot SocJus type saying a few days ago that interracial relationships were racist. A certain quote from Aliens goes through my mind whenever I see crap like this: “Did IQs just sharply drop while I was away?”

    1. Well, that’s obvious.

      Since Whites Are The Racist Oppressors, anybody with “White Blood” are also “Racist Oppressors”.

      We Must Keep The Holy Non-White Blood Lines Pure!!! [Sarcastic Grin]

        1. Several years ago, I read a collection of stories involving nano-technology (can’t remember author or title but it was an one author collection).

          One story was about a Hispanic artist using nano-technology in his art. There was a note following the story saying that the artist “lost” a Hispanic Artist Award when it was discovered that one of his grandmothers was “Anglo” (ie non Hispanic). 😦

        2. Not quite, since the “drop test” is purely an ideological one: “vote for me or you ain’t black.”

        3. Not really. Obama is still regarded as black. It is more that one conservative idea or statement makes you a racist white man. (In our hostesses case, with a great rack).

    2. Were you able to ask xim/xer if they supported bringing back miscegenation laws?

      I suppose xe/xhe doesn’t watch a lot of TV commercials these days. I was shocked to see a single race couple in an ad yesterday.

      1. And for extra “REEEEEEEEE” remind them that the abolishment of those laws were a major part of the basis for legalized contraception AND Roe v Wade. So those decisions go away too.

      1. Bob is totally crazy for blaming the weed, and for thinking the hemp fandango is the answer.

        Sad thing is, while I can tell that some of my certainty is unfounded and nuts, it is an all too plausible explanation for the bits I can look at rationally.

  29. 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.

    This reminds me of What’s the Matter with Kansas and a lot of the other “analysis” of the great unwashed red staters and rural types – basically anyone who doesn’t make choices based on the same sets of assumptions as All The Right Thinking Folk. They keep saying things like people who don’t eat “healthy” (whatever that means this year) are being irrational, without considering for even a brief moment other perfectly rational choices people might make regarding what they choose to eat.

    “Why aren’t these people I have no desire or plan to interact with making different choices? They must be irrational!” Their limited world view and experience, which they are forever accusing the rubes of having, is something that leads to limited, mind-numbingly conformist choices. Then they project that out onto other people. And when those people fail to make the same cultural displays, the only way to reconcile this is to accuse and impute without for one moment considering an alternative point of view.

    I suppose this is just saying the same thing as the OP. 😉

      1. I wonder if there is a business in making good strong hose clamps, and replacing them all, right after it gets out of the dealership. As a modification. I’m not mechanical, but I think a truck mechanic and a machinist could team up.

    1. I didn’t time it, but I think it took me the better part of two minutes to stop laughing. Does this man have a newsletter I can subscribe to? And did Freightliner have a response to this?

  30. Off Topic.

    I WANT THE BAR BACK!!!!!!!!

    I needed to get that off of my chest. 😉

  31. “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.”

    I and some friends played Apples to Apples or some such game where you had to say how someone else would reply. Those of us right of center invariably guessed how the leftists would respond and the left of center players always got our responses wrong. When one of them complained “You must be cheating”, I responded in this way: “We understand exactly how your mind works, but you have no conception of how my mind works.”

    1. It’s one reason why I use “the voices in their tiny overheated heads” to describe where they really get their ideas of what the people they hate “really” think/believe/etc.

  32. I was going to say you forgot math is white supremacist, but you pretty much caught that later.

    We should compare my film school notes with your mental notes from litewracher.

  33. “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.’ “

    What’s more, the camo guy had a bright red hat, and we all know what that means (cue scary music while Vincent Price stage-whispers ‘Trump, Trump, Trump’.)

  34. “The problem with Marxism is that it’s adolescent system with DEFENSES… it’s just a system of cobbled together explanations that don’t really work…”

    I think it was the philosopher Lezcek Kolakowski (but I might be wrong) who wrote that the problem with Marxism is that it is constructed to explain anything: no matter what happens, A or Not A, the Marxist will tell you why Marxism predicted that outcome. And no matter what you want or need, Marxism will explain why what you really want and need is Marxism.

    1. Marxism is a philosophical ouroboros, except instead of eating itself it’s shoving its head up its butt.

      1. Add in the fact that most Marxists have read less of Marx than my cat has. Once you get past he Communist Manifesto, which is a commercial, Marx’s writing is enough to make sane people swear off literacy. Which explains why I’ve read _On Capital_ in English and parts of it in German, among other of his writings.

        1. They don’t read Marx, they read Marxist commentary. They read explanations of the world bathed in Marxian analysis. But actual Marx? Too dense. Too loosey-goosey. Too based on specific things happening at a specific time in European history. Particularly the Manifesto, which is what most people read and think that they understand Marxism.

          1. They don’t even read the Cliff Notes to Marx, nor the Cliff Notes on the Cliff Notes to Marx.

            Although I suspect some skimmed through the Classics Illustrated version, albeit with some missing pages (missing because Marx.)

  35. I believe cosmology is the word for the way things work. It was what was used on my Architectural Theory class. So “Cosmological Ideologues”. Or in Exodus “stiffnecked”
    As a “Systems” guy rather than literary I think of systems as good things. Lots of policy failures because of not talking systems into account. Applies to people data and things

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