The Thing And The Semblance

I was reading Jane Austen Fan Fic again — yes, I know, but you know what? It’s still cheaper than cocaine or even the levels of alcohol needed to get through the present idiocy — and something made me guffaw out loud.

This young lady — almost for sure young — seems to have a very weird idea of the English Regency. Oh, she’s not so strange as some of them who think “Lord” is a title and that your title is just your last name and the house you live in satisfies the “of.” So, you know, the Bennets are made Lord and Lady Bennet of Longbourn because…. Cheese, Green, Penguins!

This woman’s ignorance was not that in your face, and because of that it was probably less noticeable, by her and others as well.

You see, she’s talking of how noble families disposed of second third and etc. sons, and caused me to laugh so hard I scared the cats.

Because you know? She thought the favored professions for such scions of noble houses were medicine, the law and the church in that order.

Sorry, I’m still giggling.

In fact, medicine was considered a trade, such as carpenter or plumber and would not have fit such great personages.

Mostly, they were sent to the army or the church, though a fourth son might be allowed to study the law, maybe, provided he could be granted some important post like judge.

Medicine rose in consideration as it became more efficient, and better at producing outcomes, and particularly as the men and women that people interacted with in the profession often went to crazy levels of self-sacrifice to make sure other people were well.

A few of those public figures and it set the tone for a respected profession.

The law became respected because well…. they make money. And are useful in the present day.

I was thinking of that when doctors have thrown their prestige and ability in in the service of various social causes that have nothing to do with medicine, and have become ever more faddish and prone to follow whatever the left wants.

Now, sure, that’s not all doctors. That’s not even most of them. It’s just their professional organizations and their public figures.

But it’s enough.

In the same way, how many lawyers does it take becoming judges and proving themselves partial and prejudiced, not to mention invencibly stupid, before lawyers too lose all perstige.

In this as in everything else, the left captures the institutions, professions or organizations, skins them, and wears the skin demanding respect.

As the error in the fanfic shows the left (almost for sure for the author) thinks that prestige and power inhere to things: to institutions, to skin color, to positions, to professions. They think it’s always been so and it will always be so, pre-ordained, world without end.

That is not how the world works. Professions and institutions acquire respect by proving themselves worthy of it.

Awards win respect by being given to people others admire. But how many idiots winning them with unreadable books does it take to wash away the patina of Heinlein?

Well, turns out not many.

How many idiots like the pathologically narcissistic Fauci does it take to destroy the patina of medicine? How many doctors on tic toc doing choreographed dances in empty hospitals while your cancer goes untreated? How many doctors getting in the middle of the street and pretending to be dead in “White coats for black lives?”

How many idiot engineers who can’t figure out 2+2 does not equal white supremacy have to build bridges that fall before people figure out the profession is not what it was.

How many graduates from Harvard have to fail at basic historical analysis before a degree from Harvard is worse than toilet paper, particularly in times of shortage?

There is something cells do when they deem they’re no longer useful. They commit apoptosis. I.e. they implode and get eaten by other cells.

In a way all the institutions of the industrial age, taken over by the left because the left imagines that power inheres to things, not individuals (even if things are status or station or organization) are now committing apoptosis, convinced that just a little push can get the left into power forever.

But society has already changed, and all they’re doing is killing themselves and any trust people had in them.

The society being aborn — these things always happen in pain and blood, alas — will have different prestige, different ranks, different trust. And definitely different institutions and organizations, in place of the crazy ones pushing historical fantasy and “equity” which means “Bias worn out and proud, because we’re that stupid.”

In the end, when you skin something and wear the skin you don’t get respect. All you get is a suit made of rot.

And the world goes on past you.

199 thoughts on “The Thing And The Semblance

    1. 180,000 in May. Multiply by 12 and you get over 2 million illegals per year. That means total immigration is 3 times higher than we can safely and orderly assimilate. That means the destruction of current American society. That means the destruction of current American institutions. The Progressive Left policy on immigration is outright EVIL. The Biden-Harris Administration are actively committing evil acts against American citizens.

      1. I would have phrased it as “actively committing treason” (so we have a legal reason to hang them) but otherwise… exactly so.

            1. I think cheapest might be zip tying them to something, and taping a plastic bag or sheeting around their head.

              How many people do you know that can actually tie a hang man’s noose, know how to calculate the lengths, and have the rope at hand?

              1. The length needs to be calculated? I was going off Hollywood, so of course I’m wrong. If “standing on a horse height” is not sufficient, how about “second story or better”?

                1. I seem to remember something about if you do it wrong, the person either strangles slowly, or their heads pop off.

                  Sicne the idea behing hanging is a quick broken neck, neithe of the other outcome are technically desirable.

                  1. Well, also, accidental head removal is messier than one is prepared for.

                  2. If the hangee is fat enough, the head pops off no matter how careful you are.

                    Guillotines avoid all sorts of problems. One size fits all!

                  3. Correct answer to all these problems:

                    Who cares??

                    [The idea that hanging is supposed to be one-quick-jerk is quite modern. Historically, it was a method of very public strangulation, and the more dancing at the end of the rope as a lesson to others, the better.]

                    1. I’m all in favor of the old traditions but the British with their hang, draw, and quarter really suffer in comparison with the continental breaking on the wheel or what the French did to Francois Ravaillac.

                    2. The full hang, draw, and quarter was reserved for men. Women were hanged until dead, and the rest done on their corpses. Ah, chivalry.

                    3. Shark bait.
                      They are always harping on “sustainability” and “natural”.

                    4. In Prince of Sparta, a CoDominuim colonel threatened an NCO with execution by hanging in low gravity I can see this working in one of three ways:

                      1. Very slow strangulation.
                      2. Very long drop, with the anticipation of the rope-induced deceleration building in the guest of honor’s mind.
                      3. The best of all possible worlds: both.

                    5. Though Kate Paulk’s fondness for impalement has a certain charm, so does Tom Kratman’s preference for crucifixion.

                      One must admit, though, that the gentle ministrations of Pinochet Aviation have a salutary flamboyance the other two methods lack.

                      Decisions, decisions…

                  4. I see neither of those outcomes as a real problem. But IIRC- the Army has a manual for computing such things as height of drop which take into account the weight of the soon to be deceased….

                    1. I think the calculations were done by Albert Pierrepont, who was a member of a family of British Executioners and ran a pub in his spare time. Evidently, he was quite professional and had it all worked out. He serviced several of the high ranking Nazis and seemed to be clean about it unlike the American one who had lied his way into the job and botched them.

                2. Basically, there are two or three general approaches for hanging someone ‘correctly’.

                  If you lift, the hangee suffocates by compression of the neck. This may also be known as short drop.

                  Basically, dropping the hangee with a bit of ‘slack’ in the rope makes for a sudden stop that converts the ‘gravity potential’ energy into breaking the neck. If the drop is too short, you don’t break the neck, and they die by suffocation. But if it is too long, you can make the head come off.

                  During the nineteenth century, empirical tables were made of what lengths for what heights and weights. Length of drop, weight of hangee, and maybe also height of hangee.

                  These tables obviously have not been worked out entirely for modern levels of obesity.

                  We’ve learned more about the mechanical theory than we knew in the nineteenth century, but it is not clear to me that we can reliably calculate things from theory.

                3. The drop does have to be calculated based on weight. British hangmen had this down to a science.

                  1. In theory, the mechanical dynamics of the hanging could be calculated/simulated.

                    In practice, I think the shear force to break the spine might be a bit difficult to reliably predict.

                    But, we have a lot of imaging tech, so it might be possible to estimate the actual structural strength and shape of the bone. Maybe throw an artificial neural network at it.

                    But this is probably crazy thinking, side tracked from the actual reason we are on this subject.

              2. *blink*

                My high school must have been an outlier then. I’d guess around 80% of male graduates and 60% of female graduates in my year could manage that in a pinch. Also of note, type of rope matters, too. Length will depend on weight, and at the upper end the drop needs to be very short or at the extreme end there is literally *no way* you don’t have heads pop off. I seem to recall there was a case some years (decades?) back where a death row inmate could not be hanged because he was too overweight.

                Ah. Found the reference. It was ’94, and the prisoner eventually died of liver disease. They tried to hang him three times, but he was too fat at around four hundred pounds.

                Cheapest solutions (pretty much free) is still stoning or drowning, but a headsman’s axe can be reused very many times for high cost/benefit. Guillotine similarly- can be made with found wood in a pinch and just needs the metal bit for the drop. Bullets aren’t terribly expensive, but over time the axe wins due to a single sunk cost rather than several. For the more environmentally minded, there are bears, piranhas, wolves, gators, big cats, and more for extra irony points. There may be costs involved in transport there, though, for the budget conscious killer.

                Things like poisons, gas, explosions, and the like are terribly expensive in the long run, when you have plenty of future fertilizer to introduce to their new post-life purpose.

                The most *time* efficient in the long run are the tactics that induce avoidance of the behavior you want to discourage. This may be a point in favor of the more expensive methods considering the larger picture.

                1. I believe the least expensive form of capital punishment is the Epstein method, where they don’t kill themselves yet end up mysteriously deceased.

                  Well, least expensive in terms of public expenditures: I’m certain someone’s box-chardonnay budget took quite a sizable hit to cause that outcome.

                    1. Well, all those out of work reporters need something to occupy their time… Just tell them these people are How You Get More Trump. Problem solved!

                2. Axes have problems in that Headsmen can screw up, requiring multiple strikes with all the awfulness that entails. Especially when drunk off their ass.

                  Which is why the Guillotine was developed.

                3. Not sure when I learned to tie a hangman’s noose; most likely late elementary school or junior high (mid 1960s). I do know that I learned that knot long before I learned to tie a bowline. Finding rope or cord was not a problem in the suburban area I grew up in. OTOH, now I have a stock of rope that would actually handle the weight of the average aristo. Clothesline or newspaper cord wouldn’t do a good job, but the Home Depot utility cord (in cheerful colors, too) would do the trick nicely.

              1. And starving coyotes and feral hogs. No mess to clean up!

                However, it does lose the salutary effect of displaying heads on pikes.

                1. Where there are canyons, there’s generally desert. Where there’s desert, even if larger critters don’t clean up for you.. the stink beetles will.

                  Once upon a time I killed a big rattlesnake… nice skin, make a good belt. But freshly-dead snakes are annoying to skin, so tossed it behind the barn to let it stiffen up a bit… Four hours later all that remained was about 12 inches of spine; the stink beetles had discovered it and had eaten all the rest, and were hard at work on what was left.

              2. Most buffalo jumps would probably be too low to ensure a good kill rate for driving liberals over them. You need a goo 50 feet or more to a hard rock surface to get good breakage rates. And even at 50 feet, you’ll have some outliers that survive, or get off with just some strains and bruising.

                1. When the pile at the bottom gets big enough, it will both reduce the drop and provide cushioning.

                  Maybe provide a herd of angry buffalo as a backup?

      2. I tend to figure at least as much invincible stupidity. Since the U.S. has “always,” been there, it always will be, and nothing they do can destroy it.

        1. That’s generally vincible stupidity. Sometimes even affected stupidity. It’s not innocent.

      3. They’re doing what they want. They are evil and only care about their agenda, not the welfare of the country.

        1. They think that their agenda and the welfare of the country are synonymous. They are arrogant elitists who think that most people are rubes who are incapable of making decisions for themselves and need to be told what to do for their own good. They believe that they are entitled to vast wealth, paid for by those very people they despise as rubes, for their “graciously providing their time and wisdom” to the incapable masses.

          They are ultimately a self-centered religious cult whose god is The State, whose prophets are Karl Marx and his ilk, and in which they consider themselves high priests, if not actually “demigods” themselves (Obama certainly thinks of himself as a divine figure-just look at his first nomination acceptance on a stage made to look like Mount Olympus) who project when they accuse Republicans of being a cult of personality.

          It is the Democrats and leftists around the world who are the true cult, and their ideology has all the trappings of religion. Their idea of government is essentially a totalitarian theocracy.

          1. And maleducated. I was left literally speechless at a meeting today in which a department head (who I know to be a very kindly woman) who firsy explained how important it was to “keep staff safe from Covid” and then explained that at lack of any flu deaths this year proved that masks keep people safe from viruses.

      4. The number of 3d world immigrants that the US can safely assimilate is close to zero, if assimilate means not on welfare, able to support themselves without taking jobs away from Americans, and supportive of the American Constitution…

        1. Keep in mind it takes approximately 20 years for most to assimilate. It requires not jamming them all together where they aren’t required to learn American ways, or English language. It requires membership in American social organizations: Rotary, Masons, Elks, Grange, local churches, etc. That’s a particular problem with Islam, as their entire religion is not designed for peaceful coexistence with anyone else.

    2. The Governor of Florida, DeSantis The Brave, must think so as well. He’s sending all sorts of people to help guard the border.

    3. Prayers get answered in in intetesting ways. Because that brave chappie is dead wrong that the only ultimate fix is Fedgov.

      Unless he meant “get rid of them” of cours

  1. I was thinking of that when doctors have thrown their prestige and ability in in the service of various social causes that have nothing to do with medicine

    Like gun control. Doctors meddling in law enforcement makes about as much sense as having cops perform surgery.

    Although both professions have been muchly taken over by bureaucrats that know little about either law enforcement or medicine. They only have the authority to tell the people who actually know what they’re doing how to do their jobs. And then have them fired when the bureaucrats force them to do unbearably stupid things.
    People can make stupid mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME stupid mistakes.

      1. Well, the DA charging one with assault *after* he was cleared by Internal Affairs (baton strike–I haven’t seen the video, though I gather there was a short context-free clip the DA used) would have had a lot to do with issues.

        I wonder if the Portland DA is going to encounter some informal street justice in the near future.

    1. Academia is making a strong bid for the police. My small Arkansas town now requires a degree in law, “criminal justice”, or a related field before they’ll even take an application.

        1. You know, somehow I don’t think police department job applications will be accumulating past the “Too many applicants – Must come up with a reason to reject some” threshold for the foreseeable future.

        2. I also am gobsmacked that a 125 IQ was judged to be “too high” for police work.

            1. This goes right to the “easily bored” trope about gifted kids, and obviously here, adults. I’ve never seen one paper or study cite anywhere that pretends to have proven this is an actual thing, but the “low IQ can’t be bored, high IQ are always bored” is pretty much universal.

              I was taught if I’m bored, I’m not doing it right. The last IQ test I took was the one I topped out, so they just put down “over 165” (I worked in the school office and snuck a look in my file. I wasn’t bored there either).

              1. We’ve spent a good fifty years making sure that all kids in school get bored, in a non-fruitful way, but especially the smart ones.

                That said, Detective Joe Kenda started out applying to be a patrolman, and became one, with all kinds of classes in foreign policy and stuff. Because originally he thought he wanted to be in the State Department and also to go to grad school, and then he decided they were all idiots and that he needed a real job to support his wife. Colorado Springs was happy to take him as an ordinary police guy, but it took a while for him to be accepted by everybody.

                His first day sent him to a huge fight among mourners at a funeral home, so nobody thought he was too college on the patrol side.

                But when later on, he got accepted as a detective, all his academic qualifications were put against him, because none of the other detectives had degrees. But when he begged for, took on, and solved a hard case that nobody else wanted or considered solveable, and that involved stupid amounts of legwork and data analysis (ie, looking through every single receipt for a business, for months and years of receipts stuffed in a box, just to find one receipt, IIRC), then the other detectives decided he really was a streetsmart guy too.

          1. Jerry Pournelle observed that in his WWII jobs, they mostly wanted smart guys but some, they hired functionally mentally retarded ones because they wouldn’t get bored and quit.

            There is a real danger in guys who are too smart.

          2. Just a quick thought as i try to catch up after a couple of travel days. Police unions are the ones calling the shots on things like qualifications. Too high IQ and you will see and not put up with the union crap. Low enough and you are go along get along.

        3. Los Angeles Police Academy reportedly has an IQ cutoff of 105, for the same reason — if they’re too smart, they might get bored and move on to other things.

          ….uh, like a promotion within the department, maybe??

        4. That’s been a thing for a while now in some jobs. Of course, the really smart ones then just figure out how to game the test to land within the correct percentage of correct answers.

          1. Thus proving their their utility in handling the pols they have to work with as they move up the chain. “Smart” (as in IQ, not appealing to the cool kids) is a characteristic, not a virtue.

    2. The equation is bureaucracy + force.

      I have been enjoying Stephanie Osborne’s fantasies because bureaucracies appear to be like own-group preference (baked in to the species and morally neutral) so a future universe where the ones *work* (all evidence to the contrary) is soothing. In some of them we get functional space travel: very feel good books.

    1. Yeah, but it sucks when the mistake lands on your car and kills you because someone decided to tic a diversity box instead of tic one for competence.

      1. True. But there is no hiding the failure or the reason for it.

        Unlike medicine or law, our failures are there for the whole world to see.

        1. Nah. They’ll find a scapegoat, probably the competent one(s) who tried to warn them about the impending disaster in the first place, or else blame it on “white supremacist terrorists” or some such gobbledygook while they bury the truth. And the cycle will continue ad nauseum.

          1. That only works for the first Tu-144 crash.

            After the second breakup you’ve got the chief designer and two ministry heads signing off on each fight.

            After the third, it’s grounded for good.

            1. But there were only two TU-144 crashes, right?

              And those happened under Brezhnev. If Stalin had been running things (and lets face it, the left idolizes Stalin just like Che and Mao), the project would have continued and all the accidents blamed on Capitalist saboteurs.

      2. Note that the FIU diasster was not a diversity issue; it was a (formerly respected) designer who decided to phone in the design and pawned it off on a subordinate (unknown ethnicity). Same designer blew off the complaints that the bridge was failing.

        I have my own thoughts as to the cluster**** that diversity in engineering can cause, but this one was probably laziness on a “simple” pedestrian bridge. (Note that the contractor should have bitched a lot louder–that could be laid at the feet of the woman leading the project. Still, the engineering company got kicked off of a few projects for good reasons.)

    1. And apparently Slow Joe and The Cackler declared it to be a Federal holiday yesterday… after business hours had ended, thereby frakking up timecards and paychecks for contractors across the country.

      1. Post Office open today, heard postman saying it would be open tomorrow….apparently they can’t do instant holidays, either. (Or they’re closing on Monday, now I think about it).

      2. Not to mention Federal employees- today was time card Friday. Next week sometime the system will be updated so all the time card corrections can be made….

    2. From everybody’s favorite news source: “Congress Passes Law To Recognize Juneteenth, The Day Republicans Freed All The Democrats’ Slaves”

    3. Juneteenth is now a celebration of violent white supremacist terrorism.

      Biden regime is founded on white supremacist terrorism, and that contaminates everything it purports to do.

      Irregular process speaks of desperation. I think the language of the establishment of the federal holiday may be intended to disestablish 7/4.

      Of the Gu jar of vicious idiots, we can conclude that it is afraid.

    4. Ah, the celebration of the day that the Republican edict freeing the slaves from their Democrat owners was made widely known.


      1. Lies! Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat! The Confederates were Republicans! So say the woke froot loops at my alma mater!

        No lie: I distinctly recall a student-made poster hanging in one of the cafes comparing Obama The Anointed One to Honest Abe proudly proclaiming that Abe was a member of the Democrat party. And this was back when he was first elected.

        1. There was a plaque along those lines that a university posted on the exterior of one of its buildings. Sadly, I can’t remember which university it was.

          When confronted, the university claimed that it really meant that Lincoln was a democrat, and not a Democrat.

          1. The lie in the woke history books is that, one day in 1968, all the Democrats and Republicans magically changed places in the parties, and all the icky KKK people became Republicans, and all the good civil rights people became Democrats.

            The truth of the matter, of course, is that the Republicans fought for civil rights fairly continuously from before the Civil War until today, and that the Democrats were busy depriving blacks and others of their civil rights. The Communists occasionally made civil rights noises for the lols, although they really wanted the blacks and the workers to revolt and join the International Communist movement. FDR also made civil rights noises, but magically they didn’t happen, despite all his control of other stuff in the war.

            In the 1960’s, the Communists and Socialists basically started to take over the Democratic Party; and they were mostly Northerners or from California and the West, so they weren’t interested in giving the South anything in the way of pork. Civil rights managed to get through, among all this Democratic infighting, and the Communists all pretended they’d like Martin Luther King all along. But they managed to get riots and revolts toward the end of the decade, as well as terrorism in Puerto Rican communities (funded by the Episcopalian Church, without their knowledge, under the color of a Hispanic outreach committee) and with the Weathermen. Democrats began to pretend that they’d always been in favor of civil rights.

            Towards the end of the 1960’s, a number of Southern Democrats decided that they hated the Republicans and their fellow black citizens less than they hated Commies, and that heck, civil rights weren’t so bad. Throughout the 1970’s, this trend continued; and when Reagan came along, everybody else jumped ship who was going to leave the Democratic Party. KKK guys like Byrd and Hugo Black never did leave, and weren’t made to do so; and they weren’t ostracized by younger Democrats, either.

        2. My own thought on the Juneteenth holiday – do a sort of intellectual jujitsu with it: (with apologies to Wm. Shakespeare)

          He that outlives this war, and comes safe home,
          Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
          And rouse him at the name of Juneteenth.
          He that shall live this day, and see old age,
          Will yearly on the anniversary eve feast his neighbors,
          And say ‘To-morrow is Juneteenth:’
          Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
          And say ‘These wounds I had in that great war.’
          Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
          But he’ll remember with advantages
          What feats he did at Gettysburg Antietam, Shiloh, and Petersburg:
          then shall their names.
          Familiar in his mouth as household words
          Lincoln the President, Grant and Sherman,
          Hancock and Sheridan, Hooker and Chamberlain,
          Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
          This story shall the good man teach his son;
          And Juneteenth that day shall ne’er go by,
          From this day to the ending of the world,
          But those Union warriors in it shall be remember’d!

  2. “Waaddyamean you ain’t gonna trust me/us?”
    “All we did was actively claim the opposite of what we thought often enough in order to make sure OrangeManBad was said to be wrong, even when we thought it was correct, because signalling is so much more important than being correct and saving lives and livelihoods!”
    WP and Chrome at work sucks

  3. Ahem.
    I understand your attempt at analogy; however, being a hunter, and jack of all trades, when I skin something, I tan it and wear the skin. And I get plenty of respect from craftspeople who actually understand the amount of skill and work that takes.

    (I really hate doing skunk skins though. They make cool looking caps, but getting the smell out of them almost isn’t worth the effort.)

    1. [SJWs] “Take a respected institution. Kill it. Gut it. Wear its carcass as a skin suit. And demand respect.”

      — David Burge, the Iowahawk

    2. You sir treat the hide with the respect and consideration that it deserves, preserving the leather or fur as a valued garment or decoration.
      The progressive left naturally recoil in horror at such stuff while stealing the appearance of our institutions with no regard for what earned the respect they were accorded when still their own masters.
      Hides finely harvested, cured and tanned, then artfully transformed into a thing of utility and beauty, versus children wearing a rotting porkchop around their necks in hopes the puppies will like them.

    3. Doesn’t the smell fade away like it does from other stuff? Lovely fur, tho…

      We’re overrun with skunks this year… never see ’em, but last week I lost count at 8 sprays wafting past my front door. If I could catch ’em going by, I could have a whole fur coat.

    4. The left doesn’t tan the skin. It just skins the institution and prances around in the skin demanding respect.
      Tanning is work. Hard work.
      Also for the love of heaven, you never read the Iowa Hawk saying?

    5. Since you are yanking chains, I will let my inner Hermione Granger out and ask you WHERE in the aphorism, it mentioned tanning?

      And that is without assuming a bunch of hoplophobes are capable of skinning and gutting an organization cleanly. Of course it is going to go all moldy and parasitical.

      If you want to be serious, look back to the turn of the 20th century when the folks *did* know how to do convincing taxidermy. With malice aforethought ala Shift in the Last Battle.

  4. Yeah, I’ve been pretty salty about this.

    Though, if a profession cannot deliver results to the quality demanded by the public, it deserves the loss of respect.

    At least three professions have fucked themselves over, or let themselves be fucked over. To prevent the loss of respect, you would have to, at a minimum, separate the professional schools from schools that do ‘research’ in the humanities, maybe also social sciences and biology.

      1. We are currently putting the screws to the library profession. I cannot tell from thevinside whether we have passed the same tipping point that teaching has.

          1. Moscow Rule #9. Technology hates me.

            (not actually the rule, butmore why I get so much of it. That and the baking faries. I would not last 10 minutes in Elfland.)

        1. I’ve long since stopped blaming men who don’t pick up women for sf/f, unless reassured woman not crazy. If I were starting out as a writer today, I’d be S. A. Hoyt. My fledgelings who are female are getting just that advice.

  5. Thankfully my doctors were treating my kidneys and other illnesses. But, I’ve lost respect for most hospital doctors. I’ve lost respect for lawyers and judges (except for one or two I know personally). And pretty much every politician… even the ones I like. I used to admire tech people… but they have gone so woke that they can’t find their ass with their hands. and so forth *sigh

    1. Not real happy with the medical profession ourselves. Between son, myself, and mom … getting in to see a doctor or specialist, in a timely manner is impossible. Setup the appointment you can get. Get on waiting list and hope an opening comes up before scheduled appointment. Not the physicians or specialists fault. Only so much of them to go around. But …

      1. The reason its different for me is that I have a rare autoimmune disease. And, I was already diagnosed. I feel sad for those who have to go through the diagnosis process in the US. I don’t see it being very good.

      2. I have an appointment to be scheduled to get rid of a minor cyst on my back. I’m on the July waiting list, and got a call from the clinic yesterday. Because we get far too many spam calls, $SPOUSE let it go to voice mail and I walked in just as the admin type hung up. Called back right away. Endured 15 minutes of happy talk about how to deal with Chinavirus ad nauseum (3 minute loop, I guess). Finally, an admin picked it up. “Sorry, there was a disregard notice on that appointment. We weren’t supposed to call you on that one.” (another one for December) Arggh!

        I’m already ticked off at my regular doctor because he’s on the Kung Flu fear-pushing committee, and at the last visit he gave me the long lecture on how getting the not-vaccine was a sign of civic responsibility (this after he rather neglected the better immunity from actually getting the damned Wuhan Special.), For extra irony, this was the same day the Fauci emails broke, and he either hadn’t gotten the word or pretended they didn’t matter.

        There are medical practitioners I respect, but there are some who drank way too much of the COVID Koolaid. Alas, there are some reasons to stay with that clinic, though I’m having a harder time convincing myself of the validity of those reasons.

        1. there are some reasons to stay with that clinic, though I’m having a harder time convincing myself of the validity of those reasons.

          Same. Seen a lot of changes with our primary physician over the last 5 years. Big irritating one was the SD letter. He agreed, wrote the letter. Then we’ve discussing the issue she works with, all of a sudden, two things happen:

          1) Letter disappeared off my medical profile (like I didn’t print multiple copies to both tree pulp and PDF), with his signature. Should have taken screen shot. The clinic PTB won’t allow doctors to prescribe SD.

          2) Suddenly I can’t have the same diagnosis because it isn’t possible if I’m overweight … wait a minute? I’ve been this weight +-20 to 40#s or so for the last 30 years, including when the letter was written. I wasn’t a whole lot lighter when originally diagnosed. Not something that goes away.

          I know better. I have the dang proof. We’re having this discussion next month.

          I like my doctor. But dang. Plus changing doctors right now, is almost impossible. I’m not looking forward to the current one retiring. The last physician when he retired we went through 5 or 6 physicians because they didn’t stick around town. This time around it will be complicated with hubby on medicare, and I’ll be on it before the year end. Even with excellent supplemental insurance, doctors are not real fond of medicare paid patients.

          1. Haven’t switched primary medical practices since I was 62 (pre-medicare), though it was the doctor who switched, and I stayed with him. Didn’t have any medicare objections from the orthopedic surgeon, nor the retina practice. I have decent Medigap (Regence Blue Cross). There is an FNP I’ve dealt with in the past, but there might be issues with the hospital and him–some tense interactions in the past. (The hospital was being greedy and got shut down.)

            This is at both Flyover Falls and over in Medford. Haven’t heard of reluctance to deal with Medicare here or at Medford, but the economic situation in our area is peculiar.

            1. Medigap (Regence Blue Cross)

              That is what we have now. I’m on regular Regence Blue Cross, hubby is on Medicare Advantage Classic with Rx for $190 ($486 total at least that is what is pulled each month). We have to chose to stay with Classic or go with the new RX ($90 for both of us). But the co-pays, deductible, and out-of-pocket, sky rocket. We need to find someone who can help us do comparable and see what else is out there. I turn 65 near year-end. Hubby is 70 not long after the first of the year. Regence is through Carpenter & Joiner’s Union retiree division.

              We did a comparison when hubby was turning 65. We could, at that time, really reduce his medigap insurance with a small hit to the annual deductible and out of pocket, but not hit co-pays. But the insurance for me was crazy (over double) with worse co-pay, deductible, and yearly out of pocket (if he got off of the retiree insurance I lost it too). We stayed with the retiree insurance. $486 (THEN it was still only $380/month!), $3200 max annual out of pocket, includes the $200 deductible. No dental (sleep apnea TAP is medical). No eyes (the glaucoma tests are medical). RX sucks. Medigap adds back in some dental, eyes, including glasses, and RX is better. Note: I know my ex-coworkers were paying $700/person for HALF cost for spouses, plus same per child, they added for crappier insurance $10,000 deductible/out-of-pocket … When I was working the employer paid my insurance, but it was worthless. Took forever for providers to get paid, because they’d file against my primary, which wouldn’t pay hardly anything, then turn around and file against secondary, the union insurance. Then they’d tell us what was left over to be paid.

              I know what we have is good. Do we keep paying for that? Or switch out for the new RX version and hope the extra co-pays etc don’t come into play or do we find something else? Right now we need to find someone to sit down with us and lay it out so we can do a compare. Sigh.

              1. I got mine as basic; didn’t have insurance after COBRA ran out in 2002. When I turned 65 and Medicare kicked in, I got the basic Regence coverage (Medicare A & B; no coverage for prescriptions–I’m betting that my meds won’t get too expensive, and barring eye drops postop, that’s been true.) $SPOUSE waited a few years before getting the same coverage, and with the household discount*, she’s getting billed 235 a month. My last semi-annual was before we actually got the right paperwork to get that discount.

                (*) A bit of a hassle to set up. When my wife joined, she asked about it, and they said “sure”, and did nothing. So for a year, she was paying full freight (IIRC, 265 a month). (Why she’s not on semi-annual is another bureaucratic mystery.) We got the correct forms at New Years, and it finally kicked in.

                Without prescription coverage, I haven’t had any copays. My understanding is that the penalty for joining the prescription (Part D) option is to have to pay all the back premiums dating to the eligibility date. My long term meds tend to run between $3 to $7 a month for each Rx, and there’s only three. OTOH, if I had to take the glaucoma drops long term, that would be brutal. Post retina procedures, I had steroid eyedrops, and that forced me to take glaucoma drops. I think a month’s worth of the glaucoma drops was north of $250 at that time. (2018). There was also an expensive NSAID I had to take. On the gripping hand, I had 4 eye procedures in 7 months (two retina, two cornea) with the out of pocket costs being meds and hotel stays. And mileage. Lots of mileage.

                1. Um. My glaucoma drops are $20/6-weeks-ish (rounded up). Costco “I don’t have RX” cost. Which is full freight but Costco discounted. It is my only prescription.

                  1. I don’t know if this was a post-op specific formula, but the retina doctor felt that it was necessary for post-op. I am “steroid-sensitive” in that it induces glaucoma on the relevant eye. Strong steroid, need strong glaucoma med. Doesn’t help that the firm that picked up the formula had a reputation for jacking prices.

                    Once I was done with the steroid, I could stop the glaucoma drops. Retina surgery has a world of potential side effects. OTOH, it’s the only way to fix some problems.

              2. There are a lot of companies out there who can do the comparison for free. I deal with “The Medicare Store” because my brother owns and operates it. But there are others–

                1. Thanks!

                  Plan on finding out who Sister and BIL saw to get their “Obama care” options, VS the outrageous PERS option sis had. Then there is whomever Mom talked to last year when she changed off the PERS option.

                  Only thing mom messed up was how she paid her monthly cost, which was pay direct or have taken out of SS. She chose the latter. Didn’t affect federal. But Oregon doesn’t tax SS so she’s paying it (on tax forms) out of non-taxable income. Paying it direct, again, Oregon, it is deductible. Might not have made a difference because the cost per month dropped so dramatically (and thus the theoretical deduction), but she went from paying no state taxes to sending them a $10 check … nothing else changed … OTOH she saved a whole lot more than $10 over the year …

  6. Prior to about the American Civil War doctors were not typically accorded all that much respect. Often in smaller towns you would find one storefront that offered medicine, dentistry, and barbering all from the same individual. A common nickname for such was the designation “sawbones” taken in part from the common practice during said war of treating extremity wounds by cutting said arm or leg off. Slowly with the development of anesthetics, cures for infections, and medicines that actually cured diseases doctors gained much respect, trust, and confidence in their capabilities. But now with so many claiming superior knowledge while delving into subject they have no abilities in, or sadly perverting and twisting information in their chosen fields so as to manipulate the public to achieve political control, they are fast destroying what was gained by centuries of effort.
    As for families of the lesser nobility, I was always taught that in most western European countries the eldest son took on the title, any others entered either the military or the church, but remained mostly available to assume the title should their elder brother pass without heir.
    Purpose was to preserve the holdings of the position. Countries that took the approach of distributing lands and properties equally amongst heirs over the years found all the noble holdings divided up into simple farms.
    Of course once the New World opened up younger sons had the added opportunity of going out to seek their fortunes through conquest of the lesser regions.

    1. Non-male-Heirs, were not to have families. It “muddled” the inheritance. Daughters were auctioned off to other heirs, at which point they were someone else’s problem, or shuffled off to nunneries. Of coarse the exception were the monarchies.

      1. Depends on when. In the Dark Ages, they were allowed concubines but not wives. OTOH, this could easily lead to your line dying out.

        1. True. But born on the wrong side of the blanket (to concubines) was to be disinherited. What happened if suddenly the father became the heir, and the comcubine mother was married, did the first born, even though born out of wedlock, now inherit? Or was that meant for the first male born after the marriage? IDK

          1. Well generally because of her lower birth she got dismissed and a high born bride introduced. You see you wanted all your daughters married for alliance value and so the daughters married down.

          2. ummm– there is a solution to that… The concubine is married to another servant (usually minor nobility) so that the issue is considered legitimate. Then if the only heir can become king or whatever. And yes, we saw this in our family

            1. That was a later practice. The era in which only one son married had serious discussions in which people argued that Jacob’s sons inherited eventhose with concubine mothers.

              The Knight, the Priest, and the Lady has a lot on both shifts.

    2. Many middle eastern countries would divide lands among the sons, but not equally. The oldest (or favored) would get half, with the remainder divided among the rest of the surviving male children. This is why being the favored son could be a hotly contested thing in these cultures.

        1. It’s still a thing. Murad (theist but non-Islamic apologetics guy) was going off on the online YouTube community of ex-Islamic atheists (of whom he used to be one) on the Sneaker’s Corner channel the other day. And he said that lots of ex-Muslim atheist men are all for equal rights with their sisters until inheritances come up, at which point they pretend to be Muslim so they can collect their big eldest son share. And they don’t give their sisters anything, because that would just be stupid.

          1. They don’t have to be Muslim Atheists. We’ve watched this play out with cousins … (We have no claim in this mess …) The kicker? The sisters can’t contest how the inheritance is handled or doled out, or they are disinherited.

            There were some (small) aspects that the oldest (and estate) have no control over. A small percentage of the estate, but a lot of money (at least in my view … we aren’t hurting, but compared to them, we’re the ^poor relatives). Beauty of it was part of it was non-estate taxable insurance money, benefits paid equally to the three siblings directly, but the intent was that non-taxable funds were to pay the estate taxes, both State and Federal. But insurance doesn’t work that way 🙂 Ditto on IRA/Roth/etc, inheritance. I think the way the house was setup, when sold; all three were survivors equally (part of the estate, but not 100% control of oldest as far as distribution of funds when house sold). The rest of the estate OTOH is 100% in control of the oldest. For most estates, the items listed is the bulk, so harder for one to control over others. It has been 5 years since their dad died, and 3 since mom. Estate still not fully “settled”. Oldest controls the estate trust. OTOH the estate trust had to pay out the estate taxes, and the younger sisters didn’t.

            * Remember one holiday where Aunt was bragging complaining how much they had to pay in Federal and State taxes and fees over the year … Hey, my parents, and us, would have been happy to have made that much!

            1. I’m the oldest child and the first girl. Not that my family has anything of much value… however, I made sure everyone knew in my family that I didn’t expect anything from the parents estate. Hopefully there will be enough left over to take care of my youngest sister– Down syndrome child.

              1. Uncle was in state care by the time grandma died. His portion of her estate went to the state when he passed away about weeks after she did.

                  1. It was really sad. Grandma never missed a day, when she was in town, with him after he went into the group home. Not sure when exactly when the decline was so bad that he was, for all intents, barely mobile and non-verbal. This way for a decade or almost. Blind, non-responsive, although he was moved from bed to wheelchair daily. Grandma took the bus (didn’t drive) to be there to feed him lunch. Grandma always swore he was aware that she was there. His nurses, doctors, and siblings weren’t so sure. Mom and his closest age sister went to tell him that grandma had died in her sleep the day after Christmas, at her oldest daughters. Despite the fact everyone believed he wouldn’t understand … They were wrong. His tears proved that.

    3. I was born into a minor gentry family. The thing and the whole of the thing was to preserve the property. The family were on both sides of several wars and were and are one both sides of the religious divide in Ireland — we have both kinds of bishop in the family. There was land but no money so the men went off to India where a soldier could live on his pay if he was careful and only drank water. WWI did an awful lot of damage to this system since the men my great aunts would have married were killed in the war so several never married and had to be supported. My mother came to America so my children are more or less out of it but my cousins are still in the army and the church. Number two son occasionally “threatens” to go join the family regiment.

    4. I got the impression it was the revolution in care that Florence Nightingale got going around the Crimean War that made medicine respectable?

      Everything I’ve seen written before then saw hospitals as the place you went to die. I recall at least one character who’d had a fairly minor injury who decided to go to the hospital mostly to avoid an awkward situation. The stay nearly killed him. The main characters had to, essentially, bust him out before he could get better.

      1. Hospitals were better or worse, from early Christian times on, based on the funding from donors, the oversight by relevant authorities, the level of training and hard work of the staff, and the workload.

        The ideal, early on, was that you had large airy well-lit “wards,” preferably within sight of a chapel, so that the patients could interact and not get lonely, as well as getting lots of spiritual help. (And of course, from Roman times on, the picture of family life for most lower and middle class people was “everybody lives in the same room and sleeps in the same room or even the same bed.” So loneliness was a real concern.) The beds were supposed to be set well apart, which would alleviate contagion concerns, and sometimes they were placed in niches near the wall, for privacy and temperature control. Visitors were encouraged, and many people brought treats for the patients or extra comforts.

        But if workload increased beyond space and funding, or if a really contagious disease was going around, or the people running the place were crap, obviously a hospital could become a hellhole very quickly.

        And in the Early Modern period, in some places, the medical field decided that water and air and light and cleanliness were bad for people’s health. So you can see how that would be a problem.

        1. Yes, this poem was written in jest…. but the protagonist is obviously having trouble convincing even his fellow civil servants to adopt modern sanitation:

          ” “Why is my District death-rate low?”
          Said Binks of Hezabad.
          “Well, drains, and sewage-outfalls are
          “My own peculiar fad.
          “I learnt a lesson once, It ran
          “Thus,” quoth that most veracious man: –”

          Then I sought the City Elders, and my words were very plain.
          They flushed that four-foot drain-head and — it never choked again!

          You may hold with surface-drainage, and the sun-for-garbage cure,
          Till you’ve been a periwinkle shrinking coyly up a sewer.
          I believe in well-flushed culverts. . . .
          This is why the death-rate’s small;
          And, if you don’t believe me, get shikarred yourself. That’s all.

      2. It is interesting to note that Jane Austen criticized a niece for having a doctor introduced to a nobleman in her manuscript. Confusion is not entirely modern.

    5. Wales had that tradition of divvying up every inheritance equally among all the heirs. The problem was after a few generations the farms were too small to support a family, leading to lots of fighting over resources, including princes warring over their ever-shrinking kingdoms (and occasionally betraying one another). Occurs to me that this was a good deal of why Wales remained relatively backward long after England came into the medieval world.

    6. This– again my family comes from the minor nobility which is why we are in America. Wealth disappears after a couple of generations if it is not preserved.

      1. Although we do have a couple king lines that run through– but you know I’ve seen what some of those heirs go through and I think our family is well out of it.

  7. I wonder about some of those Tik-Tok hospital videos. Given Chinese mischief making (at the very least), hiring a bunch of actors/dancers, putting them in scrubs and finding a “hospital,” setting to use as background would be in character.

    1. I don’t know. That seems to me to require too subtle an understanding of the American character. The Chinese think of themselves as our rivals, but I don’t think they get us to that degree.

    2. I think most of them were tracked back to actual hospitals.

      But that does not mean TikTok did not vigorously promote them, either. As I recall, their Houston embassy was expelled in part because they were caught intentionally sending “how to riot” videos to potential rioters.

    3. I actually know a nurse who showed up in one of those ticktock videos, the famous NYC one as it happens. Let’s just say the video was consistent with everything else about her.

      1. Re respect for nurses … our family has spent a LOT of time in hospitals for acute crises … the nurses we have encountered are either VERY good (and usually older women), or VERY bad (usually young women), or strong young men (very much appreciated if you have to re-learn how to walk). All the recent “nurses are heroes” stuff just left me cold because.

        1. Also nure care depends on where you are. If in a city with a large percentage of European trained nurses- if you’re over 65 and admitted to the hospital, they’re trained to “allow” you to die. My mother lived 20 years after they told us “She has the right to take the feeding tube out…” They were informed or US malpractice laws very quickly.

          1. When my husband had his gallbladder out (after it had gone gangrenous – he’s lucky to be alive), one of the night nurses was a very, very black young man from Senegal. Who was a Christian, seemed to be quite competent, and had one of the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen.

        2. Preop nurses were usually older and quite good (opinion formed over, 4 procedures in 4 years). The postop nurse for my knee surgery was a godsend. Older guy, mayhaps former military. No way I was going to get into the truck on my own power (no overnight beds due to the Chinavirus space restrictions), but the guy told my wife to drive to the back door, and he helped me out of the wheelchair and shoehorned me into the truck (wearing a brace locked at 0 degrees–interesting position).

          The clinic and hospital went to a lot of CMAs instead of RNs. CMAs are spotty as to quality, but the RNs at our very rural hospital are really good.

          1. My daughter had a C-section at one of the biggest hospitals in town last month – Methodist, in the Medical Center area – and the pre-op and post op nurse was fantastic. Thirtyish, Anglo, amazingly empathetic. She kept apologizing for causing pain, in pressing my daughter’s abdomen afterwards to expel various uterine matter and fluid.
            Matter of fact, all the nurses in the post-natal ward were wonderful.

        3. “Nurses are heroes”

          Poor nurses in the pandemic, so put upon for having to do the job they signed up for.

  8. She thought the favored professions for such scions of noble houses were medicine, the law and the church in that order.

    I seem to recall another, if not Jane Austen fanfic, a regency romance of the same quality, where the author seemed to think that the only way a Duke could rise higher in social standing was if he was also a doctor…

    Seriously, did these people just miss the part in Pride and Prejudice where the Netherfield crowd were mocking Elizabeth for the fact that her Uncle Philips was a lawyer? And that even Jane thought that Uncle Philips was someone that she ought to get away from in order to improve her long-term happiness?

  9. Well, it’s interesting in Albuquerque. Went to Old Town this morning. Some stores had, “You must be masked to enter,” signs and didn’t seem to be too busy. Others didn’t, and they tended to have customers.
    The awkward ones were the ones with the signs, “If you’re fully vaccinated you don’t need a mask, be honest!”

    1. I’m fully vaccinated. I had all my shots as a kid, and I’ve gotten the necessary boosters as recommended. I try to get my flu shot every year.

      There are admittedly a handful of vaccines I haven’t had, including that experimental one that hasn’t officially been approved by the FDA for an illness that I stand virtually zero chance of coming down with a serious case of.

      1. And, to be precise, it isn’t a vaccine. I find some of the claims that post-shot deaths “not being related to the vaccine” are using & abusing the difference between a true vaccine and the genetic therapy from these shots.

      2. It is proven effective (for fairly liberal values of proof) as a means of preventing severe illness or death from the CCPox. It is not warranted fro protecting you from getting it or passing it on once you get it. It is a form of *treatment*. Like getting a wossname gamma globulin shot or taking HQ before goingbto Brasil.

        And the long term side effects are unknown. And did you know some researchers recently demonstrated that RNA can write back into DNA.

        Good times.

  10. In the same way, how many lawyers does it take becoming judges and proving themselves partial and prejudiced, not to mention invincibly stupid, before lawyers too lose all prestige.

    We’ve been there for a long time. I remember reading a book back in the mid nineties where there was a joke about, “I see none of your children became lawyers. Is that a coincidence or another sign of good parenting?” Admittedly the author didn’t really mean for us to agree with it, but he recognized that yes, people would laugh at that. I’m not sure if lawyers ever were really prestigious, but if so, those days have been over for a while. At this point, when most people hear, “lawyer,” they aren’t thinking Perry Mason or Ben Matlock; they’re thinking Frank Azar and the others who advertise on daytime TV, aka the ambulance chasers who are too lazy to chase any actual ambulances.

    1. Around here it’s either Ken Nunn or Blackburn and Greene.

      A couple of years ago I got called in for jury duty, and got called in for a civil trial. I was pretty blunt about my concerns about emotionally-driven high pain and suffering awards, and was in the first group of potential jurors dismissed. Given that I was feeling like crap with untreated hypothyroidism, it was just as well. I wouldn’t have made a very good juror.

  11. Another sign TPTB are either really dumb, or hold us in utter contempt (yeah, I know, embrace the power of “and”):
    Late last year, you had Harris, a VP candidate, telling people she wouldn’t get the vaccine because Trump was involved so it must be unsafe….and now, the Administration is shocked, shocked I tell you, that some people aren’t rushing out to be vaccinated. For whatever reason. Just tossing the name, “Biden,” over it apparently removed the taint….

  12. Teaching. Used to be a respected and honored profession in many places (not all). Now? Between the bragging about “professional educators” by administrators and the demands of too many teachers’ unions, it’s down there with journalists. Almost.

    1. Actual teachers, folks who *do* impart useful knowledge and teach skills that have value are still respected and honored by those who know the score. More so than they’ve been in a long time, I’d wager, given the paucity of such individuals in the official ranks. Viz. such persons as Jordan Peterson, whose lectures and courses really aren’t that shocking, becoming so popular. See also the popularity of y-tube videos that teach you how to do things. I learned a better way to swap a particularly difficult to get to starter that way. And believe me, that knowledge is *valuable* to me.

      The problem, like so many, is the fake teachers. Walking around in the skins of their forebearers demanding respect unearned and unjustified. Like bad cops, like bad docs, they give the whole a bad name that those worthy ones I mentioned above don’t deserve.

      Education is important. Knowledge of history is important. You don’t know just how much its needed until you don’t have it.

      1. An interesting point–or at least, interesting to me. My sister-in-law is a history teacher, and apparently a good one. And yet her children have been taught to be socialist. She’s incredibly proud of them for caring so much, for wanting everyone to be “equal.”

        How can you be a history teacher, and not understand that socialism is not about equality, or caring? It doesn’t make sense to me.

        1. “History” is a bunch of stuff they learned, that they can regurgitate in the proper fashion. It has no connection to reality-as-we-know-it.

          Some people, the inside of their head is a set of boxes with no real connection between them. They know a lot a stuff, but it’s all self-referential and not connected to anything else. Sort of like inverse polymaths.

        2. Maybe she’s teaching what she learned, or has been influenced by the school system.
          So, is she really a good teacher?
          If you have a child would you like her to be teaching them?

        3. It depends on what you, the teacher, we’re taught. If you never look at world history in detail, or you only teach US, it’s not hard to miss that Marx inspired mass murder. If your college profs teach a mild, sharing Marx, you’ll buy the whole “we’ll get it right this time” argument, false as it is.

      2. Yes. A teacher (public school no less) saved my life.

        Remember the 5th Law or Codex’s Corollary:

        After the stink and crawling maggots can no longer be ignored, they tell you it was always thus.

    2. We had a couple of teachers in my family during the 1860s. One of them my great-great grandpa read, spoke, and wrote in three languages. We don’t know what well-educated really means today.

  13. Hey, Cedar and others, how are you doing with the storm? Everything okay so far, but my parents’ car almost had a close encounter with a big tree branch. Luckily it was very aerodynamic and didn’t actually land on or even scrape the car.

      1. Akshully, yes and no.

        There is some weather in the vicinity of Nega-Ohio. (I’m weak on my Great Lakes geography, so I’m not sure which state is which along that storm track.)

        But there is also some ocean/flood warnings along the Guld Coast, and technically there does look like a small amount of that in Texas.

        California or so has some heat advisories.

        All this per some websites, shortly before posting this comment.

  14. This is one of the things that I’ve never understood. I got into the fanfic game back in the days when 56K modems were the hot shit and I was writing a story about… I think it was an El Hazard fanfic, but that’s not the point.

    The point is, this was 1996-97, and there was something about part of the story that bothered me and I wanted to check and see if my thoughts were right on this subject. I think it was the construction of boots or skirts, don’t quote me on this. But…for me to do that research, as this was the pre-Wikipedia days, I had to go to the library. Where I was living had a very good library, and there was at least one UC and two CSU libraries close enough by that I could go there without issue. Found what I wanted and needed and was able to work on those details.

    Fast forward to today-and about 75-80% of all the research I did for Solist At Large was done online. And, what little that I couldn’t find online, I could order on Amazon.

    The teal deer takeaway? There isn’t an excuse for being unable to really do research into a subject these days. Even if you were to just do Google and Wikipedia for things, you can find things out like what the social classes are in England at the time, and what jobs you took to have social mobility. It might not be the most accurate of things, but if you can fool most people (and have the particular nerds like me go “the author at least tried to get it right…”), you’re ahead of most authors.

    If you can’t even do that kind of basic research, why am I reading your stories?

    (I’m very firmly out of the fanfiction game right now. The community’s infestation of shippers and yaoi fangirls has metastasized during the Avatar years and it seems to be getting worse…)

    1. There isn’t an excuse for being unable to really do research into a subject these days

      A dozen years ago, in about ten minutes I was able to discover the name, background, and relevant history of the British consul-general of Zanzibar in 1881 while running the game session in which it came up.

      Basic research is stupid easy these days.

  15. This is where it pays to read Napoleonic naval fiction. The first son was for the land (and titles). The second for the Army (it cost money to buy a commission). The third was for the clergy.

    The Navy? That was for the middle class. Lord Keith was an impoverished Scottish nobleman who went in the Navy to restore the family fortune.

    1. “A man is in greater danger in the navy of being insulted by the rise of one whose father, his father might have disdained to speak to, and of becoming prematurely an object of disgust himself, than in any other line.”

    2. The Napoleonic naval fiction I’ve read (Hornblower, Jack Aubrey, a couple of others) made it pretty clear that to rise higher than 1st Lt and especially to get ship command you also needed money or a patron. It was more merit based only in that even the nobility recognized that it was far harder to replace a ship and crew than to replace just the troops, if some incompetent bungled and ran it aground.

      1. “Never was a better sloop than the Asp in her day. For an old-built sloop, you would not see her equal. Lucky fellow to get her! He knows there must have been twenty better men than himself applying for her at the same time. Lucky fellow to get any thing so soon, with no more interest than his.”

  16. “yes, I know, but you know what? It’s still cheaper than cocaine or even the levels of alcohol needed to get through the present idiocy”

    This is where I’m at as well with fanfiction.

    1. The thing I’ve been almost compulsively reading, and re reading this year, is technically original (and on Royal Road, instead of AO3 or FFN) but is definitely also fanfic.

      It is an epic fantasy/xianxia with mythos horror and dungeon crawling (or hex crawling) elements. Author of it may well be crazy, it has a bunch of myth and legend synthesized into a single whole, in order to support the world building. (Okay, that doesn’t sound directly crazy, but they also are an academic who is into archeology and anthropology.)

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