I’ve always been a sucker for short stories whose ending can be summed up as “We came from elsewhere, both of us. But we’re one of a kind.”
It’s part of the reason I love Clifford Simak’s Werewolf Principle. Oh, it has a lot of flaws, or perhaps not flaws but things that were part of the time it was written in. But that ending still redeems all of it. In a way, of course, that’s what I was going for with Darkship Thieves. I also love, though at the moment (sinus infection and my nose dripping like a faucet) I can’t remember a single title, stories in which the weirdling, the person who doesn’t fit at all finds she fits perfectly with a group of people far away. That she is in fact one of them. She might be a cuckoo’s egg, but there’s a whole colony of cuckoos somewhere. And she (or he) can fit in there.
It is of course no mystery why I — or a lot of you, or to be fair, a lot of people in the science fiction world — feel that way. I stuck out like a sore thumb as far back as I can remember. And yet, I found a home for weirdos like me. And someone who also came from somewhere else, but who is one of mine.
The home I found… I know what you’ve been told. I know what all of you have been told. And sold: in tv, in movies, in education, even the news. The gaslighting didn’t start in 2020. And it’s bizarre.
Not only have all of you in America been told that America is the most racist/sexist/homophobic/intolerant place in the world, but also that the only hope of tolerance, acceptance and feeling like you’re part of something is to go hard left. That this is where tolerance and acceptance of differences exists.
This couldn’t be more wrong. It is in fact upside down and sideways. You could even say:
The left in America and in fact around the world is one of the most intolerant, hidebound movements ever. Sure. Before they have absolute power over something they pretend to celebrate everyone who doesn’t fit in. In fact, they pretend to celebrate them. This is by the way of seeking the help of every oddling in order to destroy the host culture, so they can take full control.
Also, guys, let’s be honest. We who grew up as odds know damn well our kind — no matter what reason they stick out, or what reason we’ve been the pink monkey ever since earliest childhood — is more vulnerable than any other group of people to power-mad abusers.
Because we are social apes, our need to be accepted drives us to find that place where we belong. And then we want to continue belonging, which means we’re open to manipulation and abuse.
The left, being just that kind of psychopath, intuits this. Right now they’re in the phase of “you’re special because you’re different; your difference should be celebrated.” But here’s the dirty little secret: you have to be different in exactly the way they dictate. You have to believe exactly what they believe your group should believe. These things change on a dime, on a dictate from above. and I guess your position of “specialness” an change on a dime too, because — as leftist feminists are finding out — you are not as special as men who proclaim they’re women. (Note this has nothing to do with true transsexualism. Particularly when it’s undertaken for fame and and fortune/college scholarships in sports. It’s transexualism de convenience.)
And always, always, you have to think as your group has been dictated to think. Think another way? You’re out. “If you don’t vote for [Joe Biden] you ain’t black.” And BLM has made it explicit you have to be a Marxist for your Black Lives to matter. And you know, women who believe in the equality — or hell, in some cases superiority of women — but don’t believe in a controlled top down economy? They ain’t feminists.
This is as all of us oddlings who have been like this our whole lives know damn well an abusive relationship.
And we who don’t fit in are very prone to falling into that trap, because the instincts tell us we got to belong.
Then the trap closes. The left really values walking in lockstep. They’re starting here, because they think they’ve won. Step out of line, you’re not of the body. Even if you didn’t know there was a line.
If they really won (they haven’t. Or at least it won’t last. They are simply riding the tiger) all of those oddlings are going to find — fast and ugly — that the free market and the free human interaction allowed by it, and particularly the American spirit, with its unique tolerance of different cultures and attitudes was the best they ever had it. If you think “communism” or any of the totalitarian societies of the world are more tolerant, you’ve been sold a bill of goods. Find out what happened to gays or people of a different race in the USSR and what happens in Cuba and China.
You see, top down, controlled societies can’t allow variations. Every variation could be the beginning of realizing the orders are wrong/could be the beginning of rebellion. I know you’ve been told other societies — even Muslim societies, heaven help us all — are more tolerant. Pardon me if I laugh my head off. You have no idea. And no, visiting as a tourist everyone is super polite too is not a valid idea of what these societies are like.
Almost all the eccentrics who think they’ll find their home abroad are sorely disappointed. If they are very lucky, they’ll be alive at the end of their disappointing experience.
Unless of course, your particular oddness is that you’re a woman who wants to be draped like a sofa when out in public, a gay man who wants to have walls pulled down on him, or someone who wants to do that to women or gays. You can find a home in most of the Middle East. Or you’re a person of color, or any kind of difference, from dressing strangely to being attracted to the same sex and wants to be sneered at, told you’re crazy, or at the very best laughed at behind your back. Or of course someone who wants to do that to those people. The world is your oyster then, but I particularly recommend old Europe. You’ll be right at home, chum. And you’ll get socialism as a bonus.
Is the US really that different? Yes, it really is. And no, I can’t explain it to you unless you experience it.
Sure, we also have pockets of intolerance, hidebound families and communities. And places you must fit or die. None of them is a country-wide culture, except for the nascent goose-steppers of the left. Who frankly are meeting pushback at every turn.
Why? I don’t know. Seriously. I don’t know. If I had to guess I’d guess it’s because we’re a nation of such varied immigrants. We had to work together or die. I talk to mom about my friends. I don’t mention a large number of them are Mormons, and quite a few are Hindus or Buddhists. She’d be shocked enough to find any number of my closest friends are protestant, let alone that. I also don’t tell her about my friends domestic arrangements. I think there are like a dozen that would pass muster, but most of them…. no. And it could be such “innocuous in the US” things as “Have cut their parents out of their lives.” Unimaginable in my culture of origin.
Then there’s the fact that we’re rich. Very rich. Wealthy societies are more tolerant of difference. If it doesn’t pick our pocket or break our arm, we simply don’t care. We don’t have to.
When you live close to the bone, when everything someone does affects you you have to make them conform.
I got on this track this morning because my husband reads awfully silly books. No, seriously. I’d say he reads unimaginably vapid crap, but I have nowhere to throw stones from. I know why he does it — he’s been working 12 hour days, 7 days a week, and silly and vapid is the best you can cope with — and in same circumstances, plus a load of the black dog, I’ve been stuck reading Jane Austen fanfic non stop. Which is more vapid.
Anyway, he read this cute romance? cozy mystery? series, and thought the woman needed more publicity. So he contacted her and said his wife posted at instapundit, and would she be okay if I promoted her. Note that he only asked because I told him I would not promo unasked. Some people get very upset “our kind” like their books.
The answer was bizarre, and hysterical. Oh, no, she couldn’t be promoted in such a site. She had gay people and interracial relationships in her books! These people who read that site would hate her.
Let’s pause to goggle at the magnificent amount of gaslighting involved in this woman’s picture of the world.
Hell a cursory look at instapundit would have brought up the idea that we’re all for a world where gay married couples use their AK-47s to protect their pot plants. (Go with it, Bob. I don’t think pot should be illegal, even if I think it’s bad for us and society. Intrusive government is worse.)
And a cursory look at my work — look he gave her my name — or the comments on it should make her aware that I also have gay people in my novels. I don’t have any interracial couples — I think — but only because I don’t really attach much interest to race. I don’t think in race. Also, none of them have come tromping into my head. Though I do have inter-species couples in the short stories. It happens.
But you know, we’re to the right of Lenin, so we must be intolerant and evil and Reeee.
It’s a hell of a gaslighting job. And I don’t know how to penetrate these people’s heads. They keep imagining that we are the enemy, when in fact they’d find a home with us. It’s just we don’t harp on their differences, because we couldn’t care less. Our books have gay people, they don’t harp on how you have to be gay a certain way. Our characters are all the colors of the rainbow (really, a lot of us write robots, after all) and heck, we just don’t care. Just like we don’t care if our friends are gay or various colors, or more exotic differences, provided they are sane and decent human beings.
The gaslighted ones, the captives of “you have to believe as we say or we’re out” will continue sleep walking us into a society that tolerates no differences whatsoever.
And the only way I know to stop them is to change their minds somehow. This is why I have several pen names not associated with me. Because the only way to reach them is to tell them stories before the defenses trip up.
Will we be in time? I don’t know.
They are trapped in an abusive relationship and used to destroy the only society that tolerates them.
We come from elsewhere, all of us. But we’re not alone. And America is a welcoming home for the oddlings.
And I don’t want to lose it.
It’s worth fighting for. Even if we go down fighting.
It’s better than giving up.
Because there’s no other home for us.