We The Different

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.

949 thoughts on “We The Different

      1. No matter how hard I try, these stupid glitches keep creeping into my own writing. Only the most paranoid editing and proofreading with tools like Grammarly can eradicate them. Too much work by far for informal writing. -_-

        If you’re in the mood to correct unintended errors, I’ll point out a couple of other minor glitches in your post that detract, IMNSHO, unnecessarily from yet another excellent essay on the weirdness of the rabidly intolerant leftist brigades with their incessant shrieking about “tolerance.”

        “We [can] from elsewhere …”. Word “can” should be “came.”

        “… whole colony of cuckoo[’]s somewhere.” Misplaced apostrophe.

            1. Brains are weird. When I am tired, I typo Spanish accents, not just the sounds but replacing them with real English words that replace sounds (“leave” instead of “live” to trade out the ‘ih’ for the ‘ee’, for example, or ‘accept’ instead of ‘except’ to use an ‘s’ sound instead of the ‘k’ that the x is standing in for). It used to be only in text, but now it’s starting to happen out loud when I’m tired. The older I get, the more pronounced it becomes.

              This is tremendously, super bizarre because I don’t have a Spanish accent. My parents made *sure* of that because they wanted me to sound like a proper American. o_O

              Why do I do that? Why do I substitute real English words instead of misspelling them (‘esept’ instead of ‘accept’)??

              1. Also, I obviously am too tired to brain because I am saying ‘accept’ as ‘asept’. So I guess I’m going down a long road to needing twice as many typo readers in the future. XD

                1. Spelling’s processing in the brain is closely tied to the way we process language by ear. So yup, some weird homonyms and near-homonyms can show up.

                  1. Doesn’t help that English (US) spelling is seriously irregular. Mr. Webster cleaned up SOME of the UK spelling weirdnesses but left others and added a few oddballs of his own

                    1. I actually love English spelling’s weirdness because of how it becomes a hint at the word origins. Etymology (in English and Spanish) is a hobby of mine, and I really love seeing the hybrid pedigrees of English words in their spellings. 🙂

                    2. Blame the French. And the fact that many of the English pre-Norman conquest were illiterate.

                      The Normans brought French spelling, with all its silent letters, to English.
                      (Example: take any French book that is this thick: |……|
                      take out all the silent letters, and the result will be a book that is this thick: |..|
                      LOLOLOLZZZZ. Ha-Ha-but-somewhat-serious…)

                      The problem with this is, while French spelling is pretty regularized (even with the stupid silent crap), the largely illiterate peoples who it was foist upon weren’t familiar with those rules. Then they threw out the French and cemented the anarchy.

                      The really SAD thing?
                      It would be SUPER EASY to fix… Barely an inconvenience. Dolton Edwards described the methodology for doing it literally 75 years ago.

                      https://www.angelfire.com/va3/timshenk/codes/meihem.html

                    3. I have (only partly jokingly) said that speaking (not understanding!) French is easy:

                      1. Speak English.
                      2. Hold your nose.
                      3. Drop consonants, especially at the ends of words.

                    4. Actually, it’s worse than that. In Early Modern English, a lot of words’ spelling had silent letters added, just to look snazzy and to emphasize that they were Latinate or French, not Anglo-Saxon.

                      For example, dette/det went back to debitus, and changed its spelling to debt.

                      That said, everybody complains about phonetic spelling in Chaucer. It’s too harrrrrd.

                    5. Re: typing different things, sometimes that happens if you’re thinking about two things at once, or listening to someone else talking. Typing is an automatic system that mostly goes from ears or brain directly to the hands, often while the eyes are somewhere else; so the flow of information can be diverted without the entire brain noticing.

                      The advantage is that you can carry on conversations while typing a copy of something, if you are used to it.

                  2. My fingers sometimes type homonyms without consulting my brain. And not the obvious, but the unrelated, like one instead of won. I knew this had gone too far the day I managed to type one’t instead of won’t.

                    1. I sometimes find myself typing one key over and the results are very… incoherent. (I.e., “W” key instead of “Q” or “E” instead of “W” or similar.)

                    2. Patrick: Oh yes… and worse, sometimes BOTH hands off by one…

                      … or what I’ve been doing this week: typing apparently random syllables, or totally different words, instead of whatever I’d intended. This is new and different; my brain must have slipped a cog.

                2. I get migraines. One of the interesting things about them is the prodrome and postdrome (I get to experience my brain breaking in interesting ways without any drugs!): I start having difficulty finding certain words – the lines are down. The concepts I want to express are there, but the words are gone, so I have to find other words to say the same thing. The resulting sentences are (if I’m lucky) very awkward. If unlucky, incoherent. (I believe they call what is going on on a neurological level “cortical spreading depression”, where parts of the brain are shut down and other parts aren’t.

                  One of these days I need to put in the time to really nail down another language that isn’t talking to a computer: It even help with the above: More ways to get from mental pictures to words.

                  1. I get migraines. One of the interesting things about them is the prodrome and postdrome (I get to experience my brain breaking in interesting ways without any drugs!): I start having difficulty finding certain words – the lines are down.


                    Never broken it down this way. But … #metoo

                    Migraines both physical pain, and Visual.

                    I stopped hiding what was going on when a conversation at work went like this: “X called in sick. Has a migraine.” Me. Blink, Blink, wait, what! You can take a sick day for migraines? WTH? I’ve always been told to “suck it up and deal.” (Guess which years were my formative ones. Hint: Short of a fever or physically upchucking, you don’t get to call in sick.) I was in my 50’s. Only my husband and son knew how bad the migraines could be and how incapacitating.

                    I can’t just down prescription pain killers. Or even OTC versions. Sure, they’ll knock down the pain, but they’ll knock me out doing it. When I have the visual version, accompanied by pain or not, I can not tolerate light.

                    1. I don’t think people were really on the right track with what migraines even were until the past 10-20 years or so. Before then they thought it was entirely a vascular disorder. Not so much now.

                      Yeah, I’ve taken sick days. In fact it worries me a little that my coworkers think I’m a drunk or an imbecile at times due to the impairment. The brain melting pain isn’t even the worst part [ref Dali and Hieronymus Bosch]: It’s the inability to *think*. I do Flowers for Algernon in reverse every few weeks!

                      The military told me I was a malingerer and needed to “suck it up and deal” when I was in the Air Force: I was only diagnosed when I got out. Normal pain medication doesn’t actually work for me – it’s actually a litmus test for it being a migraine vs something else. Is asprin working? Y/N. I’ve had good luck with triptans, sumatriptan being a lifesaver – that usually kills the pain and most of the other effects for me within 30 minutes or so.

                      Ditto on the not being able to tolerate light thing. A warning for me that a migraine is coming on is that all my senses get “loud”, and I can’t effectively filter them.

                    2. Wrote software. Could mostly hide the migraines from co-workers, after all I had learned to cope, compensate (whatever). Called hiding behind a computer. Besides mine typically hit at work, not like I was going to drive home with a visual migraine hitting. When working with software clients … easy, don’t answer the phone. If I got asked for, either “I’ll call back”, then send an email, or kept call short and ask for emailed picture shots, even if I had to send instructions on how to do so. Which actually became a signature. Need help? Email got faster more detailed results. Even if you call, you’ll get “I’ll get back to you, what is your email.” Even when worked at USFS or Log Scaling. Not like we were having extensive discussions. Besides when it appeared I wasn’t “feeling well” the guys could credit “that” to something “else”, which, hey, female, not like I was complaining. (If they’d had thought about it, they’d known better. What guy is going to do that?) They didn’t even know I was sick, at work, with 104 F fever + migraine (gee I wonder why?), that got my butt thrown in the hospital that night (Strep Throat, tonsillitis, and dehydration). As already stated … I did not complain. All of these works situations are way different environments that Armed Services. I would have been in the same boat as you were.

                      My husband. Well, when your new wife of just over a year, stands up, then suddenly collapses to the floor in front of you one weekend (where did that 2×4 come from anyway?) … Whatever they gave me at the emergency room took the edge off and I slept the weekend away. Not the first time I’d stood up and been dizzy with the aural effect, that may or may not evolve into a pain migraine. Nor stood up and felt instant pain. First time it happened in front of someone. First time I’d ever collapsed too. We’ve learned to deal (it has been 42 years).

                      Over the years I’ve noticed the effects that when they start happening I just remove myself from the conversation. Some people notice, but most don’t, if that makes sense. Not like I’m physically removing myself, I just quit doing a lot of talking. It isn’t like I’m talking a lot anyway …

                    3. One place I worked with a bunch of other scientists and it was very interesting: About half of them also got migraines! 1. It was a good environment because they understood, and 2. We all joked that it was the plasma physics. We had spent too long delving into things man was not meant to know. 😛

                    4. I find it funny that you have worked in the Air Force despite having migraines, because when I was looking into getting into the Navy (I wasn’t interested at the time in the Armed Forces, I did it for the free flashlight), the Navy recruiter warned me to answer “no” on the “headaches” question, explaining that everyone gets headaches, but what they were really concerned about were things like migraines. Unless I got those, of course, I should answer “no”.

                      I didn’t get migraines at the time, but I wasn’t rejected for those. I was rejected because I have short tendons — my hands and feet can’t bend at 90-degree angles without having to bend fingers (and for my feet — I can only put my heels to the ground because of surgery at the age of 5). I was relieved at the time, but my Navy recruiter was disappointed; he thought I could get into the program, do well in Nuclear Physics, and possibly even become a teacher.

                      I was disappointed later when the same issue kept me from considering the Air Force National Guard as a translator. (My best friend from High School later did just that, though.)

                      I have since often reflected — and this reflection had later been reinforced by my reading of Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers” — how both my life, and the Armed Forces in general, would have been different, had the Navy recruiter said “Hey, look, you have this condition that will keep you away from the physical stuff, but you obviously have a great brain. So here’s the deal: we can let you in on condition that you focus on the mental stuff we want you to do, because we want nuclear physicists and professors, and you want to be a mathematician. If you do well, you’ll go a long way towards your goal, and we’ll get what we want from you. If you can’t hack the mental stuff, though, we’ll discharge you, and you can go on to be a poet, or a mechanic, or whatever it is those people without sufficient imagination go on to be after they discover their lack of imagination!”

                      I find it amusing that “Starship Troopers” has gone on to make the Armed Forces 100% voluntary; however, I cannot help but think that the Armed Forces would be even better, had they adopted the other half of that book, as well: the Armed Forces did their best to make sure that 100% of the people who wanted to contribute, had a pathway for doing so!

                    5. funny that you have worked in the Air Force despite having migraines


                      WP must be being WP. On email chain, your comment showed up in response to mine. I never was in the armed services, just to be clear. Forest Service USFS seasonal work, yes. Air Force or other service, No.

                      Army tried recruiting really hard. They were offering something I couldn’t afford as a civilian (Veterinarian). I might have gone for it, but they had to convince my parents to sign too (I was under age). My parents convinced me otherwise. Parents had a lot of months to get me to come to the correct (their) conclusion. Yes, they did screen my calls. Parents had that ability in ’73 & ’74 (late October birth date). (Note. I’m female, 5’4″, weighed, then, 130#s. Army was not recruiting me for my physical abilities.) Migraines never came up. OTOH migraines weren’t diagnosed until the ’90s, so wouldn’t have been mentioned even though the migraines were happening.

                  2. One of these days I need to put in the time to really nail down another language that isn’t talking to a computer:

                    It not help with the migraines, but it is quite useful in a) acquiring (or,, at least, acquiring an ability to stumble through) numerous other languages and b) communing with many of the Great Thinkers of the Past.
                    ~

              2. Crosswiring in the brain somewhere between how a word sounds and how it is written maybe? I actually do that too sometimes. ‘Of’ instead of ‘have.’ Not spanish- I mean, not that I have noticed. I was raised in the South, by an English teacher. Took me *years* to learn how to speak proper English instead of Southern drawl. And I still can’t shake it when I get stressed.

              3. Oh, THANK YOU. I do that too. It’s kind of ridiculous. I mean the ee for i or the i for ea…..
                I do have an accent. it’s probably Portuguese?
                Or Russian. Or weird. It’s one for those.

                1. It baffles my parents. They don’t do it, and English is their second language. They keep telling me it should be the other way around. XD

                    1. Now that is next-level weird. Language as contagious disease. 😀

                      (Re: collaboration… I don’t see why an anthology’s not possible. Modern indie distributors will allow you to split payments, and formatting is trivial; I can do that part. I just don’t know any authors personally anymore that I could ask. Except you, a bit, now. :, )

                    2. true. We could go Bundle Rabbit. I do. I should pull you into our circus sometime. It’s amazing. We have EVERYTHING.
                      And Inkstain will be doing anthos soon.
                      BTW if you haven’t read it, try Deep Pink. It’s very short, barely a novel, but I think you’d like it.

                    3. mcahogarth: among my semi-telepathic nonhumans, language IS literally contagious. (Along with most of what we’d think of as primary school subjects.)

                    4. My suspicion is that idiosyncratic, personal typos and spelling errors are a window into exactly how one processes language, and specifically how that particular person “hears” things. So if it’s normally about vowels, I would suspect that person is more sensitive to certain vowel sounds than others. (Probably would also work with hearing defects.)

                      It’s possible that if you or Dan put more “importance” on certain sounds, your kids would too. Since I know you have some hearing problems, I wouldn’t be surprised if your kids put more emphasis on sounds that you can hear better and tend to utter more often. But I suspect accents would also affect that, as would things like range/timbre of parental voices, ambient noise from the environment, etc.

                      Probably not a big deal, just part of personal individuality and adaptation. But there’s probably a thesis in it for somebody.

                    5. Um… #1 son and I both have neanderthal ear canals AND mouth conformation. In linguistics both of us found we could make the same sounds, but not the way anyone else made them (so there’s subtle differences.) As for mouth conformation, dentists and paleonthologists get very excited at it.
                      Also, btw, this is how we know Neanderthals had a wicked lisp (LOL)
                      Anyway, I wonder if the ear canals play into it.

                    6. Oh, an interesting thing: neither of the kids picked up even traces of my accent (And yes, traces persist. My host family had a VERY faint Italian ghost accent. It was more the lilt of phrases. And both parents were second generation, didn’t speak Italian. I can no longer pick that stuff up, but when I was younger and heard better I could pick up “accent up to three generations back” and guess the nationality)
                      What do both of them have? Traces of British accent. Which if funny because that’s definitely my UNDER ACCENT in English. I.e. the First English I learned.

                    7. That’s interesting about the Neanderthal mouth and ear conformation. Do you have the “bun” on the back of the skull?

                      I’ve noticed that the tendency to say “warsh” instead of “wash” is inherited, as it pops up in related folks even if they grew up far apart, in regions with otherwise different accents. [Paid attention because my mom hates it and swears no one in her family says it. Nope, they ALL say “warsh” except herself, and I’m pretty sure she trained herself out of it.] Having messed about with trying to determine why — turns out “warsh” requires significantly less effort from the relevant muscles, maybe something to do with a narrower hard palate.

                      There are strange abstract symbols in caves across Europe and Central Asia. Big damn mystery who made them… unless you notice that the range of incidence exactly overlaps the Neanderthal range. IOW, they had written symbols. (And of a purpose not so mysterious. To my eye they look like game tallies.) Turns out most of the major cave art is actually Neanderthal, not Cro-Magnon — when it was properly dated, it proved too old for the latter. Now, explain how it got way down there in the dark if they didn’t also have reliable portable light.

                      Methinks we’re missing a whole lot of their civilization, and it was rather more advanced than is generally credited. My guess is they worked a lot in wood (they made birch glue) which of course has not survived. But archeology is invested in a certain level of primitive, to where that bone flute with its cleanly drilled holes is now dismissed as “holes from animal bites” (by someone who clearly has never seen how a mature hard bone looks after something with teeth that big has chomped it. Hint: it doesn’t puncture, it breaks in half.)

                      I also have a theory that the reason the old Neanderthals are extinct is nothing environmental, but rather because they suffered from pathological altruism, much as commonly do their nearest descendants, and likewise welcomed in those who would destroy them. For certain they disappeared westward until the last known camp, at Gibraltar. We Have Been Warned.

                    8. Yes on the bun.
                      I don’t think so on altruism. I think the neanderthals simply reproduced slower. ANd given that all of us have a ton more of the neanderthal genes than common, I suspect they were ODD.

                    9. I also have a theory that the reason the old Neanderthals are extinct is nothing environmental, but rather because they suffered from pathological altruism

                      When the aliens visited Earth $ years ago their sampling of Cro Magnon and Neanderthal determined the former were too vicious and ultimately too intellectually limited to serve any useful purpose, so they collected all of the pure Neanderthals and transported them to the aliens’ nearby colonies. There they accelerated Neanderthal development, providing advanced scientific training and, in general, “civilized” them to Galactic norms.

                      Having completed their species evolution the Neanderthals will return to Earth shortly.
                      ~

                    10. Actually, I am pretty sure that you can blame “worsh” on Midwesterners from Dayton and Cincinnati. By achieving the perfect Zen balance in the same sentence, between wash and worsh, Washington and Worshington, and then taking over all broadcast media with our accent, we infected the entire US with our way of pronunciation. Only now is our benevolent accent hegemony fading.

                    11. You’re right about the flutes. That conch trumpet with the neat drilled holes, for instance, which turned out to be tuned very nicely. It had been sitting in a French museum for over a hundred years, but it only just now occurred to someone that it was an instrument.

                    12. In my story the aliens rescued viable breeding populations of Sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans from the Toba supereruption 75,000 years ago, then re-introduced their descendants after the ecosystem had recovered enough to support them.

                      The area hadn’t recovered enough to support ALL of them, so substantial populations of all three groups remained on the planet the aliens prepared for them. They’ve been developing independently ever since…

                2. A particular pronunciation of “coin” drives me batty. Conversely, the way I pronounce “pin” and “pen” has Southern types thinking I’m from Philadelphia, and Northern ones thinking I’m from the deep South. Or Britain. *Shrugs*

                3. The fun thing about accents is they generally depends on one’s available sounds.

                  Apparently to generate a convincing Spanish accent, you have to pick one sound for each vowel and stick with it through everything. It doesn’t even have to be the same version of that sound that native Spanish speaks use (and I think there is a vowel shift between regions too).

                  The extra weird thing about coming at Spanish as a native English speaker is, I’ve actually got tons of vowels to use, so I’m somehow accumulation an accent with a mixture of Spanish, Mexican, and Agentinien accents, depending on the word. I gather it is quite colorful.

                  1. At some point I found that, in order to do (for example) a French accent (as when pronouncing a distinctly French term) it helped if I puckered my mouth like a Frenchperson, like Chevalier. The effect may be merely psychological or it may have to do with the shaping of my lips, and mouth.

                    Breathing is different, as well, for certain languages, requiring a greater (or lesser) explosion of air than one’s native tongue. This might be why English speakers tend to describe German and Japanese speakers as barking.
                    ~

                1. Backwards is just a starter kit. My fingers will put all the right letters in there, but in no particular order. And occasionally scattered between a couple words. Couldn’t plan that with a scrabble board…

              4. Those of us who deliberately mangle words, because it tickles our funny bone, are no help at all.

                1. You are aware that Norm Crosby passed away last November?

                  Speaking of word manglers …
                  ~

          1. Lord deliver us from grocer’s apostrophe’s

            I loved the part in Going Postal where the greengrocer spoke with grocer’s apostrophes: “Be with you in jus’t one moment, s’ir, I’m ju’st …”

          2. If I didn’t know better I would think you loved me for my sharp eye and sharper red pen rather than for my sparkling personality.

              1. Before we met I lived in rural Illinois and while an avid reader of just about any written words but mostly SF&F I had no experience with cons and fandom. Then I found Baen and Jim and then finally you. Full disclosure, I used to beta read for Ringo before I was introduced to your stuff. Good man, but not a patch on my dear fannish niece.
                Sad what Baen has become since we lost Jim. I know Toni tries, but while an excellent editor her management and people skills are somewhat deficient. As is her ability to recognize and deal with skunks in her own back of the house.

          1. I have been tempted to go into some grocery store where I am unknown and buy a half dozen eggs, but before getting to the register, opening the carton and marking them:

            1 2 3
            5 6 7

            and see how long it takes to work things out. But I also don’t want to annoy a checker who likely has enough troubles.

  1. The number of readers who are shocked that I am conservative because “gays exist and are allowed to be happy” or “found family is a theme” or “there is multiculturalism and that’s okay” or (most egregious) “they are COMPASSIONATE” is appalling. The bigotry is real, and has been for decades, from the moment I wrote an alien race with three sexes and people accused me of misogyny, only to find out I was female and then doubledown by saying it was, naturally, *internalized* misogyny.

    I am so tired of it. I am getting angry. No one likes me when I’m angry, particularly me.

      1. I am one of those people who is kind and reasonable for a long time because when I finally get angry, I salt the earth. I admire people who can be angry and ride that anger productively. My anger is never productive, it is apocalyptically destructive. :,

          1. Yep. They say patience is a virtue, but IMHO, patience at accepting a crap sandwich isn’t a virtue, and I’ve been rotten at submission. That fourth box is looking attractive.

              1. My patience might be seen as a virtue to the @#$%^&*(O) who is mouthing such drivel.

              2. I love that movie. It’s stupid fun, but it knows it’s stupid fun and doesn’t try pretend otherwise.

                  1. Scene from the end of “The Mummy” (1999). The adventurers are under assault by zombie minions of the titular mummy. To kill him, they need to learn his weakness off a hieroglyphic book. (Just roll with it.)

                    Johnathan, (John Hannah) prat of a brother: “Hurry up, Evie!”
                    Evie, (Rachel Weisz) sexy bookworm reading the hieroglyphics: “Patience is a virtue.”
                    Rick, (Brendan Frasier) rugged adventurer seeing the horde of zombies running at them: “Not now, it isn’t!”

        1. That seems to be a common feature among those of us Odds. Long fuse. And anger does not dial up, it’s a switch between “polite and kind” and “kill all the things.” The latter is not a pleasant place to be. For anybody.

          1. Characteristic of those who know they can’t win on numbers.

            You stand it until you can’t, and then you fix it, fast.

          2. The enemy doesn’t understand. People who have to regulate their emotions because that’s who they are have to look at things and make conscious decisions. We don’t just suddenly burst and start killing things.

            “Is is time to destroy this or that?” I ask myself. “Not yet. Hold. Not yet.”

            “Yes” is going to show up one of these days. It’s a decision, not a failing.

            1. There is no civilization without the regulation of emotion. If you push people too far, there is capitulation or there is counterattack, but what there isn’t, is civilization.

              1. And we have people protesting the existence of police who, on discovering that a victim is not so helpless as they thought — scream for the police.

                They are shocked to discover there are limits.

            2. That is soooooo true.
              Okay, I’m so odd that I did a pro-con chart just to figure out if I should propose or not.
              Married for 35 years, so I guess it worked.

              1. Back in 1986 in a senior electrical engineering class on ethics, we were assigned the writing of…an objective marriage proposal. No kidding.

                1. TBH I did the same with dating my husband.

                  Biggest con was that I might lose him as a friend– and I realized that if that happened…we weren’t the friends I’d thought we were.

        2. If I’m acting irritated, I am. If I go cold, it’s a Bad Sign. If I go past cold, well, it can become institutional legend.

          The day I managed to clear an airport hallway AND the pilots’ lounge as I departed the building so I that wouldn’t physically damage someone might have been one of those moments. The guys took one look at me and dang near teleported out of my path.

          1. If I’m acting irritated, that’s my default mode. If I get seriously annoyed … well, let’s just acknowledge that more than one person has remarked on a resemblance to a certain member of the Manson family.
            ~

        3. Ya. I’ll admit I wear a mask cuz I don’t feel like confrontation. I know what I’m like when I snap.

          1. That’s where I am — and having been on the other side of the cash register for a very long time, I really don’t want to snap at someone getting paid crap and who doesn’t want to enforce the damn rule anyway.

        4. Welcome to the berserker club. Several females here are very much like that. In my case it takes too much energy to get that mad although I’ve been close after the elections.

      1. Certain forms of anger are addicting. I hate to say it, but it’s true. These are the kinds of anger that essentially shut down the rational part of the brain and cause you to go for the throat without thinking about why exactly you’re going for the throat. That sort of thing can be useful in self-defense. But it can be a problem if it gets out too early into the confrontation.

    1. I mean, my first trilogy had a gender-shifting elf. Made sense since fair boy/dark lady. It amused me for Shakespeare, but it went into an exploration of the dual nature of all of us, because I’m not right in the head.
      HOWEVER they think the reason I’m not a leftist is that I’m “shocked” by their puerile attempts to paint everything in shit….

      1. Hah, I have that one queued up for after the shifter series. (I am on Noah’s Boy.)

        My exhaustion here, also, is that I was thinking about gender issues before a lot of the ‘genderqueer’ people were born and thought they invented it. “No, sorry. I went through the stuff you did, and asked the questions you did, and drew a different conclusion. Maybe you should learn from that, instead of thinking you need to come up with new, broken answers.”

        (Sorry, that came out in AngryVoice. -_- )

        1. That series is a bit peculiar, because I got so into the language of the time that it’s hard for ME to read for long periods of time. I went full autistic geek on it…
          On the other: yeah, well. Same.

          1. That’s actually an idea I had for a trans character in an MHI type world. College student, large male-bodied person who notes that someone (something) is preying on the homeless and people who wouldn’t be missed. Meets up with a shifter person of some sort who teaches him/her how to do the same thing. Eventually decides to keep his male body as a human but use a female body as a were. Both ways he can be a protector type. And shape changing doesn’t change who he is. Who he is is a protector. Always. (But being a large male human is one of the best ways to do that. Unless he’s being sneaky.)

            1. Hmmmm … similar but different idea: do not reveal the shifter nature until late in book. Write the male ad female persona as the same character without revealing that nature. How would readers react to female character expressing “male” views and personality (directness, geared to fixing problems rather than sharing feelings about them, etc.)? How would they react to a “male” who displays empathy, sympathy for female perspectives, ad so on?

              I cannot anticipate the problems of writer discipline such a character(s) might require, but it would seem an interesting exercise in readers’ perception.
              ~

          2. Perhaps the endpoint of Wokism is that people aren’t *allowed* to be a single gender because discrimination. So… Would the individual have to have both genitals? Seems like that would get a bit complicated. Or maybe “partners” would have to role a dice to determine who was what gender, and then they would each shift.

            As a total aside, I have to confess to having developed an allergy to the term “partner”. I know it’s convenient for some indeterminate relationships, but I much prefer “husband” or “wife” if one of those applies. The odd part is that I mostly see white college educated liberals using it. Seems like the gays and lesbians that I run into tend to prefer husband/wife.

            1. A friend used to have a small business, about eight or ten employees. He once remarked that 75% of his personnel problems would go away if he could have them all neutered at hiring…

    2. “The number of readers who are shocked that I am conservative because “gays exist and are allowed to be happy” or “found family is a theme” or “there is multiculturalism and that’s okay” or (most egregious) “they are COMPASSIONATE” is appalling.”

      I’m not an author – well, I’m dipping my toe back into writing for the first time in years, but that hardly counts – but this, exactly. I’m tolerant and fairly pleasant in day to day conversation, and clearly at least a little Odd, and because of this, I’ve had people be shocked and disappointed when they find out I disagree with the leftist line. Not even that I’m a rightist, but that I don’t agree with the prevailing orthodoxy 100%. Like, I’ve literally had people say they expected better of me. You hit the nail on the head: it’s absolutely appalling.

      1. Not only appalling that they think it, but that they miss that *they* are *far* more intolerant, unpleasant, and orthodox than most of us are. And often, where you find super-intolerant people on our side, they’re there because they’ve been pushed into a corner and perceive no choice but to fight their way out of it.

        1. Yep. The amount of stereotyping, willful ignorance, and intolerance they display goes right over the heads of most of them. (The useful idiots, anyway. The nastier ones know exactly what they’re doing.)

          1. I have a conversation that I’ve composed in my head (what?? doesn’t everybody?) in which I explain to someone that the reason that I’m not a leftist (or a Democrat) is that I find their bigotry, prejudice and totalitarian inclinations intolerable. Then I picture heads exploding.

            1. I remind them that I am old enough to remember Mao’s struggle sessions and that the ones now happening here are utterly un-American and are affronts to not only freedom but to human dignity.

              1. And then there are the times when our years of experience are mistaken as faulty memories and misplaced touchiness.

            2. Nah. I talk out loud, sometimes playing with imaginary parts in air. While it can get me in trouble it works.

      2. “I’m not an author – well, I’m dipping my toe back into writing for the first time in years, but that hardly counts…”

        Toe water is “not nothing.” I say go for it, and let us read your work when you’re not even close to ready.

          1. Take the writing nudge that comes up on the weekends sometime. Writing is a skill, and skills need practice to get better. You can also grab some eyeballs on Royal Road and a few other sites, but be warned, some places tend to a certain audience. Forex, scribblehub and storiesonline tend towards just plain smut and anime style smut respectively.

            Royal Road tends towards flavors of LitRPG, but is tolerant towards other genres. Heck, I’ve got one on RR that gets steady reads (sci-fi, old school style). The nice thing about RR for writers is you can get constructive feedback, and often enough it’s useful and not shaetposting. Until you get on trending, that is (trending is troll bait on RR).

            Everyone starts somewhere. I got nudged into writing because at the time there were books being published that were so bad, I said to myself “I can do better than that!” So then I had to go and try. And it was bad. But I got better. Ish.

            Give it a shot, if that’s what you want to do. Creating is good for creative types. Keeps the brain healthy, I think.

      3. Ah, but you see evidence is not to contradict what We Know To Be True. So it is impossible for someone being a decent person to reflect well on the Ungood Ideology. It can only be that you were a secret villain despite pretending to be decent.

        TL;DR: Don’t believe the lying eyes; that’s probably just the internalized misogyny or something.

        1. “It can only be that you were a secret villain despite pretending to be decent.”

          Precisely.

          (Sometimes, I really wish I were as dangerous and devious as the left thinks I am.)

          1. If they *really* believed folks like us were as dangerous and devious as we’ve been often accused of… Why they heck aren’t they more afraid of doing the things they are doing now? There is never a point when the left tries to de-escalate.

            1. Honestly, their ideology is so based on lies and nonsense that some of them don’t even seem to realize this. They don’t think it through that far because their brains seem to just… stop.

              1. Occasionally someone will lay out a What If scenario to one of them.

                The reactions are enlightening to say the least. These are the sorts who can’t fathom operating outside the rules, not just “criminal according to the rules”. So describing how one might — say — snipe a government official and get away with it (or not care if caught) breaks their brain.

                1. I have occasionally reminded people that back when I was in college, one favorite lunchtime pastime in the Theological Society common room was to work out how to commit a perfect murder. Usually brought on by reading in that day’s Irish Times about something really stupid someone had been caught for. (Or something stupid in a mystery someone had just read or watched.)

              2. Consider how many over the last year who wanted to buy firearms for self protection in various Democratic People’s Republics. They went to the gun shops fully expecting to be able to pick up a full semiautomatic Glock AR-15 ghost machine gun with the shoulder thing that goes up with less regulation than a book or teddy bear. Then, they found out that all those laws they voted for and loudly advocated for- waiting periods, registration, mandatory training, capacity bans, style bans, and so on- all those laws are actually in effect, and actually apply to them!
                Even though they were of the Good People, they still had to go through all the red tape. Even though they needed something to defend themselves Right Now, they still had to wait.

                They haven’t thought things through, and they haven’t looked into the logic of what they loudly bleat on social media.

                1. Some even found out that they were the people who were to be prevented from having guns.

                2. Yes, exactly. Then again, these are the same people who, in the name of the marginalized, support censorship and mob justice. Because if there’s one thing censors and angry mobs are known for, it’s their love and toleration of misfits.

                3. People don’t want specific, actionable policy prescriptions and laws, and they especially don’t want those things to apply to THEM. They just want the Bad Things to stop. They want kids to be safe in neighborhoods and schools, but they don’t want to have to slow down when driving in a subdivision, or go through a metal detector or check-in at the admin office. They want gun violence and crime to stop, but they don’t want people being hassled and stopped for broken tail lights and behavior indicative of criminality. They want “common sense gun control” and have no idea what that even IS, or what it would look like. Just “the bad guys shouldn’t have guns”. Okay, who are the bad guys and how do you know?

                  They want black&white “there should be a law”, not “damn, this law applies to me, and I should keep my porch light from shining into my neighbor’s backyard.”

              3. I think they really do. Carl Jung postulated a feminine nature within every man and a masculine nature within every woman, and that part of our life’s work is to integrate them into our larger selves.
                An unintegrated feminine nature (anima) comes out as emotionalism, cattiness, petty spite, etc. An unintegrated masculine nature (animus) comes out in flat, unarguable opinions. Jung claimed a lot of intellectual women are possessed by their animus and it made them very difficult to treat. They know what they know, and if you question one of their (irrational but they don’t realize it) opinions they will snap out an equally irrational and unarguable retort, and generally not hear what you’re saying at all.
                I think there’s a lot of that going around. And we’d all be better off if more people understood Jungian psychology.

                1. Jung has some very sensible observations, but they are buried in an extremely stupid mythos/legendarium (IIRC) that created a lot of very stupid fiction (not Sarah’s, but lots of it). So yeah, I hold a grudge.

                  See also Freud, except Freud was personally more creepy and did more damage to the world.

                  Yes, I bear lots of grudges against dead people I never met. Why do you ask?

                  1. On Professor Freud

                    by G. K. Chesterton

                    The ignorant pronounce it Frood,
                    To cavil or applaud.
                    The well-informed pronounce it Froyd,
                    But I pronounce it Fraud.

                  2. I actually like his archetypes. It got me through the critical writing of English Lit. I convinced my professor that I would write better papers using Jung’s psychological theories than Freud’s. Made the rest of my time getting the degree more bearable.

                    1. Jung’s emphasis on the power of story is very useful. Some of his ideas about how we can shape story and vice versa have helped people a great deal (along with therapists who know how to tailor Jung’s ideas.) Freud leaves me cold, although right now his “conflict between Eros and Thanatos” in society seems to have a little merit as a framework. Broken clock and all that.

                  3. Peterson makes the point that everything Freud was right about is seen as just “how things are”, so the only positions he gets to keep credit for are his errors.

      4. Like, I’ve literally had people say they expected better of me.

        AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!! I have had people say that and similar to me when I disagree. People I know in real life! GAH! I want to reach through the screen and freaking STRANGLE them! “I can’t believe we went to the same college…you’re sounding crazy right now.” “I sure hope that’s not what you teach your students!” “You clearly don’t really understand statistics”….coupled with the dismayed, yet condescending attitude.

        And then they go and spout something that’s pure nonsense. I simply stare. It is appalling.

        1. It is. And it’s so condescending, on top of everything else. Like, you’re not my mom, you don’t get to pull the “I’m not mad, I’m disappointed” card.

          1. Indeed. I would never imagine being so bold as to impose my “expectations” on anyone I am not related to … not that those to whom I’m related would tolerate such presumption.
            ~

        2. Some responses:
          “I can’t believe we went to the same college…you’re sounding crazy right now.” “That’s because you don’t understand what I’m saying. I’ll try to speak more slowly.”

          “I sure hope that’s not what you teach your students!” “Why, do you want them to be smug in their ignorance like you are?”

          “You clearly don’t really understand statistics” “I’m sorry dear, but ‘statistics’ doesn’t mean, ‘whatever you believe.’ It’s a real thing. Look it up.”

            1. I’ve had great results telling leftist people that my views are closer to those of an anarchist. Leftists find that somewhat radical and as they prize their own self identified ‘radical” status, they are more willing to listen. Views favoring free speech, liberty and the smallest feasible government should at least get a hearing. Core American values now seem very radical in comparison to left wing views

          1. Yep, and it’s annoying when someone who doesn’t do 1/100th of the real things you do to actually help people goes on to lecture you about your moral inferiority, ‘uncaring’ attitude, and general lack of social credit- even if you are risking Covid to give food to homeless people at your church. Of course they are one of the Caring Elect, because they vote Democrat and changed their profile pic to the Cause of teh Moment.

            1. But they believe, with every fiber of their being, that the State should be providing for all needs, so that there is no need for “charity.” And if you don’t believe that you are “selfish.” To them, paying your taxes should give you a warm feeling of knowing you have done your part and contributed to the general welfare.

              1. This is so true. The State/Government is the one responsible for all charity. They can do nothing at all for anyone, yet feel good because “the needy” are being cared for. It is such a sloughing off of any sort of individual responsibility, it is simply mind-boggling.

                1. There was a study that showed that some people were more likely to do someone dirty if they had just made a monetary donation to a Worthy Cause. Also stuff like being more likely to litter if they had just given money to The Environment.

                  So yeah, sometimes and for some people, the illusion of getting rid of personal responsibility is the whole point.

                    1. and spiffy new-style indulgences! None of this need to repent and so to resolve to stop!

                  1. Fellow I knew who used to work at a hardware store said the worst time was Sunday after church let out as all too many of the Absolved seemed to be doing their dam- utmost to build up the list for next week’s purge.

                2. It is stealing virtue, keeping you from being your highest self. You don’t even have to be religious to understand the depths of this depravity, this theft of personal development.

                  Especially coupled with cries of “democracy” and “the will of the people.” Skinsuiting virtues, so that actual virtues (temperance, prudence, charity) become sins.

                3. Like the Winterhilfswerk. After all, you can’t have serious stuff outside the state.

                  (Nazi era political cartoon: Poster on the wall proclaiming, “No one shall go hungry! No one shall be cold!” Two men looking at it. Captain reading, “You mean we can’t even do that?”

                4. It ain’t charity if it is owed you – and if somebody owes you better bet you’ll want to collect – with interest.

                  Fundamentally different perspective from charity.
                  ~

      5. “I’ve literally had people say they expected better of me…”

        To which I usually reply, “Happy I could disappoint you.”

    3. Yes, because tax policy and natural rights depends on your plumbing and where you stick it. So glad found better hobbies

  2. > 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.

    “You’re doing it wrong.”

    The wrong kind of gay is just as evil as wearing pointy hats while dragging Real Gays behind your pickup truck with a rope. You can’t half-way conform; only absolute conformity is allowed.

    And *everything* must be viewed through the Officially Approved Race Filter now. Even milk and pancakes have to pass racial scrutiny now. You can’t just ignore someone’s race; that’s trying to cancel their diversity, and that makes you racist.

      1. “Though liberals do a great deal of talking about hearing other points of view, it sometimes shocks them to learn that there are other points of view.”

        William F. Buckley, Jr.

          1. But it’s the right that believes in stereotyping, supposedly, even though it’s the left that demands that people live out stereotypes — or else.

    1. Remember Buffy? They did a lot of stuff that NO OTHER TV show had done. Same with original Trek.
      In Buffy Willow went Gay. They didn’t harp on it, she just transitioned to Gay and nobody had a problem, except the werewolf boyfriend but can you really blame him? Tough way to find out. It was just no big deal. The character was gay, the stories went on . There was none of this in the Woke TV, that the character being GAY is SO IMPORTANT and everyone MUST come to terms with it, BS.
      Most of the SF that I have read was the same way, the character is gay, no one really cares. There is no reason to unless the Gay will not take NO for an answer. I don’t remember any character doing that. People put Gays into their stories but don’t make them BAD GUYS or ARSEOLES, if they did that, we might think they were human.

      1. I had SERIOUS issues with “Suddenly Willow is gay” SERIOUS issues.
        Why? Well, “all awkward geek girls are gay” has been the assumption forever, and this pushed it to 11.
        GRRRRR.

        1. I’ve had amazingly good luck pointing out to people how often the token gay girl thing is an excuse for…well, barely legal girls going at it because that’s the producer’s kink.

          As opposed to it having anything to do with the characters.

          1. that’s the producer’s kink.

            Given what is coming out now about Joss Whedon, you probably have captured the whole and complete truth of it.

            1. And empirically from many years of examples, reinforced most recently by the “Joss is never allowed to be alone with the minor actress” stories, my advice for advice to any daughters out there is “Never, not ever, should you trust any self-professed ‘Male Feminist’.”

        2. This! It’s like the little quiet boy in Stranger Things. He hasn’t reached the point where he’s interested in girls and is frustrated that all his friends are only interested in kissing, so he MUST be gay! I HATE those types of stereotypes.

        3. These days it seems that the “awkward geek girls” are expected to be transgender.

            1. That one worries me a lot.

              My parents were unusual people. You know how, statistically, men score better in math, and women score better in communication? My parents were the reverse of that. Mom was the math and reasoning expert, while Dad was the communicator.

              I suspect these days she would have been pushed to transition, and he would have been pushed to be gay, and both of them would have ended up bitter and miserable had the pushes succeeded.

                1. I certainly hope so. But I also see a lot of them getting sucked into the meat grinder too.

                  All we can do is try to teach and save the ones we can.

              1. Uh. Mine too. Also mom was the enforcer, dad the consoler.
                Dan and I have the same social pattern, but not …. We’re both actually naturally math inclined, but I’m digit dyslexic, so I’m the better communicator because I had to be good at something.
                Both boys are math inclined (yes, the risk for autism is sky high in this family) but older one is better communicator.

                1. I’d been operating under that theory too, but I ran into a study recently that at least one of the types of autism may be traced to an error in the mother’s immune system during pregnancy causing it to attack part of the fetal brain causing the damage. I think it only accounted for around 13% of cases, but it did sound like they were about to prevent it from happing.

                  It’s early, and was only a single study, but the implication is that it may not be related to the mechanisms of hyper introversion at all, but rather a different set of mechanisms we can identify and fix, at some point in the future.

                  I’m not sure that actually helps, but it may not be related to the productive parts of being an odd at all.

                  On the other hand, it could also be that one becomes an odd by having that part of our brain damaged, and having sufficient creativity to cobble together enough work-arounds to survive.

                  This is also why I suspect the assumption that the Doomsday hypothesis is based on is probably not true: while the humans that exist now are random, the set of all probable humans that exist at any point in time is not. The me that is me could not have come to exist in a time prior to this one, nor could the me that I am be created again in the future, even presuming one started from the same genetic template.

                  A hundred years from now producing a kid with things we take for granted will be like intentionally giving your kid vitamin deficiencies would be now.

                  1. Well, I am definitely brain damaged by circumstances during pregnancy and birth.
                    Also a couple of childhood issues.
                    Or as son puts it “Mom, you’re retarded, but you do very well with what you have.”

                    1. Brain damaged during birth we may be, but d*mmit we survived, and didn’t turn into drooling idiots like we were supposed to. “Trust the science” my arse. We don’t know as much as is commonly thought about the brain, and we are still earning new things today. At least, as long as the ones doing the studying are actual scientists, and not victims of the woke (and thus unable to do actual science).

              2. I do wonder about that, also – my parents were … eccentric. That’s the word. Eccentric, and brilliant in their own ways. Dad was the gifted science geek, yet also a very confident social butterfly. He was the one who made all their friends, especially in retirement. Mom was the more reserved; a scientist herself, but not as brilliant as Dad.

                1. Dad is — still — a poet. I don’t know if he still meets with his …. imagine a greek satire. Dinner and drinks group, with LONG poetry written to be recited by one or more of the members at each meeting.
                  Honestly, it’s keeping alive the oldest European traditions.
                  It’s also insane and metal and amazing.

                  1. Symposium. Yup, some people still do it. (And to be fair, lots of literary cultures around the world still do it. Food and alcohol make people better-disposed toward poetry, I guess!)

                    1. Food and alcohol make people more well-disposed to just about anything, particularly other people.

              1. So the football team told the guy taking ballet. He told them:

                “So, you hang around a locker room with a bunch of sweaty guys in jockstraps, while I’m in a studio with a lot of pretty girls in leotards, and you call me a fag?”

              2. Or the guy who would rather look at a female behind, rather than a male one, for 50+ levels of a video game is clearly homosexual.

                1. There’s a reason “MMORPG” used to have the alternate meaning: Many Men Online Roleplaying Girls. *chuckle* All those dudes were *clearly* gay, every one of them. And all the boys that played Tomb Raider, yup, gay.

                  It’s almost as if the machine is designed to return only one output, no matter what is input from the user side.

                  1. My husband and I had a lot of fun– because World of Warcraft had such unappealing male models, we were both playing female characters. But folks knew we were a married couple, we were expecting the Princess.

                    It was only when he logged in alone and explained I wasn’t on because I was in the hospital with the new baby that we found out many of them had assumed that the one who knows colors beyond a basic color-wheel was a female, and the one that knew how to do basic car work and grew up on a ranch was male…..

                  2. >> “There’s a reason “MMORPG” used to have the alternate meaning: Many Men Online Roleplaying Girls.”

                    G.I.R.L.: Guy In Real Life.

        4. In Buffy they foreshadowed Willow become Gay when the had the “Willow” from the other dimension.
          Also Willow had a Werewolf boy friend. She only went Gay because of Tara. Really Willow was Bi, she loved certain people not sexes.

          “Geek Girls are Gay” is OLD. It changed to “Girl Soccer players and other athletes are Gay”. I see where you are coming from. There is a point but who else could they have changed?? Zander??? Not a chance.

          But I see your point.

            1. Whedon totally changed Willow’s reasons and methods for living, without adequate explanation, just like he never really dealt with other things important to her life — like her Jewishness, which would have been logical to explore and would have provided interesting story seeds.

              Whedon created very interesting puppets with good dialogue, but he only treated them as full characters when he could bother himself to do it. That’s also why the plotting of the series was only sometimes satisfying.

        5. It never made much sense to me. I just figured she was a token to appease Hollywood culture.

            1. I suspect that Whedon _wanted_ to make Buffy the lesbian or bisexual, possibly with Willow and possibly not; but he _knew_ that wouldn’t work in the TV world. And even he didn’t want to contradict his storyline that badly.

              But there was an established place for “the gay best friend,” and so he turned Willow into that and created Tara so that he could have his kink. (I mean, there were plenty of shows with gay men, but not that many with gay couples, much less ones established immediately.)

      2. Here’s how sexist, homophobic Heinlein dealt with it:

        [two technicians who didn’t know each other, during a difficult shift wearing environment suits that made it impossible to determine gender, have made an assignation anyway. They are now finding out what they commited to:]

        > The Master Chief Tech looked up from the hearth rug. “Oh, there you are! You’re male! I’m surprised. But pleased.”
        >
        > “And you’re female. And I am very pleased.”

        — RAH, “Time Enough for Love”, 1973

    2. People my husband has known and liked for decades have pulled this crap on him. He’s blocked a lot of people’s comments on Facebook now.
      Pure emotional manipulation. Done as often as not by males.

        1. It’s not their testies that are non-functional, it’s their spines. They’ve got the hormones but not the willpower to harness them to decent use.

          1. That too, tho samplings have shown that low testosterone is a thing among that type… it’s also what causes that openmouthed soyboy gape-grin. And low-T follows from low status. (See Gad Saad’s research on that) Which they most certainly suffer from.

    3. As noted below, the truth of that incident was “Don’t steal drugs from your boyfriend the dope dealer, and he won’t drag you behind his pickup truck.”

      And it faded out of the news as soon as the facts arrived, but it survives as that anti-redneck meme.

  3. That’s what I find myself saying more and more lately: I have nowhere else to go. There’s nowhere else in the world that I could be myself. Most of the left could go just about anywhere in the world and step right into a socialist system minus those pesky first and second amendments and theoretically they’d be sitting in high cotton. Yet they’re obsessed with destroying the only home I have. It’s crazy-making, being cornered and outnumbered like this. But it does help to have a place like this to visit and get a reminder that we might actually pull through.

    1. We are not outnumbered though. We are *isolated*. And they’re the ones convincing us that we’re alone, and they *have to* because they know if we realize that *we* outnumber *them*, they will have no power over us anymore.

      It’s why I’m here, because several of my friends said ‘you should go over there, there are friends there, you will be among friends.’ And I thought ‘this is when we need to hang together, so I should go meet some people and strengthen some new social bonds.’

      You are not alone! And not outnumbered! Don’t believe their lies!

      1. Exactly. It’s not that we are rare, it’s that we’re quiet. Here in east Tennessee (and Appalachia generally), the standard attitude is “what I do is none of your business so long as I’m not hurting anyone, and what you do is none of mine.” But try to force us to comply with your whims and you’ll see what the “volunteer” nickname for Tennesseans is all about…

        1. Same as in Texas, too. Quiet, mind our own business, have no interest in minding other peoples … but try throwing your weight around, and it’s “Molon Labe” time.

          1. “T” for Texas, “T” for Tennessee… The relationship is ancient–Sam Houston was our governor before he was yours, and David Crockett brought a band down to the Alamo during that unpleasantness…

          2. The battle of Athens happened just a few miles down the road from here, and most folks I know are proud that it was our boys who did it.

            1. ‘I am an introvert. I am over here, quietly minding my own business. Not harming you and yours. Not bothering anyone at all. Just doing my own thing, alone, and happy. I am not sorry if that offends you. I do not care what you think. I do not care what you do. As long as it harms no other but you and consenting adults. Leave people like me alone, and I will have no reason to become interested in your business.

              But consider. I am an introvert. You have no idea what I do, what I am capable of.

              Do not make me instruct you on what I am capable of. It will not end well. For you.’

          1. I am introvert. For your own well-being, do not give me a reason to roar.

      2. Hey, Ing, listen to MCA.
        Also. We do outnumber them. Massively. In America. I’m not sure about the rest of the world. I can explain why, but I have a comic script to finish, and younger son breathing down my neck, and sending me albatrosses to stare at me. Maybe another day.

        1. Just shoot the albatross. That always ends well, or so I’ve heard.

          Use a crossbow, if one is available.

          1. In the Director’s Cut, the albatross shoots first!

            … I’ll show myself out.

        2. “What flavor Albatross?”
          “Bloody dead seabird flavor, Albatross!!!”

      3. If they were the majority they wouldn’t need to be so loud and abusive. But perhaps they enjoy that, so need does not enter into it?

        On a different topic, having finally figured for an author of some achievement (I can only guess you entered the field during the couple decades the Grey Goosters had drive me away I checked Amazon and learned you’ve quite a trail of books. Is there one, or perhaps two, you would recommend as a good entry point for your oeuvre? I am quite broad in my reading tolerance, asking only credible characters and reasonable plot to be entertained (entertained, not lectured, please!)

        I’ve read broadly in SF through the Seventies and will read books for all ages. I will eve read books with human main characters, although if you’ve written one with a wallaby lead I would naturally want that — I really cannot understand the dearth of wallaby main characters, we’re so adorable, charming, and hoppy
        ~

        1. I have not done a wallaby lead, though now I kind of want to, lol 🙂

          I don’t want to overadvertise on Sarah’s comment section because politeness but my website’s main page at mcahogarth.org has a ‘where do I start’ recommendation, and my writing page describes all my various series including the weirdo ones with only alien leads.

            1. That is probably a bad idea, given the tendency of wallabies to be shiftless (by which I DO NOT mean we run around sans shift … although most of us do, now I think on it.)
              ~

          1. Oh dear, never, ever, let a wallaby lead! We’re prone to queer senses of humour and are likely to lead you astray just out of curiosity as to how you’ll handle it. Very untrustworthy critters, wallabies are, and especially susceptible to misinterpreting the simplest statements.

            Much, much better to write books about accountants (my professed profession), nice, sedate, practical accountants. Look how well it worked for Larry Correia!

            Thanks for the advice – I’ve flagged a PPB at Amazon and will buy it as soon as my credit card balance returns to customary health sometime later this month.
            ~

            1. “Oh dear, never, ever, let a wallaby lead!”

              I thought you didn’t let a wallaby lead because they had two left feet?

                1. You want to be careful drinking beer with mythical creatures; I am reliably advised the centaurs will not hold.
                  ~

              1. Two right! Because I am, after all, a conservative.

                Back when I was in uniform they told me “Staying in step is easy – just put your left foot down with every beat of the bass drum.”

                To which I replied, “With every What?”
                ~

          2. To Ms. Hogarth, Hoyt, and other authors: Write fasterer so I can hand you $$$. 😛

            1. I need to stop falling in bottomless depressions. Was talking to Dan about that. There’s a chance we HAVE to stay here till fall — and the money we counted on for downpayment might be delayed, too.
              So I need a field-expedient craft room for weekends. So I use different side of my brain.

              1. Sorry to hear about your depression. I’ve been having moods this year myself.

                And sorry to hear about being stuck. Good luck with your move, wherever you decide.

          3. I don’t want to overadvertise on Sarah’s comment section because politeness …

            But it is, of course, different when asked.

            So long as you aren’t touting your books in every comment posted you are in compliance with site practices. Mentioning one when appropriate – such as, on the occasion conversation devolves into a discussion of 18th Century whaling procedures, dropping that you’re the author of Moby Dick – is entirely acceptable when kept within reason.*

            Please do take advantage f the Sunday promo posts; I believe the standard there is one book (albeit there might be exceptions for trilogies and similar bulk), every Sunday. Offering discounts on promoted books is not required nor is it discouraged.

            READERS are reminded that it is ENTIRELY appropriate to extend thanks for promoted works by posting REVIEWS at Amazon, preferably with lots of stars but certainly with cogent and insightful comments. “I REALLY Loved this book!” is fine and dandy but less informative to the prospective buyer than, say, “This book will make music lovers out of smokers, and smokers out of music lovers.”**

            *”Within reason” – rarely are two simple words granted so much ill-definition nor such broad latitude of interpretation.

            **C’mon – don’t tell me you do not recognize that reference to one of 1939’s best-loved films?
            ~

            1. “So long as you aren’t touting your books in every comment posted you are in compliance with site practices.”
              THIS.
              Also, young lady! Send me stuff at least every other week for promo. back list is okay.

            2. I have an allergy to wandering into other people’s spaces and talking about myself, mostly. But your point is taken, and I will mention when appropriate. 🙂

              I am mostly here to connect with other sane human beings. I feel like I lost a big chunk of those over the past 10 years or so, and the fall-off in the past four months has been extreme. Like watching most of my social network severed. :/

              1. “I am mostly here to connect with other sane human beings. I feel like I lost a big chunk of those over the past 10 years or so, and the fall-off in the past four months has been extreme. Like watching most of my social network severed.”

                All obvious jokes about sanity aside, I’m with you!

              2. >> “I am mostly here to connect with other sane human beings.”

                You’re not alone. I’ve never actually read any of Sarah’s books despite being here for a few years now. I just found the place via Instapundit and ended up hanging around for the community she’s built.

                Also: Isn’t it amusing that a group of people who identify as various animals and mythical beings qualify as the sane ones? 😉

                1. …Okay, I also stick around for Sarah’s political rants. But don’t tell Sarah that, it might go to her head. 😉

                2. Isn’t it amusing that a group of people who identify as various animals and mythical beings qualify as the sane ones?

                  Or terrifying. Well, worrisome anyway. ♉

                  1. Not at all worrisome.

                    Not compared to the various animals identifying as people (and performing a damned sight better on the Turing Test than the current president.)
                    ~

                  1. Nothing against you, Sarah. I just don’t read books for entertainment much anymore. I used to devour Scifi and fantasy books as a kid, but the internet and I grew up together and now my tastes run more towards webcomics, let’s plays and blogs. I probably still read as much or more as I did then if you go by word-count, but I’m drawn to different formats these days.

            3. Indeed. A review saying “I loved this book!!!” with a 5 star rating is satisfactory, like a helping of flavorless calorie-free ice cream is. For the love of Bog, say why you loved the book. Give a compliment to something in the book that you loved, especially. Put in a bit as to how you found it meaningful — some evidence that you actually read the thing from cover to cover. Even a three or two star review with some evidence that the book was actually read is much more satisfying to the author.
              Seriously.
              You do not want to go into a bunfight in reviews. I remember what happened in the great “Greek Seaman/Jaqueline Howett furor of 2011. How to NOT cope with a unfavorable review.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greek_Seaman

              1. Rating it by itself is of some help since it increases the number of ratings. (Sometimes you don’t know what to say.)

      4. Albatrosses… 🙂 That’s how you know it’s serious.

        Yes, I am trying to take that to heart. I may be isolated, but I’m not alone. Even the isolation is not so much reality as a perception carefully curated by others who want me to feel that way.

        In my head, I know that there are many more out there like me, a large majority, even, who also want America to be what it was meant to be and not what the lunatic left wants to turn it into, but after spending decades in environments where I was vastly outnumbered — plus the relentless gaslighting, which has its effect sometimes even when you know what they’re up to, and it breaks my heart to see its effect on family members who don’t know what’s being done to them and think I’m crazy — I still always FEEL outnumbered.

        And like I’m being pushed into an ever smaller corner, where there’s a trap I’ll never get out of. Like Dan Lane said above, they don’t want to find out what kind of inhumanity I’m capable of. I don’t either. It won’t end well for any of us.

        Anyway, yeah. Deep breaths… That’s mostly just stress and winter depression and COVID isolation talking. It’ll get better (maybe worse first, but better in the end). 🙂

        Thanks for the kindness and fun, everybody, and the community. I almost never comment, but I’ve been reading for years.

        1. Comment more often, if you like. Sometimes an Odd, introvert, slightly misanthropic hominid needs a place to get his social fix. Even a little bit is helpful when your cup is empty.

    2. It’s a bit more complicated than that. “Here” is very wealthy. “There” isn’t as wealthy (and in many places is very poor). They largely believe that “Here” is essentially a giant dam, holding back the waters of prosperity from reaching “There”. So they’re trying to break down that dam to allow the prosperity to flow.

        1. Why, creating wealth takes WORK. For certain values of wealth, it can also require MATH and perhaps other forms of KNOWLEDGE. We’ve heard recently how anathema (every -ist you can imagine) these things are to the left, hence their certainty that there is a fixed supply…

        2. So, then, where did all of our ‘Stuff’ come from? NONE of it existed 50,000 years ago. Our caveman ancestors were lucky to have a sturdy stick and a rock chipped into a useful shape. People MADE EVERYTHING we have, from hammers to computers. THAT is the source of ALL value — low-value materials transformed into high-value items through knowledge, skill and work. Some of that work has gone into making industrial machines that multiply individual productivity dozens, even hundreds of times over.

          Socialist/communist/fascist Leftroids do not understand any of this. They’re still stuck in the 17th century, when a day’s labor afforded bare subsistence. 80% of the population spent their lives in constant toil just to grow food. They had no time to learn anything else. Literacy, math and philosophy were for the elites.

          The key to our modern affluence is energy. Control over more than our own muscle power. It’s why one farmer can feed 50 people, and one miner can dig out a thousand tons of ore every day. The Leftroids are trying to destroy civilization by removing our access to energy. They want to be some sort of neo-feudal royalty, ruling over the lowly proles.

          But the world they want can only support a tiny number of useless elitists. They’ll destroy civilization, and provide nothing in its place. They’ll destroy themselves along with the rest of us.
          ———————————
          Communism and socialism do not create, they only take, and they collapse when the kommissars run out of things to steal.

          1. The Left believes that all our ‘stuff’ came from the government. Societies with small, primitive governments are impoverished, and the larger and more sophisticated the government, the more wealth a society will have. It’s government that creates organization and wealth in a society, with more government naturally producing more organization and thus more wealth. Claims of wealth-creation by non-government entities are delusions and frauds (“You didn’t build that.”)

            Among other things, it’s why the Left underestimates how rich the US is compared to (e.g.) Europe. We have less government, so we can’t be that much wealthier. In fact, we ought to be much poorer, and if we’re not, it must be because of something evil that we’re doing.

        3. It’s not an unreasonable point of view. They never see any wealth being created. It’s just shuffled from one account to another, and they declare profits.

      1. … and flood out and drown everything downstream, while leaving the fish gasping on the newly exposed banks.

        Yep, sounds about like a socialist.

        1. Eggs. Omelets. Some assembly required. The Greater Good will justify the sacrifice of the few (tens of millions, so far) who needed to die to bring about this great goal.

          Or so they believe.

            1. There’s a thought.

              I wonder how many fish and fish hatcheries the dams have saved by making it impossible for sea lions to get further up the rivers….

                1. Good grief. I though I’d read that they’d stopped at the first dam in from the sea. I stand corrected.

                  1. And we’re the ones who can’t fish 90% of the rivers up here. Because steelhead. Because salmon. Because….

                2. Sea Lions and cormorants destroy salmon runs. Fishermen hate them, including me. I’d slaughter them wholesale as a warning to the others but it’s wildly against the law.

                  They do slaughter cormorants in the FL Keys, as often as they can get at them.

                  1. “Near the locks near the Ballard locks
                    The sea lion likes to dine
                    Eats the salmon and all the steelhead
                    Sea lion’s doing fine

                    When they pillage a fishing village
                    The sea lions do it right
                    Near the ladders the fishing ladders
                    Sea lion takes his bite

                    Rush my hatchlings now swim my hatchlings
                    Or kiss your fins goodbye
                    All you hatchlings won’t make a dent
                    In sea lion’s appetite”

                    — “Sea Lion Eats Tonight” by Bob Rivers

                    1. B.O.S.S. A Bob Rivers reference puts you in the comment hall of fame. Bob’s Garage was legendary.

                      My favorite Twisted Tune for Christmas was Grab Your Balls Like Michael Jackson, Fa la la la la, la la la la…!

                  2. >> “Sea Lions and cormorants destroy salmon runs. Fishermen hate them, including me.”

                    They have another annoying trait too:

                    I once heard an RPG character described as “The sort of person who would ‘sea lion’ Cthulhu.” The ensuing riffs on the idea by other commenters were hilarious.

            2. >> “Kill off all the fish by destroying the dam, and you feed an activist for a lifetime.”

              Build an activist a fire, and you warm him for a day.

              Set an activist on fire, and you warm him for the rest of his life.

    3. They seem to be obsessively afraid, and the only way they can feel safe is if everyone agrees with them on everything they see as important. They are fighting a never-ending battle against the dark forces of reactionism, whose ravening hordes will send them all to the camps if they don’t dispose of them first.

  4. Here, it’s an odd thing to say, that I feel out of sync, culturally, but not odd as regards how I think, except as this crowd is contagiously contrarian. I’m not creative enough. But this is a favorite place to hang out online. It must be the puns. 😉 I’m glad it’s here.

    1. From the tune ‘U.S.S. Make Sh*t Up’
      “..trapped in a warp bubble, slightly out of phase…”

      Or from the tune ‘Life Sucks, Then You Die’
      “One foot on a banana peel, the other in the Twilight Zone.”

      I’m not *quite* in quadrature with Reality, but the alignment isn’t full-on either.

      1. I gave my son a button reading, “Welcome to the Twilight Zone. I’m your usher.”
        I wish I’d bought one for myself so I could wear it in the tax office.

            1. Nonsense! I provide an important service of desensitization. After spending time reading me nobody else’s puns are likely to produce even a rash.
              ~

  5. … the only hope of tolerance, acceptance and feeling like you’re part of something is to go hard left.

    Pfui. If that‘s tolerance and acceptance they can keep it. Almost all my life, I’ve heard that same lying promise from kangaroos and everyone knows what bastards they are.
    ~

    1. Their idea of “tolerance” is sending people who don’t clap loudly and long enough for Stalin to gulags instead of shooting them.

  6. I stand on a hill over looking the sea
    The invaders are coming.
    They come through me.

    Some say I should run, they say I should flee.
    Yet invaders are coming.
    They come through me.

    To this land have I fled and here I will stay.
    And none shall ever drive me away.

    I come of my choosing.
    I go of my will.
    The invaders are coming.
    I stand here, still.

    Sometimes it is running.
    Sometimes it’s a fight.
    Some times it is pain
    In the dead of night.

    The land they can take.
    Life and wealth too.
    There is far mor than these they never will shake.

    This land is a will they never can know.
    This land is a hope they never will show.

    I stand on the ridge with my face to the sea.
    Invaders are coming. They come through me.

    1. I love it! Yours?

      And all about seem keen to enforce its opposite– the disbursement of Dane-Gelds.

      I don’t know The Dane-geld well enough to kipple it from memory, but it’s a fine counterpoint to what St. Rudyard describes.

      1. Yes, sir. Mine. Every now and then these hit me. As for Kipling , I had not thought of that while writing it, but it does fit and is one of my favorites of his.

  7. Anger. Grief.

    This is my home, Gdammit. I can’t walk away. I’ve lived in the rest of the world–it’s pathetic and barbarous.

    This is MY HOME.

    1. Yup. You never hear our side threatening to leave if things don’t go our way. As we Pennsylvania Dutch used to say, I’ve made up my mind. You can accept that or try to kill me, but you won’t change it.

      1. And notice too, you almost never see the “if X gets elected President I’M LEAVING!” people follow through…

        How many actors / actresses said that back in the run up to the 2016 elections? How many of them followed through on trying to move to Canada / European country of choice? Pretty sure you can count it on one hand and still have enough left to flip a decent bird to them.

        Our side? As you said, we stay put, speak softly while carrying a BIG stick, and work to put things RIGHT.

        1. Depp did, moved to France. Madonna sorta did (she was already living in the UK more than the US anyhow). Madonna’s lasted until she got preggers and she made damned sure to have the kid in the USA, because even paid for Healthcare in the UK sucks compared to ours. Depp moved back when he learned how fun it was being overrun with Muslim immigrants who rioted and burned cars almost nightly

          1. I guess I tend to take that kind of caterwauling more in the vein of “I’m going to immigrate to {COUNTRY} and BURN my US passport and never be a US Citizen again!” and less in “I’ve got a crap ton of money, I’m going to get a rental house in {COUNTRY} and live there but still be a US Citizen.”

            But I guess the “elites” prefer to be able to flee back to the oppressive, {WHATEVER}-ist USA when the crap starts hitting the fan in their chosen flee-to, or when they realize they don’t meet the qualifications to actually BECOME a citizen of said country, or realize that instead of paying $X in taxes in the US, they’ll be paying $X^Y in taxes and getting less out of the deal…

            1. “Damn the United States! I wish I may never hear of the United States again!”

              “Prisoner, hear the sentence of the Court! The Court decides, subject to the approval of the President,
              that you never hear the name of the United States again.”

              — Edward Everett Hale, The Man without a Country (1863)

          2. For Depp also the French wealth tax that was enacted. It used to be that people came here to flee high taxes elsewhere (thus all the British tax exiles). The Democrats are committed to reversing that by making the US confiscatorially taxed so that wealth can be redistributed in accordance with Critical Race Theory neo-Marxism.

        2. Imagine the terror if Trump (although it could as well be Cruz, DeSantis or a number of others) runs and wins in 2024, and, seventy* days after inauguration, the US Marshalls start rounding up celebrities …

          Marshall Givens: Are you [Celebrity]?

          Celebrity: Yes, that’s me.

          Givens: On [DATE] at [TIME] did you publicly declare [plays clip on phone]?

          … who declared they’d leave if [Republican] won, gathering them in a DC hangar with their gov’t issued toiletry kits, then shouting “Psych” and throwing them a party to welcome them back to America.

          *I think seventy days after the inauguration (11 + 28 + 31) would set the event on April 1st.
          ~

          1. I think anyone who makes the “leave if X is elected” statement should be immediately required to sign a conditional renunciation of citizenship, which will be witnessed and notarized, then filed for future use.

            1. And anyone involved in CHAZ has unconditionally renounced citizenship, by claiming the autonomy. That should be rubberstamped.

          2. You know, I’ve never pay-per-viewed anything, but this?
            This I’d pay-to-view…

    2. We’ve sent troops overseas *many* times to overthrow the kinds of government we now have…

      1. We’ve sent election observers backed with threats of troops for elections with more integrity than even before 2020

  8. I’ve been thinking for a long time on human nature, partly out of a compelling need to defend myself emotionally, intellectually, and physically against relentless irrationality and partly out of a cynical desire to understand it well enough to ruthlessly exploit it in building what one might hope to be eventually a wildly successful business centered around basic memetic engineering. A few thoughts have emerged along the way, rooted in my own, original development of rational objectivism in my early 20s before discovering Ayn Rand and aided substantially over recent years by Mrs. Hoyt’s excellent essays and the works of hundreds of other thoughtful writers.

    First, Marxism and the Hydra heads of leftism in all its forms are expressions of aggressive solipsism. Put simply, an appalling number of people never fully grow out of the primitive, squalling solipsism of infancy. They see what you have — be it material goods or evidently useful skills and attractive talents — and want those things for themselves. If you deny them, then you’re a bad thing to be hurt and maimed and even destroyed. If the squalling retards fail to become the brilliant people they imagine themselves to be, then that must be your fault. You messed them up somehow with your noxious radiations and penumbras! Modern forms of this well-worn tactic are the ever-useful charges of “racism” and “misogyny.” They’re mere buzzwords given power by the sheer emotionalism of the self-righteous mobs and further enabled by the timidity of decent folks who simply refuse to fight back by persistently, insistently, relentlessly yelling, “Sod off, swampy!”

    The simplest way to put it is as follows:

    “Monkey see; monkey want; monkey violently take.”

    Thus, the millions dead when mobs of these primitive mentalities band together in their mindless, milling masses, especially after having largely or completely seized the reins of power in governments.

    Second … but the hell with it. I may write more later. This brief comment is too long already.

      1. Nostradamus predicted they would manifest this year:

        CDC offers ‘zombie preparedness’ tips in case Nostradamus is right
        French philosopher and prophet Michel de Nostradamus reportedly predicted a zombie apocalypse for 2021.

        But fear not!

        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has your back with a set of zombie preparedness tips it has maintained for a full decade.

        [SNIP]

        “Few young people: half-dead to give a start,” the 16th century astrologer wrote, ominously adding, “Fathers and mothers dead of infinite sorrows / Women in mourning, the pestilent she−monster: / The Great One to be no more, all the world to end.”

        To prepare for that bloody, flesh-eating worst, the CDC page links to various “Zombie Preparedness Products,” including a downloadable zombie preparedness graphic novel; a printable poster of an undead-looking, leering person with very dirty fingernails; and tips for educators looking to plan zombie-related lessons. (Sample teaching tool: “The zombie apocalypse threat is imminent. The mayor’s staff has been compromised, and it is up to you to write a speech for the mayor advising the community about what actions to take. What do you tell the community to do?”)
        [END EXCERPT]
        ~

        1. Our tax dollars at work, since they’ve solved all issues related to Kung Flu lockdowns and the proper number of masks dancing on a pinhead.

          OK, I’m grouchy tonight, but my first response is to tell the community: “Get a life!”, then to find a Pulaski abd go looking for the people responsible. Fortunately, I can’t swing any implements while using a walker…

            1. I am a physical therapist, and I had a patient once who was a nice, little old lady who used a cane. She told me that she could not take her cane on an airplane. Of course I took the bait and asked her why not. She held onto the shaft and handle of the cane, pulled them apart, and showed that the handle was attached to a sword. She said that she had picked it up in a market in Morocco.

              1. It’s going to be a while before I get to use cane again (collect the full set of orthopedic problems!), but there’s more than one way to weaponize a cane, and I’m mulling over the details. I really don’t want to be the fat defenseless geek/gimp, and the traditional ways of exiting that corner will take some time. PT available, just an 80 mile round trip. OTOH, I’ll have other resources available once I can walk without much assistance.

                1. I’ve put some thought into it, since I have only limited mobility without a cane or crutches.

                  The old kendo rule of “thrust to the soft, cut to the hard” still applies. People naturally defent against cuts (swinging) blows, but I can lunge just over six feet into a soft spot. The area of the rubber tip is so small that the “rubber” part is irrelevant.

                  If that fails to calm the situation I can always resort to my St. John of Ogden icon.

                  1. Yeah, the latter is looking attractive. Right now, crutches are too scary dangerous, so I expect to go from a walker to a cane, and likely stay with the cane for a while. Used a sort-of collapsible Hurry-cane, though I felt more confident with teflon tape keeping it in full deployment. Still, a lot of room for, er, mischief.

                  2. Doesn’t the typical walker have four hollow aluminum tubes, suitable for modification? Spring-loaded darts seem unlikely to set off most scans …
                    ~

            2. Large metal object, rubber handles. I’m figuring it wouldn’t be that challenging to put some stun baton workings inside one.

              1. Sword canes are legal in my state – they repealed all the knife laws about the time we got constitutional carry – but occasional business in buildings under Federal jurisdiction would be a problem given the Federal blade limit of 2.5″. I considered just sharpening the tip, but I don’t really *need* an edge with what’s essentially a kendo stick.

                The plain wooden cane is an ADA-designated mobility assist device, and their own Federal law says they can’t take it away from me. At least, not without considerable paperwork plus providing a wheelchair or scooter. Few bureaucrats would want to do the paperwork on that…

                1. I am not sure if sword canes are legal in my state. It looks like swords are legal if they are not concealed. My guess is that a sword cane would be considered as concealed.

                  1. FYI sword canes are the default. At least if you’re buying cheap. When kid had to go back to school after blowing out his knee playing football, I couldn’t find an AFFORDABLE one on line without the sword. So…. we paid Mike W to fill one with lead. Because it wasn’t worth the risk of his being kicked out of school.

                    1. And everyone knows that a lead-filled cane is so much less dangerous than a cheap sword-cane. You are giving me ideas, O Gracious Hostess!

                  2. Odds are the “sword” is merely decorative and no blade with which you ought entrust your life.

                    Good luck making that case in court, of course.

                    “Your Honor! The “sword” in question is but of cheap metal, with neither temper nor edge. It would be far more accurate to call this a “letter opener” cane!”
                    ~

          1. I am not so worked up as you about the zombie CDC. Various emergency agencies have used “zombie outbreak” and “zombie preparedness” as exercises for years now, on the practical basis that being prepared for a zombie outbreak covers most other scenarios fairly well. OTOH, there are more than enough OTHER things to get worked up about, at CDC, and in the nation more generally.

            1. What can I say. I’m seeing the CDC clown car coming up with the fifth contractitory bit of advice/guidance/mandate this day/week/month, and with broke-knee, there’s not a damned thing I can do about any real preps.

            2. Read through the article and you will note it admits this was

              “published in May 2011 after the CDC’s head of communications became concerned about the agency’s reach — and decided the agency’s first-ever posts to Twitter and Facebook should be fun.

              “`We were talking about hurricane season, which begins 1 June. I think about hurricane season, and we put out the same messages every year, and I wonder if people even see those messages,` CDC rep Dave Daigle told The Atlantic at the time. `We have a great message here about preparedness, and I don’t have to tell you that preparedness and public health are not the sexiest topics.`

              The page proved so popular, it tripled traffic to the CDC’s site and crashed its server. “

              … so not quite the embarrassment it appears today. I probably ought have pulled that for the excerpt; my bad.

              Still: “two masks good, one mask bad.”
              ~

              1. I’ll forgive them when they start saying “no mask good, two masks STUPID!”, or the heat-death of the universe, which ever come first.

          2. The CDC’s zombie campaign was actually quite successful at getting people to think about basic preparedness, which previously had generated only a lackluster response. That’s why they expanded it from the original one-step-above-a-joke to a whole bunch of stuff.

            https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/zombie/index.htm

          1. Rereading The Last Centurion shot up high in the priority list over the past few days.

        2. That was done about 10 years go, shortly after The Walking Dead became popular. The zombies are a metaphor for more mundane disasters.

          It is actually a pretty good list of what is needed to get through a realistic short term disaster such as an earthquake, major power outage, or severe weather. There is a bit too much if the hunker down and trust the government vibe for my taste but if it got a few people to prepare then it was good thing. As I recall, the original compilation suggested a firearm for defense but that appears to have been removed. No surprise there: Wokists don’t want you to be able to shoot them when they show up to eat your brains.

          Besides, a real wokist knows you cannot use the word “zombie”. It’s hate speech. How dare you label them them with such a derogatory term just because they are undead, cannibalistic monsters. They are neuro-atypical *victims* of ADSDS (Ataxic Degenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome) and deserve our love and affection.

    1. This: “an appalling number of people never fully grow out of the primitive, squalling solipsism of infancy”. This reminds me of the recent complaints about the whininess of characters in some genres of fiction these days. They really are childish, and the authors don’t seem to understand what maturity looks like.

            1. Yeah, that makes me glad I avoided the movie. I had low expectations already, because I figured it would be along the lines of Wicked, a villain “redemption” story that’s really an excuse to tear down the good people from the original story, because there is nothing Hollywood despises more than true goodness.

              But I was intrigued by your mention (in the comments of that post) of a fanfic where the King and Queen hired a warrior princess to hand-deliver Maleficent’s invitation. I searched AO3 for it but couldn’t find anything like that. It’s been years, obviously, but do you happen to remember anything else about that fanfic, like a title, or even a tag I could use to try to search for it? I’ve learned that I like “for the want of a horseshoe nail” setups, especially ones where the change from canon is that the horseshoe nail gets found, and I would like to read that one if I could find it.

              1. Argh. Been poking around, have had no luck. All I recall is that it may not have been Maleficent by name, just a similar evil fairy/sorceress. It might have been on Mediaminer.org, I haven’t been back there in a while.

        1. I would have liked it better if it had been a Sleeping Beauty movie, instead of being explicitly tied in with Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

        2. Ugh indeed. They took one of the most badass women in Disney movies and made her a whiny victim. They even didn’t let her turn into a dragon!

          Here’s sexism for you: a villain like the Joker can just be evil because he wants to be. A woman can only be evil because a man did it to her.

              1. …wait, what?

                I mean, dear goodness, one of the the things that had me hold onto Once Upon a Time just a *little bit longer* even though they’d basically lost the plot was the “tragic backstory” Cruella episode… where, after the whole episode of a character trying to White Knight her away from all of this, it turns out she *is* just evil, and always was, and has a lot of *fun* with it, and the reason her Evil Stepmother was keeping her locked up was to protect the world from her!

                (It’s been a while, but I really remember her being quite a *fun* character in that…)

          1. A woman can only be evil because a man did it to her.

            To be fair, there are examples a’plenty of men who do evil because a woman drove him to it. In film, Cody Jarrett, Norman Bates, and Lord Macbeth (Hmmmm … apparently a new adaptation, starring Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Brendan Gleeson, and Corey Hawkins as Macduff) has been written & directed by Joel Coen is in post-production). And of course it is a given that every bad boy is so because of his Mom … or perhaps that girl in seventh grade who laughed in his face when he asked her to dance.
            ~

    2. This is helpful, and good. I had to look up solipsism and it’s perfect, I think.

    3. Been trying to put the thought into words. I feel sometimes as if I (we) are indulging the crazies in the way of knowing they are completely out to lunch but like the crazy Uncle at the party, that is just how he is. Kind of patting them on the head because they are harmless or they will grow out of it, or the world will kick them around and they will see Unfortunately , if so, it has gone on so long that they now think they are on the side of the Gods themselves and will brook no interference.
      Love the site as it feels like a home. Family. Also we really outnumber them by a large margin. I see no way around the fourth box. Prepare accordingly.

  9. “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 cuckoo’s somewhere. And she (or he) can fit in there.”

    This calls to mind Zenna Henderson’s “The People” series, from the 1950s through the 1980s.

      1. After a childhood marred by years of bronchitis, my sinuses are permanently munged. After all these years, I’ve still not quite drawn around to the reputed wonders of a neti pot (probably glazed ceramic for ease of sterilization), preferring instead to rely on the limited but significant post-nasal-drip relief afforded by fluticasone (generic Flonase).

        1. Greetings, fellow sinus sufferer! Believe it or not, it turns out that forsythia and magnolia is an excellent decongestant for the sinuses, and so there’s this weird Bi Yan Pian mix of herbs and spices in a pill that works for me. There are some US companies that make it from domestic ingredients; there’s one that calls it Rootology and several that call it Sine-Ease. It is even in the ingredients for Breathe Easy tea from Traditional Medicinals.

          Of course different stuff works for different people, but it has made a real difference for me; and I live in one of the worst US towns for sinus. So maybe check it out.

          1. Hrm, the tea sounds tasty and fun! Amazon appears to have it at a very reasonable cost. I know many herbal remedies work best when taken over time with reasonable consistency. In for four boxes to round out an order of other stuff. 🙂

            1. If it doesn’t work for you, at least you’ll be fully hydrated I like it a lot.

              OTOH, I think the Traditional Medicinals marketing department is on crack. They had an article about valerian, and were very coy about how it smells like cat pee and doesn’t taste that great, either. I mean, sure, if you really need the sleep, you’ll tough it out, but….

              On a more serious note, they really don’t disclose most of the potential side effects of herbs, which seems dangerous when you’re marketing to ordinary tea drinkers.

              The main thing with Bi Yan Pian is that it has a lot of ginger and cinnamon, so you can start to feel hotter than the tea warrants.

    1. Oh, yeah — that remarkable series had many lovely stories! So delicate and poignant. 🙂

      For other readers of this blog who may not be familiar with Ms. Henderson’s oeuvre, one understands that the Open Library has a few short-story collections for borrowing that feature selected stories by the lady. Or you can go directly to Amazon to just buy the very affordable omnibus volume of all People tales.

      https://openlibrary.org/authors/OL4400968A/Zenna_Henderson/
      https://amazon.com/Ingathering-Complete-People-Stories-Henderson/dp/0915368587/

      1. Norton rang a number of changes on that theme, all good aside from one or two environmentally preachy later works.

  10. If you watch any of the videos in the Walk Away series, you’ll hear this same refrain over and over. Homosexuals are shocked that people on the right don’t really care who they want to have sex with, while their so-called friends on the left kick them to the curb if they don’t espouse exactly all of the correct thinking. Or there was a left-leaning woman who attended a Trump rally who was shocked that she not only was not beat up, but was told she was welcome to stick around and listen, even if she didn’t believe the same as them. I went through the opposite in college. Because I was religious and didn’t have sex or get puke-your-guts-out drunk, a lot of people assumed I was busy judging everyone else. I became a complete leper by the time I graduated, being actively bullied, for my political as well as religious beliefs, while I was shocked that I was a topic of so much gossip

    1. Gay guys on our side seem to get it– all we have for a fellow warrior is love.

      Scott Pressler was in southern TX recently, Galveston? He sent a gab/tweet that showed a short video. He said “… nothing but love…” It was super-cute, a back shot with tall skinny long-haired Scott with grandma’s arm around him. Bunch of smiling white-haired beautiful ladies, loving on Scott.

      That’s our side. Always has been.

      1. It’s always something of a puzzlement that “what I do is none of your business so long as I’m not hurting anyone, and what you do is none of mine” is so difficult for them to understand and accept. Do I have gay acquaintances and friends? Sure. Probably more than I know, I just don’t much care about that. Do I have black and asian friends? Sure. I married one of the black ones, and no one seems to notice the difference among our group of friends in the neighborhood and at church. Do I have non-religious or atheist friends? No doubt; we don’t talk about it and it’s not my place to grill them. Do I have leftist friends? That’s a harder one to answer…none of the friends wear their religio-social beliefs on their sleeves so it doesn’t come up. Actually, now that I think of it that probably means I don’t have any leftist friends…

        1. The idea of live and let live is so basic to my understanding of how to live life well that I cannot comprehend people that don’t understand it.

          1. Likewise, some concept of “treat other people like you want to be treated” is pretty much a universal rule among humanity, but too many people want to find excuses to say that other people aren’t people.
            Because that means they can treat them bad and steal their stuff with impunity.

            1. C. S. Lewis compiled sayings from multiple cultures and eras to show how common themes like, “Don’t steal,” “Respect the old,” and so forth are. But one note was many cultures phrase it as, “Do not do unto others what you don’t want done to you.” Jesus flipped it.

        2. I always thought the Oscar Wilde quote captured exactly my view:
          “I have no objection to anyone’s sex life as long as they don’t practice it in the street and frighten the horses.”

          1. That concept may have come from Mrs. Patrick Campbell, the famed actress who corresponded for years with GB Shaw, although there might have been others who said it. “My dear, I don’t care what they do, so long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses.”
            It seems that some societal elements were pretty tolerant, back then…

            1. I’m sorry, but it’s the current year, and if you object to people doing it in the street and scaring the horses you are a bigot and a prude. Come to our Pride Parade, or else!
              /activist
              /sarc

                1. … I would thank you for the potential intersection of Pride parades and horses getting up to things, but I have to go to scrub my brain now.

            2. Back when my work duties entailed training new departmental hires I was wot to advise them, “You can get away with damn near anything so long as you are discrete and do your work; fail to be discrete and you’ll lose the right to do the things you need to for your job.”

              One of the oldest rules of civilization is that you do not FORCE the Powers That Be to take notice of you.
              ~

        3. none of the friends wear their religio-social beliefs on their sleeves so it doesn’t come up. Actually, now that I think of it that probably means I don’t have any leftist friends…

          It is possible you have liberal friends but unlikely you’ve any leftist friends. Leftist theology views being friends with conservatives (i.e., anybody right of Leni) in much the same way Wahhabism views friendship with infidels: fake it until it is time to go to the knives. Remember the leftist columnist spending the Year of Covid in flyover and publicly wondering whether a neighbor, a Trump-supporter, having cleared the eight inches of global warming from her driveway meant she had to (ugh) interact with him instead of publicly snubbing the (probably) White Supremacist? THAT is the kind of thing Leftists fret over; there’s no way one would be a friend to the likes of you.
          ~

        4. “Unless you are doing things to animals, children, or NON-consenting adults, it ain’t nobody’s business save anyone with whom you are ‘sharing a bed’.”

      2. I love all Presler’s photos with random grandmas and big groups of happy people in red hats. He’s so serene in them, like he has no idea why anyone would even think he should be worried. It’s beautiful. 🙂

        Another one is Ricky Rebel, because apparently we also have our share of salacious gay pop stars on our side. His videos are… not safe for work. Lol XD

        1. Tee hee, ha ha! I love Ricky Ready. But yeah, got to close the door and plug in the headphones….

          He did that super fun video that created the YMCA meme for Trump rallies. So fantastic.

    2. I was fortunate enough to find the college Science Fiction Society, which at the time was full of Odds. So we were odd together.
      Remembering very fondly the night we rented a copy of “Metropolis, ” (a reel of film!) from the school library and supplied our own sound effects. When the oppressed workers changed shifts we all pounded our feet on the floor in unison.

      1. I found the Latin and Choir/Orchestra Odds, who also ended up in the same (somewhat explosive) physics class. I found the History Odds when I was flying, then the Music Odds again. Now I’m with the Odd Odds, thanks to the ‘Net. Big tent and all that. 😀

        1. Sounds like undergrad life. Most of my friends were medium-Odds, though I was an EE, I knew a fair number of Music-Odds, and our dorm setup/apartment gravitated to Odd-Odds. (Wonders if Nancy still has a purse named Toto.)

    3. > Because I was religious and didn’t have sex or get puke-your-guts-out drunk, a lot of people assumed I was busy judging everyone else.

      That’s guilt, not prejudice.

      1. One common trait of people who behave badly is their desire for others to do likewise, thus legitimizing (via Social Proof) their own behaviour.

        It worked so well in Sodom and that other city, after all.
        ~

    4. I was shocked that I was a topic of so much gossip

      People on the Left seem to invest a lot more energy and time in gossip than do folks on the Right – but I cannot be sure because I do not engage in gossip with friends and acquaintances.
      ~

  11. I’ve wondered also why the United States has been so different. Perhaps it’s simply because so many self-motivated immigrants have arrived over the centuries with the intention of bettering themselves. This phenomenon arguably applies even to the hordes of South Americans headed to the U.S. border or those who’ve already arrived. They’ve been, by and large, too busy climbing the ladder to overly concern themselves with the ancient social pathologies that riddle the Old World and third-world countries. The United States was a frontier country for the longest time, but the time of unexplored lands to conquer has passed. With societal maturity, pernicious decay sets in. Large groups of inhabitants start squabbling with each other over who gets the biggest piece of the economic pie that many of them mistakenly perceive to be fixed in size. They start inventing absurd divisions just for the sake of establishing arbitrary insider and outsider status. A new royal class struggles to establish and preserve itself in a supposedly classless society. It’s a witches’ brew of psychological quirks in the tribal human mind.

    Just musing. It’s a depressing thought that humans as a whole are simply unable to cope with historically unprecedented peace and prosperity without hysterically turning the planet into an abattoir over imagined differences. -_-

  12. Human beings want to fit in. We are social animals, all of us, even us introverts. The less we fit in, the more we want to. That’s why it hits the outsiders so hard. We want to be understood. That’s one of the top things folks want in a relationship. The ones that last? They get each other. Everyone wants someone who understands, but doesn’t judge too harshly. Someone they can rely on, and be relied upon by.

    The universality of that is why I say it’s a human thing. The abusers know this. An evil man, but a smart one, can see the virtues as handy tools to enforce conformity. Sympathy and tolerance can be weaponized. Charity, too. A virtue in service to an evil end is quite the powerful tool, as we have seen. Notice how they use children so often? Despite the fact that they are the party that favors killing inconvenient infants, they know that people have a certain ingrained response to children, thus children as the medium to their message.

    The Long March has indeed swallowed up much that once was uniquely American in spirit. It is everywhere, and thus you may hear many quite honestly say that they think *everyone* thinks like them. Except for a few backward, inbred, racist, bigots that live somewhere in the Deep South or Appalachia. Leftism isn’t simply politics, it is *invisible* because it is everywhere to them. The “other side” is quite literally unknown and unknowable, save myths and shibboleths. That’s why you see the shock and discomfort when they actually meet a real person who doesn’t believe as they, and everyone they know, do.

    When all you watch is CNN, all you read is the NYT, and all you hear is NPR, it is quite easy to believe the lie. It is what you learned in school. It is what is on the tv. And all your friends are like this, too. You don’t know how to research outside your tiny bubble, how to test something scientifically, or how to deal with people that are not fundamentally like you without having a breakdown.

    An Odd on the outside generally doesn’t get the benefits of being in group. Not truly. That’s why they try so hard to fit in. The loudest voices are sometimes the most afraid.

    1. “Leftism isn’t simply politics.” It isn’t politics at all. It’s religion, as anyone who understands religion can see plainly. It’s an intolerant, fundamentalist religion, that shares major traits with Islam, frankly.

      1. It has rituals, sacred beliefs, shunning for sins, and blessings. Even deities.

        Of course, I tend to call it a cult because of its bad habits, but there is a certain fundamentalist frenzy to it.

        1. They’ve even their own hymns, including their equivalent of Amazing Grace. Which is why they serenaded Covid-locked down America with that awful John Lennon song.
          ~

            1. It’s about cattle grazing in the fields….or might as well be. I have always found that song repugnant.

        1. Watching James Lindsay’s political journey has been very entertaining in these trying times.

          1. He’s one of my favorite podcasters right now, because he reminds me that true liberals are our allies, and helping them reclaim that identity is a good thing. I have always thought of the drive to reform broken processes and the drive to preserve working processes as two parts of a necessary whole for society to function: without a gas pedal, your car goes nowhere, but without brakes your chances of arriving anywhere safely are poor. Both are best, and the negotiation required to decide when you need the gas and when you need the brakes is important, and keeps us moving on our journey.

            It’s just that leftism was able to co-opt the liberal side because of the good things about liberals, and now that pool is tainted. Watching Lindsay’s trajectory, and listening to him talk in his own words about why he’s changed his position on so many things, has been invaluable to me, because it helps me to see that not only are all of ‘us’ on the right side… so are many of our obliquely-thinking friends. They just don’t realize it yet.

            We need to help them realize we’re on the same side on a lot of things, and that our real enemy is the predator dressed in the dead skin of one of their friends.

      2. At their core, Leftist want to help people, and Rightist want to be left alone.
        And there’s a multitude of problems with ‘helping’. My friend’s daughter who unintentionally drowned a mass of toads because she thought they lived in water was an example of ‘helping’.

        1. AA and Al-Anon have a LOT to say about the dangers of “helping,” others, for you and them.

        2. Leftists say they want to help people because it makes it easier to exercise power over them. Power is their desire and goal.

          1. It’s a spectrum, and one should really know & understand one’s opposition. I do know a bunch who honestly want to help others. Some start out that way, and then use ‘helping’ as a means of gathering personal power, making excuses for compromises as they get further corrupted.
            After all, very good cause inevitably draws fraudsters, scam artist, and charlatans looking to use events to make a dishonest gain.
            Evil is a terrible motivator for action- very few people do anything for avowedly evil purposes. But, a good cause corrupted can and will do far more evil more effectively, because people think they’re doing something that is somehow beneficial in the end.

    2. One bright side to coronavirus insanity is that when dining out I hear 30% less political discussion, and it has gone from more than half Left to almost entirely anti-Left.

  13. What’s weird to me is not the idea the author thought it would be a bad place, but that she thought Instapundit people would “hate her.” Now, the right and libertarians obviously have their hateful crazies, but in my experience most people in these groups read something the don’t like they get annoyed and put it down then move on with their lives. We read all sorts of things we don’t want, and don’t have the time to hate it all.

    Then again, I guess if the audience was large enough the crazy side could well up. Still, free readers, no?

    1. >> “What’s weird to me is not the idea the author thought it would be a bad place, but that she thought Instapundit people would “hate her.””

      This coming from the guy who uses BLACK MAGE as his avatar? 😛

  14. Sitting up here on top of the world, middle of Alaska, can’t see any neighbor’s houses from my house, much of the crazy years happenings don’t directly affect me.

    On the other hand, as I’m way at the end of a vulnerable supply chain for many goods, I am preparing for the worst and learning how to make and store my own wurst, etc.

    Actually we’ve been pretty self sufficient for decades but the present crazy, leads one to explore and correct holes in the skill sets and develop plans for the long term, as well as the short term ones we have in place for dealing with winter storms, power outages, floods earthquakes, etc.

    1. With absolutely no intention of jinxing anyone, when you start getting up there in years, vital components of preparedness include a reliable alert system, supplies such as pharmaceuticals for medical emergencies, and good neighbors who are willing to help if you fall prey to a (not immediately lethal) stroke, heart attack, or other serious medical event. I’d imagine that road-poor Alaska poses special challenges. O_o

        1. You’re off to a fine start, Mr. Alaska. Hang in there. 92 is totally in your wheelhouse.

  15. I had the misfortune to be skimming through a recent RPG sourcebook the other day, and there was an FAQ towards the back. One of the questions was “why are there so many liberal politics in this book?” The answer, of course, was that they were there because the author was a good, decent, and open minded person, writing games for other good, decent, and open minded people – and if you weren’t a liberal, why were you even playing a game that included black people and gays? You know, since their existence offends your gross sensibilities so much.

    I would have thrown the damn thing across the room were it not a PDF. (Probably a good thing, too. It’s like 300 pages long or something similarly absurd.)

        1. Throwing this in for the hell of it:

          There’s a free RPG out there called “Honey Heist,” which is a heist game in which you’re trying to steal some honey. Because you’re a goddamn BEAR, which complicates things.

          It’s here: https://imgur.com/gallery/Zpg4G

          1. “Beowulf” is thought to be a kenning for “bear” because it means “bee-wolf” — one who acts like a wolf to bees.

          2. How is it complicated to be a bear?

            1. You’re big.
            2. You’re furry.
            3. You’ve got lots of teeth and claws.
            4. Growl a lot.
            5. Nobody fucks with you.

            1. Well, human guards have guns. And from what I’ve read the thing about how shooting a bear will only piss him off is a myth; even handguns are effective at killing or driving off bears. So you have to stay hidden somehow.

              Although I did hear about a funny house rule some players came up with: if you’re wearing a hat you’ll be mistaken for whatever type of human would normally wear such a hat. So a chef’s hat would make people think you’re a human chef. Of course, if the hat comes off for any reason (like the wind blowing it off) you’re instantly revealed for what you are. Sort of like a weird cross between Agent 47 and Chicken Boo.

          3. I read that and misread it as “armed GOATS” not guards. Therefore, should I ever find any foolish vic- erhm, players I can sucker into a game, there will be armed goats guarding the honey.

            Can’t even blame that on dyslexia, that was pure and simple stupid read that too fast. *chuckle*

          4. Did you get a load of the ‘Nightmare Kites’ picture?

            THE OLD ONES ARE HERE!!!

            (A bunch of octopus kites with waving tentacles)

            1. >> “Did you get a load of the ‘Nightmare Kites’ picture?”

              No, I didn’t find that. Do you have a link?

              1. Just do a search for ‘nightmare kite’ and they should be in the top 10.

                The things are YUGE, like 20+ feet long.

    1. Risus is basically a comedy RPG. To give a flavor of it, here’s the beginning of the character creation rules:

      The character Cliché is the heart of Risus. Clichés are shorthand for a kind of person, implying their skills, background, social role and more. The “character classes” of the oldest RPGs are enduring Clichés: Wizard, Detective, Starpilot, Superspy. You can choose Clichés like those for your character, or devise something more outré, like Ghostly Pirate Cook, Fairy Godmother, Bruce Lee (for a character who does Bruce Lee stuff) or Giant Monster Who Just Wants To Be Loved For His Macrame – anything you
      can talk your GM into. With a very permissive GM, you could be all these at once. Each Cliché has a rating in dice (the ordinary six-sided kind). When your character’s prowess as a Wizard, Starpilot or Bruce Lee is challenged, roll dice equal to the rating. Three dice is “professional.” One die is a putz. Six dice is ultimate mastery.

      What I really like is this part, from the combat system:

      Inappropriate Clichés
      As stated above, the GM determines what sort of Clichés are appropriate for the fight. Any Clichés left over are inappropriate. In a physical fight, Hairdresser is inappropriate. In a magical duel, Barbarian is inappropriate.

      Inappropriate Clichés aren’t forbidden from the fight. They can still be used to make attacks, provided the player roleplays or describes it in a really, really, really entertaining manner. Furthermore, the attack must be plausible within the context of the combat, and the genre and tone that the GM has set for the game (making this kind of attack more often useful in very pulpy/swashbuckly games, or very silly ones).

      All combat rules apply normally, with one exception: if an inappropriate Cliché wins a combat round versus an appropriate one, the losing player loses three dice, rather than one, from his Cliché! The “inappropriate” player takes no such risk, and loses only one die if he loses the round. Thus, a creative hairdresser is dangerous when cornered and attacked unfairly. Beware.

    2. Apparently the newest version of Vampire the Masquerade in addition to other wokeness has a specific disclaimer telling Nazis that they should not play it. So a year or so ago Sargon, Arch, and a few others (who are *not* nazis) ran a campaign set in Nazi Germany, with all the players as Nazi officers.

      1. Oh, don’t even get me started on fifth edition Vampire (the book I was looking through was one of the supplements for Mage 20th anniversary). One of the things they did was edit the book (they’ve been doing this thing were the drafts are publicly available for playtesting and commentary before actual publication) to change an example dice roll because people complained that it contained secret Nazi codes. I am not kidding. The woke are in the grip of an absolutely insane moral panic.

        1. If White Wolf was still around, they would be what, Transgendered Brown Puppy these days? That’s one of the things that irritates me the most. Geekdom always had its weirdos. Some D&D guys were absolute heck on house rules- either you ran the way Gygax intended or GTFO. This was in 3.5 for Bob’s sake.

          But for all that, the rules were always agnostic about current events. I’ve run into games that were still running a Roman campaign in Gaul where Caesar’s legions never went back to Italy but settled down to rule what would one day be France and Switzerland. In highly modified 2nd edition rules. The worst thing you’d run into is a bunch of geeks with cheeto stained teeth hounding you to come sit in on a game with them next weekend.

          HBS didn’t completely break Battletech, nor did Shadowrun get stomped too hard. But Vampire? Man, did they go whole potato in 5e. Dammit, I miss quality gaming that didn’t have politics jammed in it.

          1. What worries me the most is that Paradox Interactive owns White Wolf Publishing. And Paradox makes some pretty good video games.

            Makes me wonder if Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, etc… is about to go off the deep end.

            1. The pencil and paper games are not being written by White Wolf Game Studio, they are being written by Onyx Path, which is run by one of their former art directors.

        2. Makes me afraid to ask what they did to Werewolf: The Apocalypse. That was a game that had no trouble (and in fact encouraged to a certain extent) players playing as eco-terrorists.

          1. I have a sneaking suspicion they’ve adjusted kinfolk to make them less “problematic” and “creepy.” Because heaven forbid anything about werewolves be messed up.

              1. Hah! But no. See, as awful as that would be in a horror game, it would at least be potentially fun. And there is no fun in social justice, because it is a distraction from fighting oppression. And besides, the ability to think of anything besides how oppressed and miserable you are is a privilege afforded only to those dirty cishet white males, and we can’t go indulging that.

                    1. The double flag ante-fa that they stole from the Nazi era ante-fa, the hammer & sickle, the Chinese red and yellow stars, the other Chinese symbol (the closed fist), the Obama circle-flag thing, one of their heroes-of-the-minute headshots with oh so coincidental halo (they’re totally not religious symbols for a cult, no way)…

                      A blue mask, a fence with razor wire (with Congress in the background), the slashed circle over a handgun (for no guns allowed), one of the many weirdo symbols they use in place of male/female to signify one of the bazillion new “genders” they pretend mean something other than cosplay.

                      The rainbow gay flag (though probably not because gays are problematic now, too), the pink female genitalia hat (also probably not, because TERF), some kind of stick figure multi-racial thing…

                      Leftists have lots of symbols to chose from. The thing is, how would the decide which color goes with which symbol? Because you know they will make it about race no matter what. And which pronouns would they append to which bear? Isn’t making them all bears some kind of -ist or -ism? They will *have* to push the envelope somewhere.

                      All in all, it would be easier to write the bad guys for KarenBears, or what ever it will be called. Just make them all cis-het straight white Christian people living normal person everyday life. Trigger All The Things.

                    2. Rainbow flag bear would probably be trans flag bear. Definitely no pink kitty hat. Stick figure multiracial thing would probably be one of those flat, bizarrely proportioned cartoon people that Big Tech is so enamored with these days. (Do a search for “alegria art” if you don’t know what style I’m talking about.)

                      Maybe one of the bears could actually be a lion that calls itself a bear. Self-ID is valid. Trans bears are bears!

                    3. Alegria art is exactly what I had in mind. Didn’t have the correct name for it. Thank you!

                      I do agree on the rest. But not a lion (because Trump, and the non GOPe symbol is the lion). A sealion, perhaps? Or would that be too on the nose?

                    4. A sealion might be better. Especially as all the bears will watch it waddle around badly on land and tell each other that it moves so stunningly and bravely and exactly like a cisbear.

                    5. >one of the many weirdo symbols they use in place of male/female to signify one of the bazillion new “genders” they pretend mean something other than cosplay.

                      You only need one symbol for all of those – “BIOHAZARD”

                  1. Couldn’t be werewolf care bears – it would have to be were-care bears or perhaps care werebears.

                    At War with My Little Wereponies.
                    ~

                1. And there is no fun in social justice, because it is a distraction from fighting oppression.

                  Injustice is nothing to laugh about, Mark Twain be damned.
                  ~

            1. I can see them both loving and hating Werewolf. They would absolutely connect the Get of Fenris with conservatives, though, and have to erase them somehow. Leftism doesn’t realize its entropic tendencies until too late. They are the Wyrm, but think they are the Garou.

              1. Glass Walkers might cause short-circuits. And the all-female tribe (something Furies?) would probably be rewritten since I’m pretty sure that the first edition version of them would be TERFs.

                1. *snrk* Glass Walkers would be a treat. Not as “problematic” as the Nordic Nazi Werewolves, but… yeah. Jewish werewolves? Mobster werewolves? Or my favorite, the Umbral pilots (werewolves… in space! Okay, not exactly, but still). Glass Walkers were closest to humanity, so I could see both them and the Black Furies to be the first to acquire the taint of modern leftism (BF already has).

                  Black Furies was the all female tribe. *Almost* all female, their males were Metis, the sterile and often mutated rejects from most Garou. Ironic because the Metis were more balanced, but had to take the nerf so they wouldn’t be overpowered, I guess. Modern Nights has them as defecto third wave feminists, and there are rifts within the Black furies that almost exactly mirror those in modern feminism (though trans activism hasn’t been included in the books… yet).

                  1. a long time ago, i had a metis NPC whose problem was he couldn’t shapeshift….

                  2. I thought it was Black Furies. But I was worried I was confusing that with the Black Spiral Dancers.

                    Funny thing that just occurred to me is that the Silver Fangs were pretty much our modern “elite” as Sarah frequently describes them. Some of them even got up to some actual terrorism in their youth.

                    1. Yup. Not exactly prescient, more that I suspect the original writers studied certain past events and used *that* as fuel for the telling.

                    2. There are arguments made (that I’ve never really bothered to analyze) that the European elites are – in many cases – the same inbred families that have been more or less running the continent for the last few centuries.

                      There’s certainly some room for arguing the case, though. We certainly see enough inter-marrying here in the US, with a disturbing number of politicians being related to each other (either by blood, or marriage). Europe’s been around for longer, and our American elites are no doubt mimicing what they see in Europe.

                    3. 2000 years.
                      My family will slip for a few generations, then go back behind the throne.
                      On dad’s side. Not Mom’s. Mom’s more likely to be running at the throne (or the enemy. They’re not picky) with ax in hand, screaming “Die you scum.”
                      …. weirdly I take after dad’s family in all things BUT that.

                    4. Like Sarah, my family have been on or behind the throne for thousands of years. Some of the younger generation escaped to America … but watching my brothers– they are really good at building business empires. We like it here.

                    5. “weirdly I take after dad’s family in all things BUT that.”

                      Deep down inside, on a sub-conscious level, you’re obviously just angry that you aren’t a power behind the throne, and are maneuvering to give yourself even a little bit more power via this whole “freedom and representative democracy” thing that you push.

                      😛

              2. To pull from a different gameline, they’re the Technocracy. And not the playable, morally gray version.

                1. “One World, One Truh, One Order” does ring a bell when considered against the current events in mass/social media and leftist controlled government. More the post Great Housecleaning, orders from Control kind, I gather. I’m not as familiar with that gameline, though what I’ve read fits. Especially the ten stages of Social Conditioning.

                  A particularly devious mind could cloak their speech in public by creating a faux game to dissuade others from a too deep inspection of said speech. Of course that also runs the risk of drawing attention, but it could also be a fun game, too. *grin*

                  1. Well, what a pity I am not, as I mentioned above, nearly as devious as the left seems to think I am. Not at all.

                    1. Not that it would dissuade the more cynical agents provocateur that tend to drive the Narrative if they knew that for true, though. It suits their needs to frame their foes as devious, conniving, evil, hatey-hate mongers. How devious, how vile must we be, to beguile them with the truth so easily?

                      Those that govern by fear must always have an outlet for the frustrations and anger of their common people. They don’t want to end up like their forebearers, the not-real-socialists that tried the experiment and failed. You can see the fractious nature within when you look at how Pelosi deals with the new left ‘Squad.’

                      It is probably a vain hope to believe that at least *some* of those mired in that dark place the left keeps its rank and file will be able to glimpse that there is a life outside of it because of the current internecine battle within the left. I know this. But I sincerely believe there are people there that just plain don’t know any better.

                      Living free can be tough. The freedom to succeed demands a reciprocal freedom to fail.
                      But there’s nothing quite like it. It is even a safer place than any safe space, under the rule of law. A free people are more tolerant of other cultures than any, provided the actions of others are all consensual. A free people work harder and produce more than any slave to government greed, innovate faster, and are more charitable than the most stringently enforced edict from on high. They call us hateful bigots because they think taking away freedom will prevent all the bad things that can happen from ever happening again. Utopian thinking. But taking away freedom never provides the paradise promised. So they have to take ever more.

                      If there is a single worst thing I could wish on the particular persons that choose to harm the rest of us like that, I would leave them alone to suffer the consequences of their actions. Alone. Where they could never control another unwilling soul again.

                      It isn’t likely to ever happen. But while I’m dreaming, I want to fix this mental block I’ve got on my next chapter, so best get back to writing. Before the space monsters eat our heroes like M&Ms, that is.

                    2. “It is probably a vain hope to believe that at least *some* of those mired in that dark place the left keeps its rank and file will be able to glimpse that there is a life outside of it because of the current internecine battle within the left. I know this. But I sincerely believe there are people there that just plain don’t know any better.

                      I think you’re right. Look at that recent survey on public perceptions of how many unarmed* black men (no, I’m not using the capital letter, I’m not ceding an inch of ground to the woke) are killed by police. So many people, including some on the right, got it wrong by several orders of magnitude. I can’t imagine the numbers on any other issue are any better. I can’t totally blame people for supporting this stuff when they’re being fed nothing but lies.

                      (* Leaving aside the matter that, a grown man in decent health should probably never be considered truly unarmed. Of course, my opinion on that is probably biased by being a short woman.)

                      Furthermore, the left is good at binding people in chains, both literal and figurative. They can absolutely make you afraid to question the orthodoxy, even in the privacy of your own head. I consider myself a fairly independent thinker, and I still spent a long time shying away from questioning the trans narrative, because that would have me a bad person. I’m not even talking about fear of ostracism here (though they also use that, in spades), but fear that disagreement itself, even private disagreement that I never breathed a word of, was a moral failing that would utterly taint me. (There are no minor moral failings in social justice. All sins are mortal.)

                      In an environment like that, it’s really not surprising that otherwise decent people get swept up.

                      And best of luck with the writing!

                    3. “I think you’re right. Look at that recent survey on public perceptions of how many unarmed* black men (no, I’m not using the capital letter, I’m not ceding an inch of ground to the woke) are killed by police. So many people, including some on the right, got it wrong by several orders of magnitude. I can’t imagine the numbers on any other issue are any better. I can’t totally blame people for supporting this stuff when they’re being fed nothing but lies.
                      (* Leaving aside the matter that, a grown man in decent health should probably never be considered truly unarmed. Of course, my opinion on that is probably biased by being a short woman.)”

                      There have been a lot of studies on “gun violence” that were done in bad faith. “Studies” done with an eye not to scientifically discern what, if any, relationship exists between firearms ownership and crime, but to achieving a specific political end. The CDC these days is particularly bad for this, and bad at it too. There are also the ones done by other leftists (I say leftist and not liberals because I can remember a time when the ACLU actually defended free speech, among other things). There is a *lot* of false information out there masquerading as truth, and there are institutions that think they have reason to obfuscate anything that does not support the narrative. Any time I see a “study” that does not publish their sources on the subject, and it is almost universally found on one side, it becomes clear that what they are doing is not science, but subterfuge.
                      To your latter, they may not be “armed” in a legal sense, but even an unarmed man can be a lethal threat. Especially a large thug, often high on some substance or other with less sensitivity to pain. Which is why I very much am for a trained and armed law abiding citizenry. It doesn’t matter how insensitive to pain the violent thug is when there isn’t enough blood pressure left in his body to matter. And I have not the least little bit of sympathy for any man that gets shot and killed in the act of trying to harm someone else.
                      So if your local laws allow it, I would recommend getting your concealed carry license. Learn the local laws, take a beginner’s course if you don’t know anything about guns, then find out which gun fits your hand. Shooting practice can be fun, too. I’ve known many a lady that is a far better pistol shot than I am. Woe unto he that thinks such a woman is easy prey for it will likely be the last time ever that he tries to harm an innocent.
                      In an environment like that, it’s really not surprising that otherwise decent people get swept up.
                      That’s a bad place to be, where you convict yourself by your own thoughts. When the narrative seems to change every day- at least, that’s how it looked like from the outside- innocent people are bound to get tripped up without even knowing it. Look at all the people that have had their social media accounts mined for some past offence that was completely normal, even praised, at the time they made it. Scary stuff, that.
                      As to “all sins are mortal,” that reminds me of a bit of a story (that I’m probably going to mangle, as I barely remember it):
                      A general is returning with his army at the order of his lord, and must show up on time. He is stopped by a flood that hinders his progress. He cannot make the timetable. So he asks his aide, “what is the penalty for being late?”
                      “Death,” replies the aide.
                      “And the penalty for causing revolt and rising up against the lord?”
                      “Also death.”
                      “Well then.”
                      Sometimes when penalties are set like that they invite rebellion rather than compliance. Not many will go that route, but for some, the cognitive dissonance eventually may become too much. I don’t mean they will wage war within the party. I mean they will accept that they cannot continue as they are, and strike out for parts unknown. That can be a very tough choice to make when your job, your friends, and your family may all think you are a fool for doing so. It takes courage.
                      And best of luck with the writing!
                      Thanks! Looks like I’ll finish the chapter up juuuust under the wire for Monday.

                    4. I’ve just been shooting for the first couple of times this past month, and it’s surprisingly fun! 🙂 I’ve even got a gun in mind to buy, though now I have to actually find one for sale.

                    5. Glad to hear it. If you have an FFL in minf you like, you can order one and have it shipped there. FFL tacks on a charge for handling and you have to fill out your forms and take your background check, but sometimes it is easier to get the particular model that fits your hand that way. Budgunshop.com has a pretty good reputation around where I’m at, so that may be one to take a look at. Price of ammunition will eventually come down, so it will be cheaper to go put little holes in paper targets for recoil therapy someday soon, I hope.

                    6. I’m in CA, so I have to actually take a test in person to buy my first handgun (I think it’s only the first, but this is CA, so who knows), but I’ll see what kinds of “buy online, take test in store” options there are, thanks!

                    7. I’ve just been shooting for the first couple of times this past month,

                      Congratulations!

                      and it’s surprisingly fun! 🙂

                      Yes. Yes it is.

                      Our side has a distinct strategic advantage in converting people: in most cases all we have to do is get them to go to the range and take their first shot.

                      And shooting is not what most people would think when they hear the word “meditative”, yet it is.

                      I’ve even got a gun in mind to buy, though now I have to actually find one for sale.

                      What model if I may ask? (IIRC you are in CA, which severely limits choices)

                    8. “And shooting is not what most people would think when they hear the word “meditative”, yet it is.”

                      I was really surprised, but it was.

                      “What model if I may ask? (IIRC you are in CA, which severely limits choices)”

                      CZ 75 SP-01. I know, it’s a bit pricey, but I just fell in love with it. And I have very small hands and am unfortunately located in CA, so my options are quite limited!

                    9. I haven’t shot the compact version, but the 75 is a fine weapon for folks with small hands. Not too snappy, just right. Recoil doesn’t settle right back onto target like a heavier pistol, but the 9mm doesn’t need the extra fat. I still prefer the Browning Hi-Power for my grip, though.

          2. Werewolf also firmly had its victim hierarchy in place even back in the 90s. The absolute worst thing you could be was a human of European decent. Next was a werewolf of European decent. Humans of Native American decent got put on a special pedestal, clearly superior to anyone European and not compared to any of the below. Next came werewolves of Native American decent. Then other shapeshifting species (for the most part), which were almost never European in their human forms. I believe that the ultimate winner was the Bunyip, an Aboriginal Australian marsupial werewolf-ish species that were genocided by the other werewolves. I don’t think it was ever included in the rules that anyone seeing a Bunyip had to fall down and worship it, but it was clearly implied.

              1. “descent.”

                the s is silent.


                Interesting. I try to spell it as “desent” because to me the “sc” combo is “ssssss” sound. From: de-scent.

                1. That whole “rationally knowable universe” premise that is the foundation of SF has some mild* incompatibilities with wokeism.

                  * for values of “mild” on the order of “annihilation reaction”

                    1. As long as someone else pays it, it’s free, right?

                      Did they not, ever, read all the other stories with themes about paying the cost? Or the oft repeated saying that there is no power without price? With great power comes great responsibility? Ye blobs and little fishes, that theme is so old its practically part of humanity itself!

                    2. You always have to have a price for magic in a fantasy world or you end up with characters who are so powerful that you can’t even come up with reasonable plots or consequences.

                  1. As humans ain’t rational, the issue of a “rationally knowable universe” seems moot.

                    Target your SF to wallabies; while a small market we are insanely rational. AND we’re cuter than koalas, those stuck up eucalyptus eaters! Do you have any idea how that makes their breath smell? Yechhh.
                    ~

                2. I had to explain why a tiltrotor aircraft couldn’t exceed the speed of sound… no, i’m not kidding….

                    1. My hand to Bog, the first time I saw a Dauphin helicopter fly over, I stared and gasped, “It’s Airwolf!” It was painted very dark blue, and in the morning twilight, it looked just. Like. Airwolf. I so wanted one.

                1. see the thing about tiltrotors
                  and explaining how an even had to be something besides an EMP because an EMP large enough to cascade across the entire US couldn’t happen at ground level without causing a lot of destruction
                  and explaining that rifles and carbines don’t have buttstocks *just* to take recoil, its also to make it easier to steady the weapon for long range fire (cf. pistol braces)- i didnt get this one through because their weapons were designed the way they were so that they could make miniatures

      2. These things make me want nothing more than to build an alt history when they win.

        1. The Nazis?

          Plenty of those. Amazon even had a TV series based on that premise, very loosely (aka probably in name only, but I haven’t read the novel) based off of a Philip K. Dick novel. I’ve heard that the final season was horrible, though. A shame, because I enjoyed the first episode (the only one that I’ve watched).

          1. from people who have read both, it was not ‘loosely’, they just had to stretch it out.

          2. The biggest problem with the show is that protagonist is such a Mary Sue. What kept me watching were the outstanding performances by the nominal antagonists John Smith, SS officer (Rufus Sewell) and Kido, Kempetai Inspector (Joel de la Fuentes*) The story is the great tragedy of these men, who love their families and are loyal to their countries, commit crimes and monstrosities because of the nations they have pledged themselves to.

            * One of those “only in America” things: a guy with a Jewish first name and Spanish last name having enough Japanese ancestry to play a Japanese army officer.

            And I think there had to be a closeted conservative on the writing staff, because way too many leftist talking points and ideas wound up in Nazi mouths to be a coincidence. What do the good Nazi children learn about George Washington? How many slaves he had. What’s the big Nazi political push in the states? Jahr Null and the destruction of American icons. What does Himmler think about riots of young people? They’re great! Rioting is a rite of passage! There are other hints that someone was unorthodox. The Japanese American complaining about the internment camps of WWII? The Jew shoots her a look of “Bitch, please.” Oh, and when the Black Communists occupy a hotel, the woman suggests to her lover that they should get married, get a house, and adopt kids. (The Nazis sterilized black women as girls.) His reply? “We’re communists; get a house?!” And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how MAD is shown to work multiple times to maintain the peace between nuclear powers.

        2. I suspect that it probably wouldn’t be that different from the one where the Communist survived WWII instead of the National Socialist. “Communist” and “Stalin” would be the big political insults, and campuses would be hotbeds of edgy kids embracing Nazism light and wearing Himmler t-shirts.

  16. I don’t have any interracial couples — I think —

    What, a Chinese Dragon shifter & a Greek Wolf shifter aren’t different races? 😉

    1. Oh.
      See. My issue is that I don’t think in races. I really, really don’t.
      I mean Kyrie’s grandad turns out to be black, which I think makes her black in the current parlance. BUT I JUST thought of that. (That’s bowl of Red. Her grandad is a piece of work….)

      1. I would have to reread DS:T but from what I recall of the descriptions of some of the cats in the Darkship teams I suspect an argument could be made of inter-raciality. Not that I particularly dwelt on race or that you even described it other than in passing. It had nothing to do with the story nor the milieu and I suspect that in a colony of that size inter-marriage had effectively eliminated all vestiges of racial identity.

        Which might just be the problem: you did not signal anti-racism. I finally clued i on the opposition to Dr. Suess after hearing two different people saying the problem is that the Sneetches simply agree that discrimination over tummy marking is silly and the content of one’s character is what matters – they do not dismantle Systems Of Oppression. (I do not recall that book approaching such levels of complexity to have depicted such systems, but I guess the mind-reading abilities of Leftist Academics — they must have evolved such abilities, having stuck their heads up their butts — revealed those background elements.

        TL:DR – if you are not waving the anti-racism flag with sufficient vigor it can only be because you are racist.

        You are NOT permitted to not care.
        ~

        1. I don’t know how to penetrate these people’s heads.

          See above remark about the source of their telepathic abilities – I recommend a proctoscope.
          ~

        1. Yeah. So, her grandad is against mixing races. His daughter was so afraid of him, that she abandoned Kyrie. She and Kyrie’s dad eventually married anyway, but they live under the crazy old man’s thumb. And now he’s tracked down Kyrie.
          OTOH her parents and her three siblings are very nice people.

        1. Just re-read Sweet Alice, Draw One in the Dark, Gentleman Takes a Chance, and Three Matches. Taking a couple days break (so I claim just now…) before re-reading Noah’s Boy.

          1. I’m In A Mood, so there’s Peter Nealen’s Thunder Run (current) and two more Amerikkkan Praetorians in the same queue.
            Peter Grant pointed to the eBook Harvard 5′ library set, but I’ not sure. $1.99 for the batch (32K pages, says the listing), and I think there’s a good bit of Twain and Hart.

            1. Er,,,

              Was that specific spelling of “American” intentional? Because that particular letter repitition has an unfortune forebear, and is more along the lines of what I’d expect to see from the woke left.

              I’ve read the first four books of Nealen’s “Maelstrom Rising” series myself. The European story was more interesting to me than the homefront story, so I held off on the fifth book. But apparently he just released a sixth one now?

              1. Intentional, yes. Sarcasm pointed at the woke left, very much so.

                He posts at American Praetorians dot com, where you can keep up to date on new releases.Thunder Run came out on the 26th; again Euro, and Matt’s team look like they have a good-sized challenge.

                I’ve enjoyed both halves, though I have passing familiarity with the areas involved in the American side. The only trouble is that headlines threaten to act as plot spoilers. (Or the plot preceeds headlines, being spoilers for them…) Might explain part of my mood–that and the not-yet weaponized walker.

    2. Ran into a discussion on another site. Thread title was “Interracial couples in fantasy.” Pretty good discussion on the cultural aspect of it. One race was a really strict caste system, the other was built more on meritocratic/semi-industrial lines.

      Some noob wandered in and thought they were talking in code. *shakes head*

      I’ve already ranted once this year about “there is no such thing as race.” I’m trying to limit my rants, really I am…

        1. Yikes! I live on the north side. The south wind brings Racine contaminated air!😺

    3. Reminds me of the young males who would be ENRAGED on IRC to discover the female characters he’d been hitting on (so damned obviously it was painful) had males at the keyboard and then DEMANDED that the (years-and-years-of-history) channel change and allow only females to to play female, males to play male… in a place where the *species* was damn near random. Yes, such were mocked unmercifully. Self-inflicted wounds gain no sympathy. I know it’s NOT the case, but Back When there was the saying, “The Internet: Where the Men are Men, the Women are too, and the Children are FBI.”

      The curious thing is that I *stumbled* onto a ‘tell’ without trying to find one. If someone said ” ‘allo!” and I replied “and lanolin” and there was bewilderment, that generally meant ‘male at keyboard’ and if they ‘got it’ that generally meant ‘female at keyboard’. Not that it actually *mattered*. Minds are minds.

      1. And now a saying an old SCA acquaintance used to say:” Ah for the good old says when men were men and sheep were nervous.”
        His name was Magnus, and after he came out with that one odds were excellent that someone would bleat, “Maggggggnusssss!” as he passed by.

        1. I recall time in Platteville, WI where (amongst some…) it was said, “Platteville, where the men are men, the women are too, and the sheep run scared.”

          They must have run. That was hog country, as one could tell by all the er… augmented hydrogen sulfide.

      2. The curious thing is that I *stumbled* onto a ‘tell’ without trying to find one. If someone said ” ‘allo!” and I replied “and lanolin” and there was bewilderment, that generally meant ‘male at keyboard’ and if they ‘got it’ that generally meant ‘female at keyboard’. Not that it actually *mattered*. Minds are minds.

        *bewildered*

      3. Looks it up. I *think* I get it; we use damned little lanolin, but lots of aloe in Captain Jack’s backyard.

        I’m stopping the opiates, though the doc doesn’t want me to use the Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen combo I prefer. Something about stacking anticoagulants bothers him. Funny that…

        1. There were plenty of TV ads once upon a time for this or that personal care product with “aloe and lanolin” and somehow I saw or at least heard enough the memory was implanted. I hadn’t realized there was any sex/gender bias to recall of such until well after I’d been using it as a Stock Response. I have no idea what the brand or even product was, but the promoted ingredients? Those I recall.

          1. A web search using Qwant for [‘allo and lanolin] brings up some entertaining FUD. The gubbage doesn’t show if the search is [aloe and lanolin], at least not on the first page. Life (at least as shown on the net) is strange.

            1. Count me as bewildered by the “Aloe and Lanolin” thing. I spent about twelve years overseas with absolutely no exposure to TV commercials, save of the military recruiting/retention kind.

  17. I visited, and remained, because I see so many similarities to people here. (Oh, not what you do – I just can’t tell stories. I’m known as an ‘intellectual kangaroo’. I blame it on my mind working much faster than my mouth. In my head I construct a narrative. A prologue, a beginning, a middle with relevant asides, and an end all flowing seamlessly and in a logical progression. But what everyone else actually hears is a beginning, a random apparently unrelated insert and … they usually give up long before the end. Sigh! And I don’t think I have to point out my verbal diarrhoea, never use one word when a convoluted multi-page sentence will suffice – which is funny since in ‘meat space’ I’m known as taciturn and laconic). But your (personal) stories.

    When I was younger I tried to identify what it was about me that was just so different from (what seemed) everyone else around me. I’m not noticeably more intelligent than many (maybe? A bit over average). More talented, skilled, motivated, knowledgeable – nope. As a child/teen I’d definitely be on the spectrum today, but so would a few others who seemed to ‘cope’ better.

    Then I began to notice (only in others like me) that ‘we’ seem to, to borrow Pratchetts idea, have not only first sight, and second thoughts, but often third thoughts too. Most people (I’ll be the first to admit) ‘appear’ to lack, not completely, but the constant introspection, the self-appraisal, ‘we’ do.

    I don’t think first sight, seeing what is really there, is inherent. I think it’s learnt (often from bad experience). But second and third thoughts is (we don’t just question why we think/do things, we question whether the questioning is … er questionable?).

    Also we (I again may be wrong) seem to be more empathic. Being outsiders (even if only in our heads – I may be Barbara Everette, I ‘can’ fit in with the mundanes but inside I’m as weird as any) we can ‘imagine’ being in others shoes more easily, even those we disagree with, despise or dislike.

    So many people I’ve met have claimed to be introspective, yet seem never to question or challenge themselves, merely ‘compare/contrast’ with who they wish to emulate. So may claim to be empathic, yet again only with those they see as like them. It’s a faux introspection/empathy designed only to be more like the group.

    As you say, we’re social creatures. We all, even extreme loners like me, wish to ‘belong’. We all have ‘a uniform’ and a ‘code of conduct’ for the group, and even the sub-groups, we wish to be associated with (notice how even those rebellious loners all seem to wear roughly the same outfits, like similar music, read the same books and say the same general things – I’m currently sporting my bushcrafter chic – I’m not a Fjallraven conformist, I’m a Sasta rebel and it’s an indescribable joy to meet another although we don’t have a secret handshake, or designated musical genre … yet).

    The difference with us is that we know this and deliberately try to be different (and end up being even more similar) lol.

    So, to an extent we all judge others as ‘like us, but not us’. We (unconsciously) assume they have similar knowledge, experiences, motivations and aims as we do. But most really aren’t like us. The writer is probably more representative. She won’t ever see that she has anything in common with you. She won’t empathise and she’ll do anything to follow her groups code even if it drives into penury.

        1. I just have, mostly, given up conversation. I’m part of the social group, in that I’m there. Part of the conversation? Not so much. I’ll only push something if it is critically important. Social settings … it never is critically important.

          Been that way forever. As a kid never could have a conversation with my parents. Tried. I always ended up writing a letter and delivering it. In the end at least I felt like I was heard.

          1. One of the larger disappointments with Life was that as I was entering college, I finally got to the point where I could have a decent conversation with my father. All abruptly cut short by his final heart attack a few days after he came down to campus for Dad’s day weekend. (I’d gotten an unexpected offer of a ride home the afternoon before, and got to see my parents in emptyish-nest domestication.) It was a good weekend, but the nitroglycerine tabs Dad had to take were ominous foreshadowing of Something’s Not Right.

            Himself saw fit to call Dad home the following Wednesday; I still miss him after 50+ years. The conversations promised to be fascinating. (Dad was another Odd.)

          2. As a kid you cannot have conversation with parents because you are not equals. They have responsibilities you lack. Once you’ve grown (and especially once you have taken o the challenges of civilizing one or more children) conversation as equals becomes possible. Facilitation of this is one reason societies initiated rites of passage – when you’ve participated in a hunt or stood in a shield wall you’ve proven yourself a man and due treatment as one; when you’ve kept a house and borne a child you have earned the privilege of addressing your mom as a peer.
            ~

            1. Dad was willing to extend that privilege once I got out and went to school, largely on my own(*) resources. Same for Eldest Brother, though Elder Brother never quite hit escape velocity. OTOH, much of that was after Dad passed; Mom’s a softer touch. (Not looking forward to aftermath if Mom passes before Elder B. Waggles hand on odds.)

              (*) Tuition waiver and a minor scholarship. After Dad passed, the SSI minority benefit meant that summer jobs tended to pay for discretionary expenses.

              1. When Daughtorial Unit attempted certain arguments with her mother she’d get told, “When you have lived on your own earnings, as your mother has, you can claim standing for that argument, Until such time you have not the right to debate that.”

                For some reason the Daughtorial Unit never tried those arguments with her father, nor with her mother since having been on her own. Perhaps the fact that Mom stayed home once Daughtorial Unit entered this world had her thinking Mom had never been self-supporting.

                Supporting yourself ought be a prerequisite for entry to many discussions.
                ~

    1. I think you missed the point a bit. I don’t think we realize we’re not quite the same as the assumed cultural norm and then “deliberately try to be different (and end up being even more similar).” Instead, we tend to reject the assumed cultural norm and just do as we (each) desire so long as we aren’t harming anyone else. And your last paragraph is (if I understand it correctly) just flat wrong. We enjoy each other’s company while not requiring everyone to be like us or to have the same interests. And I think to a fair extent we all recognize that, too.

      1. Some of us just don’t notice what has become the cultural norm. “Oh, that’s A Thing now? How dull” and go back to doing our thing until the norm is used to hit us over the head for something or the other. (I have to force myself to keep with some pop-culture, because of Day Job. The students boggle that a teacher knows something about anime, pop-music, or the internet.)

        1. I’m another one who used to have to keep track of this stuff because professional reasons … and again – now think, “This is a thing? Ugh. How pointless and boring … but they’ll be on to something else tomorrow. Meanwhile… more interesting stuff for me to pursue…”

        2. Speaking of:

          The guy in the hood is doing dances from the game.

          All the folks who make up the band work on the game. 😀

            1. It’s also a mix of themes from earlier dungeons and raids… which makes a lot of sense once you know the backstory of the dungeon.

              The music in the game is very good, and has only gotten better with each new release for it.

              1. That’s one thing that Final Fantasy has always had going for it is the music. Not sure if they’re still using Uematsu as their composer or if he’s moved on to other projects, but they do the music well.

          1. The Manderville!

            Shame Hildebrand only got a quick cameo (that doesn’t always fire) in Shadowbringers.

              1. Given that the last time we saw him, he was disappearing into a portal, it was generally assumed that the man himself would be appearing on the First. But the only thing we saw was a brief cameo by his phantasm in the one dungeon.

        3. I once knew, or was at least aware of, a fellow who claimed he subscribed to Entertainment Weekly not because he liked it, but it helped him figure out just what the Hell everyone else was going on about. Truth Coefficient: UNKOWN. (Esp. as I suspect he was/is a sincere Biden-voter… Let me just say I hope Ma & Pa set up a trust fund or such, or when they both are gone, he’s in for a HELLUVA nasty shock).

      2. Is there a word other than being imprecise for being less than clear? Sorry.

        As you say, we’re different (in different ways). We notice, reject (although speaking personally that comes after being rejected because conforming was impossible, as an adult or teen I might have wished and been able to do so, as a child I attempted and failed) and (deliberately decide to) do as we desire (be what we are) and … end up with others ‘just like us’.

        My (very) lame fashion statement was an attempt to suggest (from my limited personal experience) that no matter how individual we are, there are always others almost like us (who we share fundamental, to us, traits with), and we (inevitably, if lucky) group with them.

        “We enjoy each other’s company while not requiring everyone to be like us or to have the same interests” is both inclusive and exclusionary a definition of a groups characteristics, its uniform or code. No? (seriously interested in your interpretation) As an outsider I see many congruences amongst all of you here, that merely being the major one.

        I’m not sure which part is wrong (please clarify). Think of the simplest, most fundamentally ‘everybody knows’ piece of knowledge you have (wiring a plug or changing a tyre are simplistic compared to most knowledge we mean here, but examples). Now consider how many people really don’t know it. It was both a shock, and a comfort when I finally realised it.

        We know ‘leftist’ types make, to us, irrational and even dangerous decisions. But what if they simply don’t have the simplest understanding, that we assume they do. We complain of the bubble they live in, but don’t follow through to the effect that has on them.

        1. There are numerous congruences among us, certainly. Perhaps the strongest is that we tend to accept others into the conversation without requiring any particular litmus test of them, outside of basic social politeness and reciprocity of listening and speaking. We sometimes have arguments with each other, but we don’t let those get to the point of personal animosity. We come from many different backgrounds and have many different skills and knowledge about various different things. But what I don’t see is how my statement “We enjoy each other’s company while not requiring everyone to be like us or to have the same interests” is exclusionary in even the slightest extent. The only exclusionary aspect is that we don’t countenance impoliteness or monopolization of the conversation.

          Again, I think your last paragraph is wrong. We have a pretty clear understanding of the left and what they believe and how they operate. We couldn’t not have such an understanding–it’s forced on us incessantly. The real problem is that they have no idea about us, but are pretty self-satisfied that they know all there is to know about everyone not-them.

          1. I agree but “basic social politeness and reciprocity of listening and speaking” is becoming so rare most places it’s almost revolutionary, and so many simply cannot tolerate it (and being forced to learn, and face a differing opinion, alter their own), the exclusion not being proactive, but reactive (and certainly not a criticism, the opposite if anything)..

            It’s probably mainly my issue in that I assumed so much of the lefts agenda was deliberately ‘evil’ (having spent so much time in so may places where those self-same policies came to fruition and bore their predictable terrible fruit, and having to bury it, I tend to an extreme reaction – I ‘fell out’ with some acquaintances who cheered on the ‘assault rifle ban’ until I realised as typical urban Brits they simply hadn’t the most basic understanding of the issues so merely aped the media). Whilst it may be true for those running the show, for the average ‘follower’ it was at least some small (miniscule) comfort that it wasn’t that they were evil, malignant, deliberately destructive or stupid, just utterly uninformed.

            I suspect (wonder) if many of my difficulties in ‘phrasing’ are ‘platform based’, I have the same issues in phone conversation. I miss the non-verbal, both reading and being read and so seem to specialise in never quite being grokked. But thanks for at least trying ;-P

            1. I suppose it started (and continues) as a defensive strategy that I do not generally try to rush into any group, but hang back (call it fear of commitment if you must, but not being sure if it’s a real fire or a good looking hologram, it’s better to stand aside and maybe get warm than rush in and get burned). This has had the curious side effect of being invited in, often as those rushing in or trying to are rejected. Of course, that could be from learning the (sub)culture rather than trying to force their (sub)culture, or similar.

              1. A (typically) sensible piece of advise (I’ve lurked for years, but not enough it seems), and an interesting one for a ‘regular’. It’s somewhat at odds with the ‘all people and ideas are welcome as long as you aren’t rude or antisocial’ I’ve just been repeatedly informed is a matter of faith here though. Speak, but only when you’re spoken to is hardly a basis for open discussion.

                It’s a private, personal and professional site, so rules can be anything the host desires. It’s interesting again how all those on the left not only use just that argument, but operate in exactly that manner too. America has become a nation of warring tribes, it’s not just failing, it’s failed.

                I thought I might eventually have something to contribute at some point, and have the chance to get other, more varied, perspectives in the mean time. I have knowledge and experiences (and the accompanying nightmares) that I doubt many here have (although Kathy might know some like me) but apparently not.

                I wish you well.

                1. “Speak, but only when you’re spoken to is hardly a basis for open discussion.” True, but that’s not what Orvan or you are talking about. Neither of you were prohibited from speaking–you each voluntarily decided not to speak till you felt it was the right time for you to do so. That’s the other side of “all people and ideas are welcome:” you’re not forced to or expected to contribute to the conversation unless you desire to.

                  You say, “I thought I might eventually have something to contribute at some point, and have the chance to get other, more varied, perspectives in the mean time. I have knowledge and experiences (and the accompanying nightmares) that I doubt many here have (although Kathy might know some like me) but apparently not.”

                  Once again, I don’t understand you. Are you saying you believe that we wouldn’t accept your contributions, or would somehow cast aspersions on them? My friend, I guarantee you that you are not the strangest (for any definition of “strange” you can come up with) person here. But we seldom bite, and even less frequently draw blood…

                    1. I suddenly want to lock you and RES in a room together and record the resulting conversation. I’m curious just how far and how fast the English language can go off the rails when you have a vicious cycle of people deliberately misunderstanding it.

                2. See, it’s not just “Don’t speak unless spoken to” but “Do NOT rush in uninvited (save in emergency).” The result is that I have been ‘backstage’ in place I genuinely had NO business being ‘backstage’ and have invited into the “inner circle” when I likely had no business there either. Being calm helps. At one(fur) con, I was… er.. ‘Feeling No Pain’.. and chatting with the con’s Head of Security… who excused themselves after a radio call “Sorry, need to deal with a drunken idiot.” When we resumed conversation, I had switched to water. HoS: “See, that’s what I like. Someone who knows to do that BEFORE there’s a problem.” (Well, I was getting a mite woozy… so.) It’s been, 12+ years [DAMN, I miss RCFM!] and that story *still* amuses me.

                3. Jervan, honest disagreement/misunderstanding is no reason to disappear. We have those all the time here. Wilful misunderstanding or straw-man arguments are what cause problems.

                    1. I’m getting back to laughing and chuckling. Odds FTW!

                      There’s a difference between spirited discussions and flamewars. Certain people have tried the latter, but nobody outflames Fluffy the dragon!

                    2. >> “Even heated disagreement.”

                      As long as you argue in good faith and stand down when Sarah tells you to stop (or someone else points out you’re breaking the rules) you’ll be fine, I went overboard myself arguing with Fox a few months ago and they haven’t run me off yet. And I’m fairly sure Fox isn’t planning any “accidents” for me. 😉

                    3. >> “Your first sign you really pissed her off will be a court order to come help wrangle her mini-horde”

                      [blink]

                      Note to self: NEVER piss Foxfier off.

                      Although now I’m wondering how long it’ll be before she turns her spawn loose here and we all end up being part-time mini-horde wranglers. 🙂

                    4. You’re protected by my having told too many cute kid stories– can’t have them popping up to “correct” me!

                    5. >> “can’t have them popping up to “correct” me!”

                      I suspect they’ll find their own way here eventually, though. Don’t they ever wonder where Mommy hangs out online? Do they know you go by “Foxfier?”

                    6. >> “My kids eventually found their way to all the sites where I used to hang out….”

                      How old were they, and how old are Fox’s? I’m wondering how long we have left.

                    7. Our hostess makes typos all the time and one of our regulars types with hooves. Somehow I don’t see this crowd driving her off with torches and pitchforks over it.

                      Besides, maybe being part of an online community she likes will encourage her to get better.

                    8. Think more like “sitting…here….picking…out… mom, how do you start to spell–? Oh. Yeah. Typing position, sorry— *types correctly for two minutes, starts picking out again*”

                    9. Torches and pitchforks? Nyah – this lot is more inclined to plasma cannon and railguns.

                      But not over typos, not ever over typos.
                      ~

                    10. >> “Torches and pitchforks? Nyah – this lot is more inclined to plasma cannon and railguns.”

                      I figured you guys used bad wallaby-issued puns to drive people away.

                      ..That IS your excuse, right? 😛

                    11. There is NO situation so dire nor so delightful that it cannot be enhanced by addition of a wallaby.
                      ~

                  1. “be not afraid”?

                    Alright, I know to beware sneaky pitchforks and tridents (with horns, hooves, tail, one needs be careful about such things) and there are the stealthy soapboxen here. But a halo? That’s new. For me, anyway. Another thing to watch out for. For all I know, the things short out in the rain.

                    1. “and there are the stealthy soapboxen here. “

                      *checks. Checks again.*

                      Wasn’t me this time, I swearzies! I am on a strict no soapbox diet. Or intermittent fasting. Not sure which.

                    2. >> “and there are the stealthy soapboxen here.”

                      soapbOXEN? Really, Orvan?

                      Stay put. It’ll take me a minute to drag the HEAVY carp over here.

                    3. I love en as an ending, so I love that. Even if he’s a bovine supremacist.
                      <scritches Ox between the horns, in that space that's hard to reach. "Good ox. Funny ox."

                    4. Well, that’s ONE reaction. Me, I’m thinking we need an alt-version of that Warhammer 20k heresy meme:

                      “Brother, get the carp.

                      The.

                      HEAVY.

                      Carp.”

                    5. >> “DGM seems to have an affinity for carp-et bombing.”

                      Why settle for carp-et bombing? I say we take off and carp the entire blog from orbit.

                      It’s the only way to be sure.

                    6. I wouldn’t say bovine supremacist, just have some natural preference is all. And various folk in computing have been using ‘boxen’ as the plural for some time. And variants, such as if there is (was) more than a single Vax, Vaxen. I do not know what a singular Vix might be. ♉

                  2. Jerven has done this before. I don’t know why. I think his “disagreement is confrontation and I am non-confrontational” dial has too much gain.
                    I sympathize. I used to be like that. Then the last 15 years happened.

                    1. So what you are saying is that we need to have enough knock-down-drag-out fights with him that he loses his fear of confrontation?

                    2. Diving in and publicly embarrassing oneself multiple times and surviving it does wonders.

                      Er, not that I would know or anything. *looks around*

                    3. I can definitely empathize with the feeling. You just have to decide to stay put, let the shame storm rage, and stand up and brush yourself off when you’re done.

                      It’s worth it.

                  3. OTOH, if he cannot handle a sharp elbow under the basket he probably best fug off ’cause he will not be comfortable around this playground. People aren’t mean but they can be blunt, and one reason they landed here is that they rarely took somebody else’s word for anything.

                    I learned early in life that when you try to play with the big kids you’re going to have to accept a bit of friendly knocking about and not go crying to Teacher. If you find you’re not up to it best you stay on the sidelines.
                    ~

                4. Wait. If you took my reply as a “stand back please” you have it wrong. I was simply going on about my experience(s) and figure such MIGHT relate to your experience. I have no intention of chasing you off or putting you off. If I have, I am sorry for that. Perhaps I could have phrased things better or set up a better introduction to my meanderings. As is known, ox slow.

  18. “I don’t have any interracial couples — I think —” – actually, aren’t Jan and Damon an interracial couple (in DST)? Or have I hallucinated that recollection?

      1. It was a nice nod to CM too 🙂 Two of my lifelong friends (college buddies), one happens to be Caucasian, the other is Black, and I’m Asian. Funny how some of us don’t obsess over race……

        1. Yes. It was with CM’s explicit permission.
          BTW yeah…. I realized when we’d been married like 20 years that most people identify me as Latin, which isn’t even a race anywhere else, and therefore think we’re an interracial couple. I find this bizarre.
          And I consistently forget which of my friends are what race, which means I give my husband instructions like “Go find so and so in the con suite. He’s about our age, stocky, about ye tall.”
          Husband comes back “Honey, you didn’t say he was black.”
          “Oh. Well, I guess he is. I forgot.”
          MOSTLY I don’t even see people as bodies most of the time, unless it’s the guy I’m married to. When I dream of people they are, for lack of a better term “personality blobs.”

          1. “personality blobs”

            When you were little you drew just the face with arms and legs, not a stick man. Right? It’s a thing, apparently.

              1. The face thing vs. the stick man is a classic child development item. Some very young kids focus all on the face, other kids draw blank stick men doing things. But then they grow up and go to school where all the art is mashed out of them as much as possible. 😡

                1. Younger son is one of them repulsive* natural artists. He can draw any style quickly and well.
                  So, of course, he has no interest in it.
                  *why repulsive? I work for my meager achievements. In art and writing.
                  Oh, yeah, he’s the same in writing. So will he show his stories to anyone but me? Uh. No.
                  ARGH.

                  1. Hrmm… but aren’t you Natural Linguist or Translator?

                    I suspect it’s part of this world’s curse that precious few seem to enjoy what “just comes to them.” And I include myself. There were things I was asked, “why don’t you go into $THIS, you do it well?” and the answer was, “Because I absolutely hate it and I only do well because I *never* want to have to this crap over again!”

                    1. No. My brother! You could drop him naked in the middle of the Amazonian jungle.
                      He’d emerge in two weeks speaking two tribal languages fluently.
                      …. He’s an engineer.

          2. It has been a source of considerable amusement to me that, having in the internet developed a system for engagement of purely intellectual sort, devoid of trivial considerations such as race, gender, or species, our society has become ob-effing-sessed with identity politics while simultaneously fracturing identity beyod any concrete meaning.
            ~

          3. >> “When I dream of people they are, for lack of a better term “personality blobs.””

            Okay, now I REALLY want you to describe what each of us regulars are like as ”personality blobs.” This should be fascinating. 🙂

      2. Ah, but that’s the heart of the problem, Sarah. Individualism and color-blindness is just racist code for cryptofascism, don’t you know?

  19. I remember all those stories about the poor outcasts who aren’t accepted, and these days I look back and find myself thinking: well maybe there’s a GOOD REASON they were outcasts.

    As Gollum – and in real life, MZB and her repulsive husband – show us, sometimes when wider society rejects you, the problem is you.

    Worse yet are the cases when those outcasts who were treated unfairly end up shielding true predators – again, Breen.

    I’ve been odd-man-out all my life. Now I look back and think: maybe I should’ve tried to conform, at least in some things.

    1. Geek friendship fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil

      People who’ve been relentlessly shunned merely for being different often have great difficulty drawing lines when someone really is going beyond the pale.

    2. I’ve been odd-man-out all my life. Now I look back and think: maybe I should’ve tried to conform, at least in some things.

      Generally, it didn’t help, since I doubt you’d have conformed in things that Should Not Be Done– but it did get you attention both from those looking for those who are honorable, and those looking for prey that *wants* to conform. The latter responds poorly when they figure out you are, basically, being polite.

      A decent hack is looking into classic manners and following that.

    3. “Now I look back and think: maybe I should’ve tried to conform, at least in some things.”

      That was never an option. You just think you could have done that. When the Normies want you out, you’re out. Besides, it’s never the thing you think was the problem that was the problem. They just think you’re weird.

      I don’t even think about it anymore. I focus on doing the right thing and keeping my people safe and fed.That’s enough work for me. Trying to fit into other people’s expectations? Not happening.

        1. I can conform and present a very professional image, for about an hour. I’m pleasant, competent and I know a lot of stuff. I give a kick-ass ten minute interview.

          But eventually I get tired, and the Normies start looking at me funny. Because I’m still pleasant, competent and all that, but now I’m also just a little weird. My brain does not work like their brain, and they can tell. I am utterly blind to it, I can’t see what they see.

          It isn’t something you do, it’s something you -are-. You are -not- a sheep. You ARE a goat. Or in my case, more of an aardvark/anteater type thing. “Ants? EW! Nobody eats ants!” baa-ed the sheep. “All the more for me,” said I, who can’t eat the grass.

          Sadly, I often find other people with similar weirdness to myself to be very annoying in person. I can see what’s weird when they do it, but not when I do it. The urge to criticize is strong, so I step on it all the harder.

          A sign of growing up is when you accept that it’s no one’s fault, it’s just the way it is. You work around it and hang out with the people who find you amusing and fun. Such people do exist, and they will play nice with you. Try not to be an asshole, and you’ll probably be okay.

          People who don’t accept, we don’t bother with them. There’s always somebody yelling at me for doing it wrong, which is why I need more middle fingers. Karens are legion.

          1. Oh, uck. Now I have this image of a Roman Legion of Karens marching inexorably over everything in their path…

            An active imagination is NOT always a good thing! 😮

            1. Right? I have the same feeling. Countless red-faced middle aged women, scurrying around scolding everyone. I need more arms than Kali. She’s the champion of flipping people off. ~:D

              1. Laughter is the best rejoinder. Above anything, they want you to take them seriously. When you just laugh at them and thereafter ignore them, they can’t handle it at all.

                    1. Try? Try?! They cannot handle everyday, normal life in the Free World. It is too triggering, it invades their conquered lebensraum safe spaces, it is full if -isms and -ists, and no one bloody caaaaares about their feeeeelings!

                    2. But Dan, they expect people to try to cater to their psychotic whims. When you not only refuse, but laugh at them, and then either ignore their caterwauling or actively mock them, you might be able to raise their blood pressure so high they pop…it’s good to have a goal in life…

              1. Airstrike. Or orbital kinetic drop. I’m a big fan of the tungsten flying telephone pole. Hits like a nuke, no messy fallout to clean up.

            2. I like a legion of zombie Karens. “BRAINZZZZ….”. Because they certainly have none of their own.

                1. Okay. I just finished second go-over comic script, didn’t even post today.
                  I’m sitting here, half zombie myself, looking over comments.
                  THANK HEAVENS I’d just put the cup down on the table. or you’d owe me a laptop.

          2. I can conform and present a very professional image, for about an hour. I’m pleasant, competent and I know a lot of stuff. I give a kick-ass ten minute interview.


            I was good for almost 2 hour interviews. My problem? ALL Day Interviews … Every job I’ve gotten had interviews that 2 hours or less. There were multiple interviews, different interviewers; all were 2 hours or less.

            1. I did one of those all-day things once. It was as you describe. Multiple interviews, one after the other. I was great in the morning, less great after lunch. By 5pm I was out of gas and rolling my eyes at the questions, then giving honest answers.

              And as we all know, honest answers to stupid questions are the kiss of death in any large organization.

              This type of thing is why I’m self employed and not working for Umbrella Corporation. Their selection process actively eliminates anteaters like myself.

              Lately I’ve been dealing with a couple of large corps, and their middle management types LOVE to chat and go over things that I usually just send to the lawyer and then sign. The bigger the company the more they do it. They’re all “i am super important in my company, this contract is a super big deal, and i want to make sure you appreciate how hard i worked to get you this super great deal” type of thing. Meanwhile Mr. Clueless Phantom Anteater is saying “yeah yeah, just send me the paperwork and we’re done here, okay? Nice job, attaboy.”

              I fucking LOVE being self employed. Sometimes, it’s almost holy how much I love it.

              1. Being the boss means controlling the crap spigot — you decide how much of it you’re willing to allow to lap up the sides of your work boots in a day.

                Personally, I prefer employees who speak their minds, assuming of course that they have good minds with which to begin. Too many businesses have failed from going off the rails when a substantial number of its higher-level employees drift unknowingly into a dreamland of unreasonable expectations and counterproductive policies. A single bad manager can potentially cancel out the productivity of dozens of line employees, and a founder or other top manager can and will destroy hundreds of millions of dollars in investment rounds with misguided or even outright wackadoodle management. The Peter Principle is a terrifying killer of otherwise good business ideas. -_-

                Listening carefully to sane, cogent voices from the front lines is a major safeguard against ending up on the street with a begging cup. The big questions are eternally the same: Exactly what are we doing here? Who’s benefiting from this? How does it help make our customers happy? O_O

                Huh, this impulsive reply went off topic a bit. ^^;

                1. “The big questions are eternally the same: Exactly what are we doing here? Who’s benefiting from this?”

                  It’s funny you should mention. These are the big questions that Big Businesses never seem willing to hear, the ones I finally gave up in disgust and walked away from in the 2000s. They’re insane.

                  But I found out one reason for this insane behavior. Maybe not all the reasons, but one for sure. Zombie companies.

                  http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2021/03/04/zombie-apocalypse/

                  “These companies are in a kind of limbo – neither productive, nor seeking to enter formal insolvency proceedings. The zombies are plagued by large amounts of debt, low levels of profitability, negative margins and no capital for growth, meaning they effectively produce nothing. They survive because they get some sort of cash, often from the government, which enables them to pay the interest on their debt. Creditors allow them to continue existing for as long as they continue to pay interest.”

                  For example, a pet peeve of mine. Did you ever wonder why the telephone company doesn’t run a piece of fiber optic into a neighborhood whenever they fix a piece of twisted-pair cable? Then you’d have fiber already installed all over the place, almost for free, ready for the inevitable changeover to high-speed internet.

                  I wondered that once, and asked a linesman of my acquaintance. He laughed. “Think ahead?” he said when he finally stopped laughing. “At the phone company? You get fired for that.”

                  And now it makes sense. Because any change in operations or budgets endangers the steady-state of interest payments. The paltry amount of investment in adding an extra strand of fiber optic (amazingly cheap compared to copper) threatens the zombie balance sheet.

                  Which is why Rogers and Cogeco are eating Bell’s lunch in the internet space here in Ontario, and why Starlink is poised to eat all their lunches. Because they’re not living companies. They’re dead. Only jazzed into shambolic motion by necromantic infusions of tax money.

                  Socialism: where your freedom and your money goes to die.

              2. middle management types LOVE to chat and go over things that I usually just send to the lawyer and then sign.

                When you’ve sold your soul it is important to frequently remind yourself of the great reward you got.

                Especially when that reward is so trivial.
                ~

      1. > That was never an option. You just think you could have done that.

        10-4. Changed schools a bunch as my parents moved around the country; it was always the same. The normies can *tell* when you’re Odd.

    4. I’ve occasionally observed that one of the differences between the right and left in the US is that more (but likely still less than a majority) on the right have the restraint to hold off for a second and attempt to answer the question “Why!?” when they hear about the latest outrage.

      1. I think the biggest difference between the Right and Left in the US is that the Right understands the Left far better than the Left understands the Right.
        ~

          1. In fairness, it ought be acknowledged that the Right wants to understand the Left; the Left mostly just wants to dominate the Right.
            ~

    5. I conform in the pro-civilization ways.

      I don’t conform in anything else.

      I think that’s a reasonable solution.

  20. I hold to my religion’s teachings on homosexuality; that doesn’t mean I hate gay people. I’m certainly starting to hate activists though.

    1. One of a country act (Brothers Osborne) recently came out as gay. The usual reaction from the left is “them rednecks are going to have their heads exploding, and he (T.J. Osborne) will be driven out of country music! Bwahaha!”

      Imagine their disappointment at the real reaction: “OK, I guess. Still like their songs and he’s not being a jerk about it.” Country fans to TPTB: See our middle fingers?<