Doing The Work

If you went over to Mad Genius Club you’re going to go “uh uh. Sarah is on a tear.”

Yes, Sarah is. There have been a lot of things contributing to this tear. One of them was the superannuated infantile idiot who thinks that working for money is “slavery.” (And yet I would bet you money he claps like a seal and applauds the Chinese slave camps. Because, you know, those irredeemable minorities must be brought into the glorious world of communism, somehow.)

The other one I stumbled upon this morning.

So, I’m reading almost exclusively true crime these days. (Those of you who just dove for cover have it exactly right. When I hit this point I’m profoundly depressed and having serious issues pulling up.)

Most of the true crime I’m reading though is historical true crime, because it’s usually (though apparently not nearly usually enough) free of socialism and bullshit. Though mind you, you’ll come across it in books about Jack the Ripper and the injustice of the people who lived in the East end. Which, if you read it is mostly an “injustice” in the sense that these people are alcoholics, whores and have no self control and yet aren’t given everything, hand foot and help by other people who work for it. I would like every writer of that pious nonsense to realize they are promoting for real actual injustice: that those who choose to be parasites should have the same as those who create the surplus that allows parasites. Or if you prefer, my answer could be summarized with the letters:FYTW.

But today I made the mistake of starting a book on Lizzy Borden over breakfast, and suddenly the red veil came on. This was the entire 1619 bullshit. They claimed the revolution was so that the people of New England wouldn’t be stuck working to furnish raw materials to England “in which there was no future or wealth” and so they could establish the “trilateral trade.”

Yes, I like 1776 too, but we have to remember the musical was written mostly by leftists, so yeah.

Did the trilateral trade: slaves to rum to molasses, and around again, really happen. Sure did. Trade always seeks the route of taking what one place will buy and what one place will trade.

Was it the source of the wealth in the region? Oh, for f*ck’s sake. Only a total waste of skin like Marx could think that wealth wasn’t created, just eternally distributed in a game of f*ck-f*ck. Because that was the only thing his tiny mind and smaller soul could conceive of. Grifters got to grift, and they live with themselves by pretending everyone else is a grifter too.

New England was wealthy because they worked, in a fertile world, in land no one had worked before. The noble savages living here, by and large neither sowed nor reaped. (A few did, particularly in New England.)

They worked their asses off and scrimped and saved more than you can imagine. Yes, a few opened trade routes to Africa and the Caribbean, but it was nowhere close to the main source of wealth. The main source of wealth was factories. Yes, the factories worked with cotton grown by slaves. (To be fair, probably a lot less cotton than would have been grown by free and paid labor. Which is why the North was 100% behind abolition. Smart and ruthless businessmen. Sure, Christian too, so offended by slavery. But slavery makes no economic sense, not once there were better ways to do things. It’s a net drain on the economy. All the slave societies — China, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea — are far poorer than societies of free men. As it was said in the USSR “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.”

My husband comes from an old New England line. Yes, his grandparents lived very well by the time I met them, but talking to them I realized that event hey, even though coming from generational wealth, had been more provident than we were and scrimped and saved more than we did until they reached a point they could live better. And even then, his grandmother still darned the elbows of their winter sweaters rather than buy new ones, even though by that time they could afford to buy a sweater a day for the rest of their lives and not run out of money.

New England thrift is a saying for a reason. In the same way, btw, there is Yankee ingenuity. They made, they created, they worked. Which made the region prosperous. And btw, hit me if you wish, but the best thing that happened to the South was the abolition of slavery. If the iron heel of segregation and “reconstruction” hadn’t fallen on their necks, they’ve got where they’re now, because taking down slavery freed all the people. (Not that a lot of people in the South were there back then.)

But the idiots with their Marxist pap reduce everything to a round circle jerk of “I exploit you, you exploit me.” There is no new wealth and if you have more than your layabout neighbor, you obviously stole his. Only a mentally challenged infant can believe this.

As for the slaves, well, what you have to remember is that while slavery is an abomination to the Christian, freedom-loving west, it isn’t to the rest of the world. And those slaves could have been killed instead. They were sold into slavery because they had a value. Otherwise they would have treated like mankind’s defeated were, time out of mind: killed. Either for sacrifice (Hello, Dahomey) or for sport, or simply because they were in the way. And don’t cry too hard for them. They’d have done the same the other way, had they won.

But instead, they came to America, where yes, slavery sucked, but eventually freedom was earned at great cost by people of both colors, and now thanks to thrift and ingenuity, to work and the freedom to work, they can live better than practically anyone in the world. (No, I don’t want to hear it. You can take your socialized healthcare and shove it where the sun don’t shine. When Massa looks after the slaves, he chooses if they live or die, and it don’t matter if Massa is a government functionary. As we have proof daily (Hello, Cuomo.))

But what really made me see red and reach for the cleaver was this idiot writer’s regurgitated pap about how the mill workers “made workers work 14 hour days” (What? Opposed to the endless round of agriculture. Only an idiot would say that) and how they “Sowed suspicion between workers of different nationalities so they wouldn’t unite.” Holy mother of shitcakes and syrup. If this is what they teach in schools, the schools should be shut down, the school book writers whipped until the blood runs freely, and the students shaken until they can think again.

Dear idiots: Tribalism is the default mode of humanity. Nationalism is an improvement on that, because at least at times, for limited purposes, you can trust those people over the ridge, with their funny notions, because at least they’re scroladian like you. Even if they cook their Batla wrong.

Humans are tribal. We’re creatures of the band. Throughout our evolution, other bands were danger, and possibly hunters who intended to eat us. No one needs to sow discord among different groups. The miracle of America is that different groups will work together. And they do that because they think of themselves as individuals, not of classes, like that idiot Marx, who never worked a day in his life, thought they should be. Why would you have solidarity with someone else because they do similar work? Throughout most of history, that means they’re competition, not your besties.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re filling our young people’s head with bullshit, and expecting them to function. This has to stop.

There is work to do if we want to preserve civilization. Young people need to know wealth isn’t pre-existent. It’s earned each generation, sometimes with insane labor.

Young people need to learn no one gets wealth from slavery. Or rather, sure, the communist oligarchs get wealth from their enslaved people, but even they don’t get as much as they would from trading with free people. And the rest of the people are miserable and broken.

They need to learn that all of us have slaves in our ancestry. If you’re going to pay people who were never slaves by taking money from people who never owned slaves, you’re going to end up destroying the economy for nothing, because the pay offs never end. And if you’re going to beat yourself up because our society owned slaves for a brief period, do consider stopping slavery in Africa and China first. Oh, and free poor enslaved Cuba. And North Korea. Not doing that? Then stop giving yourself airs, you useless inheritor of people who bled and died to end slavery here.

And most of all, they need to learn they have to do the work. If they don’t do the work, all they’ll ever be is useless wastes of breath like Marx and his followers, who only product ever is mass graves and unending misery.

315 thoughts on “Doing The Work

  1. I’ve quoted Saint Paul’s “If they will not work, they will not eat” before but I thought I’d give the context for his statement.

    Either in scripture (or in commentaries), the problem in the church Saint Paul was writing to was that some “pious” people in that church wanted to spend their time in prayer while waiting for Christ’s Return and of course wanted others in that church to support them.

    Thus triggering Saint Paul’s statement. Minor note, apparently Saint Paul (when he spent some time in an area) worked in the Tent Marking “Industry”.

    It is interesting that in the later Monasteries the monks & nuns worked to support the monasteries.

    1. It’s always been my contention that if the saints of the early church couldn’t make communism work ain’t NOBODY this side of Heaven going to make it work. Paul/Saul of Tarsus was a tough man and made his position clear (well mostly his idea of logic with its first century rabbinic tilt is somethimes hard to understand). But in that case he was unequivocal, if they won’t work let them starve.

      Oh and on a fun note I ran into this on another link. It is from the Babylon Bee of course. Somwhere John Lennon is rolling (deservedly) in his grave 🙂 .

      1. Arguably the longest-running thing even close to communism is Christian monastics.

        Yet, somehow I don’t see the average Marxist surviving a week on their schedule.

        1. And possibly some of the “plain people” … but it’s noteworthy that even they realize it doesn’t work when you get more than the number of people who can know one another well, at which point they split their colonies. And that their chief method of social enforcement seems to be “if you don’t work, you don’t eat.”

          Marxists get their pronouns wrong, and think the saw goes, “If they don’t work, we don’t eat.”

          1. ^this^

            You need to provide for YOURSELF– you have personal vanity, sure, but you’re not supposed to be going after lovers or producing physical children, which selects against the stuff that makes it really tough.

            1. Which was actually something that came up while I was discussing communism/capitalism with Kid a while back. “So maybe you get supernaturally lucky and have genuinely selfless leaders. The inner ape is DAMN powerful, and absent some serious spiritual gifts, 99 percent of said leaders are going to go “but I KNOW my child(ren) is superior and will Do Good For The Masses, so of COURSE I should favor them and make sure they get the best education and the most resources.” And once the skew starts, it will never, ever stop.”

        2. As I understand things monasteries generally figured out some products that had value to the surrounding folk so as to establish a trade arrangement. Tended towards baked goods, wines, and hard spirits for the most part.

          1. And technology in some cases. The Cistercians up in what is now northern Germany and Poland did a lot of work introducing drainage systems to make the marshy land farmable. Other folks followed them, rented land, studied the drainage systems, and got hired as day-labor for some of the monasteries.

    2. ““pious” people in that church wanted to spend their time in prayer while waiting for Christ’s Return and of course wanted others in that church to support them.”

      Still have that today! International House of Prayer in KC. “When you give to the International House of Prayer, you strengthen the night-and-day prayer movement; you propel the Gospel going forth to every nation, tribe, and tongue; and you raise up wholehearted lovers of Jesus to proclaim His beauty and prepare the earth for His return. That’s why we see your gift as more than a donation—it is an investment and a partnership in ministry. ”

      Professional Prayer Providers?

      1. There are Jewish scholars that seem to have the same idea. Possibly forgetting that the great Rabbi Hillel made his living as a common laborer, gathering firewood.

        1. I’ve heard of some who don’t even try to live off donations, but welfare. Not even voluntary giving.

            1. Our local Franciscan convent makes “Pray-lenes.” And they are really, really gooooood chewy, creamy pralines. Really good.

          1. Orar et laborare. We have cloistered Dominican Nuns near here that make soap. You can get the Office according to the Dominican rite sung there.

              1. I’m recalling the old joke about a monstary doing fish and chips: Skipping the setup (can’t remember it), going to the punch line.

                “Oh, he’s the fish friar. I’m the chip monk.”

          2. Yeha, I think our monks make coffee…

            Looking up the Holy Cross ROCOR Monestary looks like they make coffe, soap and church stuff. And bees, but they’re sold out of bees at the moment.

            Looks like they’re also temporary closed to the public while they work through a covid outbreak. Looks like around 20 of them are down with it at the moment and a couple are in the hospital, but their prognosis is pretty good.

            Who would have thought spending your days tromping around outside singing among the bee hives was a good way to stay healthy into your old age…

            1. There was a monastery near Ogden/SLC who produced the most amazing fresh eggs from their place. Sold in the permanent roadside farmers’ market out side the north-side gate to Hill AFB. The eggs were as big, and fresh as anything that I have gotten from my backyard flock.

  2. Bravo, milady. Bravo!
    It’s why we started homeschooling our kids. It was easier to stay home and educate them than too re-educate later.
    Especially since my kids are so very focused on sociability. They’d have gone with the crowd, just to stay in the herd.
    It’s not necessarily a lack in them, they’re just typical humans. (Even if one is Odd.) Realizing that now makes me very glad to have started the homeschooling as early as we did.

  3. I think people hope paying reparations for past wrongs (slavery) is a protection payoff to insure against future wrongs (riots). Those people forget that if once you pay the Danegeld, you’ll never be rid of the Dane.

    1. To reference the effective Poet Laureate of the Site (R.Kipling):
      “We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
      No matter how trifling the cost;
      For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
      And the nation that plays it is lost!”

    2. The best argument against reparations from black thinkers is: once “whites” have paid reparations to “blacks”, any subsequent raising of past injustices will be met with, “Sorry, we already paid you off for all that. Go away. Claim denied.”

      1. I suggest that we do the math. Figure out how much those slaves would have been paid for their mostly-unskilled labor in their contemporary market. Then deduct that from the several trillion we’ve paid in welfare benefits, and offer them an attractive interest rate on repaying the balance.

        Alternatively, we’ll call it even if they pack up and go back to Wakanka. In fact, here it is!

        [Zoom out, and you may find 3 or 4 more copies of this, uh, idealized modern city which some wag has, um, ‘built’ in the deepest jungles. And do it quick, before Google catches up with the prankster again.]

        1. The argument is that since the wealth that helped create the country was built on the backs of slaves, blacks are owed for the value of that infrastructure now, and everything that resulted from that infrastructure.

          Or in short, they’re owed everything .

          The people pushing this idea aren’t quite so explicit about what they’re asking for. But that’s what it essentially amounts to when you sit and think about it long enough.

          1. All righty! We’ll deduct the value of cotton and tobacco and sugar cane in the slave era from what they owe us. Problem solved!

            Yeah, it really is just channeling Marx. I recall a letter he wrote to a “friend” berating said friend for refusing to lend Marx any more money, even tho the nominal friend was broke.

            1. Of course it is. But enough people push this nonsense that it doesn’t matter how flawed it is. It keeps gaining traction anyway among many of the leadership on the left. And the press won’t actually scrutinize it to examine the flaws in it, but instead trumpet it loudly as a coming great thing. Anyone who does expose the absurdity of it it will be attacked either as a racist, or an Uncle Tom.

              The only thing surprising to me is that the Dems didn’t try and include it in their “infrastructure” bill this year.

              1. How do you know they didn’t? The thing’s damn near 2,800 pages. Reading it would take more than two weeks, and they only spent two hours ‘debating’ it. NOBODY knows what’s in it except the corrupt lobbyists that wrote 90% of it.

                We need to enforce the rules that require every bill to be read aloud, in full, before every vote.

                1. The bill’s been reviewed. We know about things like the mandatory BAC testing systems in new cars, and the pilot mileage tracking program.

        2. I’m in favor of reparations in the form of paying for a one-way ticket “back” to Africa for anyone here who thinks he would be better off there, so long as he is barred from ever returning to this “white supremacist” country. Of course such a bar would be immediately ignored, so this is just a thought experiment, but I wonder how many people would accept that offer.

          I’m guessing “0” would be an excellent approximation…

      2. Then they can try to squeeze cash out of the descendants of the Africans that gathered and sold the slaves. Good luck with that.

        1. That and all the descendants of the caliphate that was one of the biggest promoters of slave trade, to the point where slavery still exists in some parts of the world controlled by Jihadists and fundamental Islamists. But it is considered thought crime these days to say that.

      3. If reparations are to be a thing, how much do Jews get for well over 2500 years of being oppressed.

        1. No, Jews don’t get anything because they have managed to succeed in spite of all of the oppression. What kind of victims are those?

    3. Slavery was already dying in 1861 because hiring cheap immigrant labor, especially Irish, didn’t require the employer to provide food and lodging, or worry about them dying in the swamps (which happened a lot)…Ultimately, the land owners and former slaves went to sharecropping, which was much more economic because it provided strong incentives for hard work and fair treatment…See Faulkner..Interestingly, the German tribes 2000 years ago used sharecropping with their slaves, as mentioned in Tacitus, and it worked very well….

  4. So, I’m reading almost exclusively true crime these days. (Those of you who just dove for cover have it exactly right. When I hit this point I’m profoundly depressed and having serious issues pulling up.)

    If it helps everyone would like you to pull up.

    If that just make for guilt, then no we don’t to pull up. You’ll just have to pull up out of sheer spite.

  5. “They need to learn that all of us have slaves in our ancestry.”

    You have to go pretty far back to find proper chattel slavery in Scotland, but eventually you’ll find it. Also practices that functioned the same as slavery. Feudalism. There was a lot to not like about it.

    Funny how the only places you still find Feudalism are the Middle East, N. Korea and China. The civilized nations of the world stamped it out hundreds of years ago.

    Of course now the Left is struggling to bring it back. I think we should defeat them and let it stay as history.

      1. I disagree with both you and The Phantom, feudalism is nothing like slavery. If nothing else, the dual-direction nature of obligations and the hierarchy where everyone, even the King, has a liege lord they are one day responsible to makes it very different.

        The serf might not be free, but he is not a slave (and could be wealthier than his master, especially towards the end of the Middle Ages).

    1. Scots and Irish both — More Irish since they were more accessible than the highlanders — were sold as slaves after the Williamite coup and the wars that followed. It was a thing to have a white chattel slave for a while. This is where the white bajans come from. Later, there were forced indentures, but the originals were chattel slaves. They really didn’t do well growing sugar and so African’s were imported.

      One of the reasons Pope Adrian supported the conquest of a Ireland in the first place was their habit of selling slaves. Dublin was one of the biggest slave markets around, which just continued the old Scandinavian practice of dealing slaves. It was everywhere until, as I first learned in King David’s Spaceship, the horse collar and other improvements allowed animal power to be more productive than human. In those areas that didn’t undergo the agricultural revolution, like the Middle East and Africa, slavery went on its merry way as it still does today.

      in any case, none of the idiots going on about slavery show the least interest in actual, existing slavery so I pay no attention to their BS. At best they’re stupid, more likely they’re just using it as an argument to divide and rule., which doesn’t exclude stupid.

    2. Not only do we all have slaves in our ancestry, we all have slavers, too. It’s been a widespread practice throughout human history, practiced by all races and most cultures.

        1. True. In many times and places, a slave could own other slaves — and sometimes even rented them out to free men.

          Slavery is not a simple, uniform system, but varied enormously between places.

    3. Indentured servants were often worse off than slaves, because they could not sold and therefore had no market value. So they were set to jobs deemed too dangerous for valuable slaves.

      One of my ancestors came over on the Mayflower as an indentured servant.

      And every well-run privately owned company is a feudal system, with everyone having responsibility to those above and below, and some ability to earn their way up the ladder. In fact, one might note that going public and thereby becoming subject to the whims of “democracy” (mob rule in the form of shareholders) is often the beginning of the end, particularly toward regarding CEOs as untouchable and low-end employees as expendable widgets.

      Feudalism is NOT a synonym for “badly run dictatorship” nor for “one master and lots of peasants”. Rather the opposite. /peeve

      1. Indentured servants could be bought and sold. Lack of value only really kicked in the end of the contract. Then it REALLY kicked in.

    4. We are all descendants of slaves, and slave owners. Every single person on Earth. There is no branch, twig or leaf of the human family tree unstained by slavery.

      Slavery was the universal way of the world for more than 200,000 years. Only in the last few centuries did anybody get the notion that there might be something wrong about slavery. Not until the 18th century did such crackpots begin to be taken seriously.

      So, the fact that slavery was allowed in parts of the United States for 72 years does not make our nation Uniquely Irredeemably Eeevul; the fact that some of our founders argued against slavery in the 1770’s, and some states prohibited it, shows that they were near the forefront of the Abolitionist movement.

      Slavery was on its way out by the 1840’s. Free states outnumbered slave states, despite the proto-Democrats’ insistence that states be admitted in pairs, one slave state for every free state. The free North was rapidly leaving the slaveholding South behind with developing industry and expanding population.

      The Civil War started as a temper tantrum by the Democrats when they lost the 1860 election.

      Ask one of those idiots pushing for ‘reparations’ — “Who was the first black Presidential nominee?”

      I’ll bet none of them know the answer: Frederick Douglass, Republican, in 1888.

      Benjamin Harrison wound up winning the nomination, and the election, but Frederick Douglass was in the running.

    5. Archeologists excavating settlements in Scandinavia a millennia back concluded that about 80% of the population were slaves…..So undoubtedly many of my ancestors that far back were slaves or serfs…

  6. The Indians in New England are an interesting case. They managed the forests through semi-controlled burning in order to encourage lots of food for deer. They also had a pretty stable (until 1350 or so, and then again after 1500 until the late 1600s) agricultural system – as long as they could relocate every five years or so. It was sustainable across time, but not in one place, so they rotated. Thus, when the first Separatists arrived (Plymouth Plantation and the next generation), they found fallow fields waiting for use. Which sort of explains some of their reported farming difficulties – tired soil.

    1. Maybe, although my experience at doing a truck garden in Connecticut as a kid was the crop that grew best in New England soil was rocks… Lots of the Coastal tribes moved to avoid over fishing. Shellfish were massively superabundant. Lobsters washed up on the beach, There were rules about how many times a week prisoners and indentured servants could be fed lobster in a week, clams and mussels probably similar. The middens of shells are all over.

      1. Did they move to avoid overfishing, or did they move because they’d been there a while and the fishing was no longer so good? From what I’ve read of contemporary accounts, it was rather the latter. There was not a great deal of plan-ahead in the culture.

        Also, I suspect what are being praised as “controlled burns” were actually akin to what the so-called Plains Indians did before they acquired horses: set the prairie on fire to run an entire herd of bison over a cliff (because no one in their right mind attempts to hunt bison on foot). In a forest, fire drives deer out into the open, where they are much more easily killed.

          1. Exactly. It’s not like they had sonar out there evaluating the schools of fish and whatever.

        1. My understanding is basically they’d move when it was getting harder to get food. It is hard to state how abundant these resources were even when to their mind the fishing was headed downhill. It is NOT overfishing as we understand it where you’re wandering into population collapse. As I understood it as told by the elder of the Mohegans when I was a kid it was kind of “dang we had to spend half a day gathering food for the evening, best move along”.

    2. There was actually a sort of farming even in California, but it was almost invisible, because it was mostly acorn farming. When you’re dealing with plants that take decades to produce, it isn’t very evident that they’re deliberately put there. (The way they’ve determined this is because oak stands would naturally be closer to a monoculture, but when there’s groupings of three or more types of oaks in stands convenient distances apart, it’s mighty suspicious—particularly when those types of oaks produce acorns asymmetrically. If one crop fails, there’s always another one taking its place.)

      1. Oaks are strongly allelopathic. Once you’ve got oaks, pretty soon you have nothing BUT oaks, because nothing else native will grow there (tho some rather poisonous flowers tolerate ’em). California’s scrub oaks have a high germination rate and take over very quickly, with no help from anyone. They wind up in clumps because they tend to naturally grow that way (they don’t compete well as seedlings, so need the parent tree’s toxic radius against competition), and when there are sheep and goats in the area, they eat down the new saplings and keep ’em from spreading too much.

        I don’t know if it’s still there, but in 1970 the Great Falls (Montana) Public Library had an original printing of an explorer’s journal from the early 1800s. He spent a couple years among California’s Yana Indians, who lived largely on acorn meal, and recorded their lives and language in meticulous detail (the book is about 300 pages in tiny print). He noted with some alarm that the main cause of death was kidney failure (which would be due to eating acorns, never really safe as a long-term staple even if blanched) and that their lifespans were so short that elders were nonexistent. Fast-forward to Ishi’s day and note that basically it had become children raising children, because of the truncated lifespans.

        Acorns: Not recommended for dinner.

        1. In Portugal, oaks are slowly displacing pines, which displaced the native eucalyptus. Sometimes you come unawares upon a grove of eucalyptus and it’s amazing.

    3. Lots of theories, probably many causes rather than one. I’ve read that the local tribes had been severely affected by an illness that had reduced their population (not sure whether it was related to European exploration or not as that wasn’t the only way that plagues spread. Might have come from China.) and were looking for allies against the tribes further inland who were pushing up against them.

      This is why I am always skeptical when people (not you TXRed) claim that “the reason for … was” when reality is much more complicated than that.

      1. Oh yes. There were a lot of elements involved. Especially later, as the Puritans began pushing inland after the 1630s. They got pulled into ongoing fights, they started fights (there’s a great letter where Miles Standish [iirc] complained that some of the Indians were as barbaric as the Irish [!]), and so on. Historians really argue over exactly when smallpox et cetera arrived in the area, and from whom. From the sailors on the Grand Banks? From later explorers like Hudson and the French? From the south, via the Spanish and then up trade routes?

        Depopulation had happened in the area, no doubt. But it didn’t really affect how the peoples of the area farmed, in the sense that swidden [slah-n-burn] agriculture still required people to move every so-many years. You could do the same thing for years and years, as long as you could relocate to fresher soil.

          1. A couple. The 1300s were rough, the late 1500s-early 1600s as well. Cold too. When Europe got cold and wet, North America tended to get cold but relatively dry. (Depending on when, and were you were.) Jamestown had problems because of the drought, and because its location positively sucked in terms of clean water access. That’s why Smith wanted to move it to a healthier site, but the administrators back in England flat out refused.

        1. In the 1980s, I met a Miles Standish, a state park ranger in the Santa Cruz mountains in California. Yes, he was descended from the original, and no, I forgot to ask what the proper Roman numeral should be after his name.

  7. I’ve repeatedly heard over the years that one of the reasons for persistent slavery was the sexual abuse of slaves. But that couldn’t be discussed in an era where women had ‘limbs’ not legs and some people hung little sleeves over their furniture legs because you know – legs are legs and the help might rape the buffet…

    1. Latter bit is wrong.

      I understand that this is not a correct summary of that period’s customs.

              1. If time travelers would just stick to pelting Hitler with carp the time stream would be so much better off.

        1. Umm …. they did call breast of chicken white meat. One can be prudish in speech while not being very prudish in action, look at today’s college campus. I think it’s fair to say that the Victorian lower middle classes and upper working classes were fairly prudish, with the level of licentiousness increasing as you moved up and down from there. That said, I would say we have more speech prudes today than the Victorians did.

              1. Oh if you read stuff from that time, you get where the prudish victorians came from, and it’s actually instructive.
                So, the generation immediately after hated that the Victorians saw sex everywhere and assumed people were having sex in bizarre circumstances. Mostly perverse sex. “mind like a sink” was what the next generation called it. “Little old ladies with minds like sinks.”
                Since the little old ladies also tried to advise the young against doing unadvisable sexual things, while the young were going through a “if it feels good do it”, the generation after, hearing the intermediate generation talking decided granny must have been a prude who didn’t understand sex.
                BTW because Portugal is behind the times, I saw this in action, with my generation being the youngest.

          1. Exhibit A in “how we got so screwed up with all this ‘gender’ crap” is for several decades in the 20th century people didn’t want to say “sex”.

      1. Anyone who has looked into Victorians past the grade school myth that “they were prudes” realize that they were an extremely filthy-minded bunch. You know, like most humans throughout history… 😀

        1. Which may well be related to the fact that humans have no fixed mating season or mating rituals. We’re always “on” and can always figure out how to get it on.

          1. That’s what the Lizards found most bizarre about us — until they discovered ginger.

            (Harry Turtledove’s ‘Worldwar’ and ‘Colonization’ series)

          2. lol, and going by much of scifi (and, alas, reality) will try to get it on with just about anything…

            Funniest thing I ever heard was the story of baby brother coming home from school and asking mom what “bestiality” meant (Mom always had a firm policy of we could ask her any question about anything and she would answer it honestly, correctly, and as scientifically accurately as she knew regarding the subject, and we could also ask her to stop said explanation at any time). She got as far as “Well, someone takes an animal and–” and he said “NOPE NEVERMIND I THINK I GOT IT” (Bestiality isn’t funny, but his learning what it meant sure was.)

              1. They came on a spaceship. 😛

                (Anime series, ‘Cat Planet Cuties’)
                (Yes, it’s a guilty pleasure)

        2. At least, the ones that left any descendants.

          Random dialog that showed up a few weeks ago:
          “I am not a pervert! My intentions are entirely honorable…. Obscene, if I can find the right lady, but there’s nothing perverted about it.”

    2. Opining that so-and-so tupped his slaves was how a Roman smeared a political opponent (tupping your slaves was a vile offense and you could lose your citizenship over it).

      I expect this was commonly the case wherever slaves were more or less reasonably treated; not so much where they were disposable. Not that humans won’t be humans, but consider the accusation in light of whether it was normal or bad behavior in that time and place.

      1. Plenty of Romans slept with their slaves without losing citizenship. They might even live with one as a consistent concuibine.

        1. IIRC The problem was if a Roman Citizen (male) was f*cked by his male slave.

          It was OK if the Male Roman Citizen f*cked his slaves (male or female) not if he was f*cked.

        2. Vespasian apparently had a long-term relationship with a freedwoman as his concubine. I believe she had been a family slave before being freed, but don’t recall the details.

          1. One took a slave concubine, as he told his annoyed son, because he was so pleased with having one that he wanted more. He had to free and marry her to appease the son about the irregularity.

    3. No. Persistent slavery was there because it was cheaper for slave owners. Same reason that China has slave camps.
      The work isn’t as good. And even the owners aren’t as rich, but they get labor for free, by damn.

    4. Abolitionists would stage mock “fancy girl auctions” to publicize the exploitation.

  8. Different nationalities often have different customs, that can feed into incompatible behaviors or issues of mutual trust.

    There’s a flip side or two to the whining about uniting workers, and suspicion between the nationalities. Relating to who bells the cat, whose ox is gored, and whose culture is the correct one to be pushed on all other peoples.

    There are lots of ways to implement a society that can be described as ‘peasants work, and the surplus from that funds the operation of an aristrocratic military’. The different methods do not all have the same cultural result on populations practicing them.

    Europe was not a monoculture. The population density difference between France and England alone were significant during certain periods, and the cultural differences were not trivial. Add on to that differences between northern and southern Europe, eastern and western Europe, and it would be unsurprising to have some issues once you really start mixing populations.

    So, history of organized labor in America. Lot of colonists from western Europe early on. Spain and Portugual focused on southern colonies, France did a lot in the north with fur traders. So, a lot of farmer colonists from England, from both sides of the civil war, in that strip of colonies running from Georgia to Maine. (Florida was a Spanish colony, and grabbed later.) Also, Dutch, but the Dutch were also Protestant. I think there were /some/ colonists from as far east as Germany by the time of the Revolutionary War, but not as much as would come later.

    So, the negotiated consensus on customs was between those peoples, and the later immigrants had some different preferences. Relative to some periods in English history, some of the later cohorts of immigrants had an entrenched cultural expectation that nobles would screw peasants, and that peasants would screw nobles. So, if you were a peasant from that culture, and came to America, the people who had set up a factory that offered employment were obviously not peasants from your culture, and so even if you choose to work for them, you were ‘morally’ obligated to screw them over. Such a culture of immigrant would be very suitable for the formation of trade unions. As opposed to someone of a culture where you were expected to pick and choose where you would invest your time, or where delivering on your word was a valuable part of your reputation, or where you were expected to deal fairly with anyone, no matter their background.

    So, with a poor oppressed immigrant narrative, why are we saying that the immigrant culture is correct, and the ‘native’ culture is wrong? Cultural relativism, followed rigorously, would not prefer the immigrant culture or the native one. Implemented in a way that isn’t rigorous, cultural relativism is picking a preference, no better than any other cultural preference, and worse than some. Yes, American culture has a preference for tolerating different cultural backgrounds, within limits, but if you do not prefer American culture, this has no moral force.

    If there is a moral reason for workers/peasants of distinct cultures to ‘unite’, why is there not a moral reason for people of a shared culture to ‘unite’?

    If increasing suspicion between cultures is wrong, why isn’t it wrong to increase suspicion within a culture?

    1. Russia retained unfree labor after Eastern Europe, which kept it long after Western Europe let it slide away for a while. Why Russians enslaved themselves, which eventually became serfdom under Peter the Great, is a really complicated story. It’s one of those things that makes me shrug and say, “Is Russia. Is strange that way.”

      1. Most of history can be summed up as “one damned thing after another.”

        Most of Russian history can be summed up as “and then things got worse.”

      2. TXRed, I know I’ve mentioned it here and elsewhere, but I think you’d really like Mark Schrad’s book, “Vodka Politics” it does explain some of that strangeness that is Russia.

    2. Point of history: German settlement in America goes back to the 1680s, and is where we get “Pennsylvania Dutch”, the Amish, Mennonites, etc. In the colonial period, they mostly went to Pennsylvania, which had been set up for persecuted religious dissenters from England, so that’s where persecuted religious dissenters from Germany went as well.

      1. I was thinking about big movement of Germans during the mid nineteenth century. And had completely forgotten the ‘Germans all over the place’ bits of the colonial era.

        There were Irish and Scots-Irish in America from early on, but there was a really big displacement of Irish during the mid nineteenth.

        Anyway, my bad.

          1. Yeah, I know.

            Some of what I write, I write fried. Sometimes I actually try for concise.

            Mentioning the potato famine was last on my priority list, other items which I omitted would have been higher.

            Do people have to explicitly mention the Holocaust while discussing the modern state of Israel, even if the Holocaust is not the most pertinent part of what they are saying?

        1. Some of my ancestry is German. Germans invited to move to what is now the Ukraine, to act as a buffer against the Turks. They lived in Russia for generations, and stayed German. They came to America, and became American. This is a very significant data point. So, why should they owe money?

          I am an American melting pot. I am an American who’s ancestors came from a whole bunch of different places, English, German, Spanish, and …, and became American..
          A family story thought one might have been a “Serbian” Postman who got in trouble, changed his name, and moved to “Denmark”. No proof either way. I have been to an archeological dig, where they dug up one of my ancestors, and we know his name. True story.

          1. My first wife’s family was seven-eighths Odessa German from around Mt. Angel, OR. But the male line and therefore family name was Irish, so they considered themselves almost exclusively Irish. Go figure.

      2. Side thought: we now have Amish in my corner of Montana. Met a bonneted lady (with what I presume were her eldest and newest child) in Walmart yesterday. Much more “plain” and far more shy than our local Hutterites, whose ladies like color and prints and a little frill around the edges, and will answer boldly if spoken to.

        1. We get the bonneted ladies, with husbands wearing plad flannel and blue jeans, shopping in Flyover Falls. The usual outfit is a pale-blue-green bonnet with a long dress the same color. I’ve assumed they were some variety of Mennonite, since there doesn’t seem to be an adversion to horseless transportation. Much of the time, it’s a couple with children (girls big enough to walk wear child-sized versions of Mama’s clothing, while the boys share the farmer/rancher/lumberjack look).

          Thinking about it, the Mennonite-ish people have been scarce since Covidiocy started, though they never were that common a sight. OTOH, schedules got really weird with all the lockdowns.

          1. There are (as of the last time I looked) seven different major groups of Mennonite, ranging from “could be Quaker but are Mennonite” (drive normal cars, work in aviation, dress simply but not obviously so) to “Amish but with very plain pickups and station wagons.” If you see “Amish” driving a vehicle with no chrome or trim on it, they are Mennonite. And some Mennonites still use horse and buggies, but have electricity in their homes, with basic appliances.

            A grad-school friend came from a scandalous mixed marriage – his dad married a Dunkard. (German Brethren – also Anabaptist, also pacifist, also plain folk.) Tongues wagged, eyes rolled, and it kept the gossips entertained for a few months.

            1. A friend in college was the first category of Mennonite. Engineering major, but not an EE. The noticeable difference was that he wasn’t interested in underage drinking. (U of Redacted had birthdates on Uni ID. Flashing an ID got you into the beer & wine bars on campus, and a couple of the hard liquor places if they weren’t up to date with bribes in trouble with city police. Corruption? Why would you say that?

              OTOH, it being the latter years of the Viet Nam war, there might have been thinking that drunk students were better than rioting students. Didn’t work that way for the major incidents.

              1. drunk students were better than rioting students.

                Nothing says you can’t have both! 😀

          2. I’ve never seen buggy transport around here, but might be simply that distances are too great and unpaved roads too rough, and a trip to the “big city” would become a two-day event; they’re plain, not impractical. However I know the Amish down by Roberts use buggies more locally, cuz Engels Coach Shop in Joliet (see his YT channel aimed at preserving the craft of buggy and wagon construction) did an episode on fixing their wheels. Hutterite buggies are not uncommon up around Great Falls, tho have never seen ’em right in town.

            These were the first Amish I’ve ever seen hereabouts (the colony is relatively new, tho). Starched white bonnets and aprons, sky-blue dresses, looking fresh and perfect as their Sunday best, straight out of a Pilgrims painting. Didn’t see anyone obviously her menfolk, unless it was a fellow in coveralls, but that’s hardly unusual around here. Tellya, that simple dress sure set off how beautiful the daughter is. And the baby was quiet and content and obviously much loved.

            Our Hutterites (about the same distance in the opposite direction, but way worse roads) are in Sam’s Club all the time (I’ve seen ’em rather more often since the Plandemic) and their guy who delivers eggs to my local Walmart drives a big box truck. Their menfolk and boys do the obvious Farmer John look with the plaid shirts and demin coveralls, and the ladies and daughters in their print dresses and matching bonnets look pretty much like it’s their comfortable everyday wear. But they’ve been here a long time, and I think are a lot more used to going out among the English. I did ask one day if I could come see the egg farm, and he was like sure, come on out, any time!

  9. We need a time machine. We need to send those socialists and communists and fascists and Marxists back to experience life 80,000 years ago. The few that survive might learn something.

    1. Wasn’t just New England. My grandmothers in AR had never been north of the Mason-Dixon and they taught it to us.

      1. Never throw cloth away. It’s last incarnation will go into the quilt. Either as piece of the backing, front pattern, or interior as lining/stuffing. I always knew them as rag pieced quilts.

        1. Rags that were too sorry for a quilt, my grandmother braided into rugs. Still have one of hers here somewhere.

  10. “They need to learn that all of us have slaves in our ancestry. ”

    The Slavs could not be reached for comment.

    1. Stepfather Petro had that t-shirt. Ukranian born, captured by the Germans, then used as slave labor in Czechoslovakia. He was lucky; the farmer was told not to feed the slaves, but the farmer was smarter and kinder than that. (Thoughts on the sanity of a policy of not feeding people who have to use sharp implements with minimal guards. Lord! Just how stupid were the Nazis?)

      1. Hitler’s original plan was to take all of the food of the Ukrainian farmers, let the Ukrainians all die of starvation, and then resettle the land with German farmers.

        Fortunately, the unexpected difficulty in defeating the Soviets caused Hitler to put that plan on hold.

        1. I was in senior year of college when Mom remarried, and never got the chance to ask Petro about his experiences (working on the very rash assumption he wanted to talk about it), but ending up in Czechoslovakia, I assume he had been drafted and was a POW-slave. My understanding was that it would have been fatal* to be repatriated, so he came to the USA as a refugee.

          (*) I gather that Stalin considered it treasonous for a Soviet soldier to surrender, plus Ukrainian. I don’t know about the history of Russian POWs after the war.

          1. This is correct. Soviet soldiers who surrendered went to the Gulag at the end of the War

            There were two reasons for this. The first was the whole “failed the great communist cause!” nonsense, and disobeyed orders by surrendering. The second was because Soviet PoWs might have gotten exposure to the outside world, and picked up some dangerous ideas.

          2. Treason to be captured while unconscious. Off to the gulag with you! (And if they didn’t find your body, why your entire family was the family of a traitor.)

        2. Not just the Ukrainians.

          All of Europe was to be subject to the Hunger Plan rather than allow Germany to suffer, so that the stab-in-the-back could not be repeated. And all of eastern Europe was to be Germanized. Poland got hit the hardest.

          1. But afaik, orders never went out to seize all of the food from the Poles and let them starve to death. That was quite literally supposed to have happened in Ukraine in 1941. The orders were in place. And then, fortunately, the Soviets did better than the Germans had expected, and wartime conditions caused the orders to be rescinded before they were carried out.

  11. If you catch me reading bunny fluffy Romance novels, then be wary– I’m at the Suicide Squad Harley Quinn– destruction moment.

    1. I have a particular DOOM map that I use as a redirect in those moments… 2700 dead hellspawn in about four hours, and then I feel much better. 😀

      1. I had a mod that turned the ultimate 1st DOOM boss into Barney the Dinosaur. Working over Barney with the chainsaw was a surefire stress reliever. 😎

        “It’s I Love You and You Love Me,
        That creature is driving me up a tree!”

        Capitol Steps.

        1. Spouse pointed out that Barney is awfully happy for a T-rex…and there’s a fair amount of turnover among the kids.

          I had my eyebrows fly off when (yeah, son watched Barney. Now he’s firmly in the, “Barney must die!” camp) he led the kids in a formal conjugation- I think they were calling up Mother Nature.

        2. There are DOOM mods for all occasions. One turned cacos into Bill Clinton’s head. You too can shoot a floating former figurehead, in the safety of your own home!

          1. I’d rather see Queen Hillary’s head as a cacodemon. Would the ‘dead demon’ sprite be even grosser than the original?

  12. I’m not laughing at your depression. I am laughing at your turn of phrase when you are talking to the black dog. For instance– Marx’s economic theory (the theory of f-ck f-ck) That has got to be a classic one. Thank you for making me laugh.

                1. I’ll admit I had to dive pretty deep to reel that one in. Guess I just couldn’t kelp taking the bait. Maybe I’m a sucker for fishy puns, or just floundering, but I don’t eel bad about it. In fact, I’ve got no remoras at all!

          1. We do not have a shortage. Yes, the sea serpent keeps the minion pool free, but we call it the minion pool to distinguish it from the others.

  13. “But slavery makes no economic sense …”

    That’s because slavery is a class system and not an economic system. In fact, slavery is the ultimate class system – “I’m better than you because I own you” or “My gods are better than your gods so I own you”. Owning slaves was expensive, the cost most likely greatly exceeding any derived economic value, but it generated a great deal of personal esteem – “I’m more important than you, I own more slaves!”.

    When the law says you’re not equal, as it has before and ultimately will again, you can appeal to Samuel Colt and his friends for a common law ruling on equality. For a few more days anyway.

    1. waggles hand. Slavery is the logical way to get work done that NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would do. Also a way to have a culture suplant the other without EVERYONE down to the suckling babe being killed.
      HOWEVER it’s not a wealth-creating practice or a sane practice for a modern society. Regardless of what idiots think. And idiots do “think” a great deal.

      1. Slavery hasn’t been practical for almost 200 years. Machines are much cheaper and more productive than slaves.

        Hasn’t stopped the Democrats from trying to bring back slavery in other forms, though. Scratch a ‘Progressive’ and you’ll find a wannabe Plantation Owner. What’s the first thing they do when they pile up enough graft? Buy a mansion, and staff it with illegal aliens because they can’t get real slaves.

        It’s why they opened the border — to bring in a new underclass because free American citizens won’t put up with their shit.
        The Democrats are willing to burn America to the ground, so long as they wind up squatting on top of the ashes.

        1. Imaginos1892 said “Scratch a ‘Progressive’ and you’ll find a wannabe Plantation Owner. ” .
          And if they don’t want to own the plantation want to be an overseer. There’s a lovely mix of Simon Legree and Drakon amongst the Democrat middle layers. Wonderful people… Serious S&M types, and they’re NOT the M side of that equation, that they leave for the RINOs.

      2. It says a lot about how dangerous one of the Persian mines was (mercury and arsenic. Same mountain.) that the kings finally said, “Nope, close it, too many slaves are dying and the place isn’t making money.” Some suspect that may be where Mithradates got his idea for using micro-doses of toxins to make himself resistant to most poisons.

  14. Honestly, this is why most people should be taught how to camp when they’re young. Nothing like a little dose of “if you forgot it, it’s not here” and “if you don’t cook it, it won’t be ready” to inject a trace of solidity into your thinking. (I love Scouting.)

      1. It’s going to depend on the troop, seriously. We’ve got a good one, and that’s because we picked carefully. We’ll be going to an Eagle Court of Honor on Saturday for twin members of my son’s patrol who are going into the Marines on Monday. 🙂

    1. I can remember watching a boy, not mine, learn a life lesson as he ate the outside of potato stuck on a fork because they hadn’t cooked it properly. I was there for “elf n safety” and he wouldn’t starve so we let him learn. it was a boy run troop with all the chaos that entailed, but they got it all done in the end.

      Philmont knocked a whole lot of the knucklehead out of number two son. He got to go three times and would have been staff if not for the fires.

      What the boy scouts have become is obscene.

      1. Everybody talking about what “the BSA has become” should go and see for themselves what it is like. The public face is never the same as what the troops are like.

        1. My son’s old troop is fine, the National council not so much. I have a real problem with the BSA leadership abandoning their oath to be morally straight. This is the same problem as the church. Many of us are fine with our parish, which allows the rot at the top to continue and that eventually comes down to us. We Catholics tolerated bad behavior by the clergy and have had to deal with the outcome.

          I’m mixed about girls in the Boy Scouts, since the Boy Scouts were one of the last places boys could be idiots, and boys need to be idiots. I’ve not met many girls who are really down with fart jokes for example. On the other hand, there are to borrow from HG Wells, “that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boy’s games and books.” My wife and my daughter (e.g.,) would probably have done well in the Boy Scouts, though not with the fart jokes and definitely not with latrines. Both of them are Gold Award Girl Scouts unlike number two son and I who are life for life. Number one son didn’t do scouts.

          1. I’m still an Ad Altare Dei and Pius XII counselor and, thus, involved with several of the local troops, so I have a very good idea the state of scouting locally.

          2. Reality check. Girl Scouts troops have been partnering with Boy Scout troops, like forever (if forever goes back to the ’60’s anyway). My GSA troop did.

            abandoning their oath to be morally straight

            Yet. I don’t think they did abandon that oath; they bowed to the reason that morality is different for different reasons and cultures. Setting aside obvious controversy, there was an argument between local troops if it was “morally” wrong for married couples to share tents on a campout. The troops that said no, meant only women could share a tent, and only men could share a tent.

            All in all BSA bowed to what was happening at the local levels. Even then. The boys are not loosing out on a boys only troop or cub level, cub den. Dens are not mixed gender. Troops are either all boy, or all girl, troops. The change just allows girls to earn the Eagle award. Actually, if a girl is ambitious enough she has an opportunity that boys do not. Earn the BSA Eagle Award And earn the GSA Gold Award. With some of the work able to apply to both paths. With nothing to stop that.

            1. And if they are really ambitious, there are the Venturing awards out there too.

              1. Yes.

                The fastest growing BSA program from 1999 is the Venturing program. Entire GSA Troops registering as Venture, all female crews. That is the one difference with the Venture program, there can be all girl, all boy, or mix gender crews. Venture’s do not have to register into a *BSA troop*, just have to earn Eagle before 18 (all but Eagle Board of Review), while Venture Gold Award they have until they turn 21. It wouldn’t surprise me any to discover as much as GSA squawked about joining forces with BSA, that there isn’t a fraction (or more) encouraging all of this. It wouldn’t surprise me that a lot of the early female Eagles (and there are already a lot of them) were already in the Venture program.

                The only difference with having girls participating with boys who were in BSA, then and NOW. Is that girls can Earn Eagle Award! IMHO only 55 or so, years too late.

                FYI. There is also the Campfire award. Campfire has been co-ed for a couple of decades. Wasn’t when sisters were in … not sure when it expanded, but it did.

                *BSA Troop*, might have to, to earn through 1st Class. Not involved with a troop or crew anymore, so not 100% sure. Either way, no extra cost. Just have to pay the fee once, and co-register with troop and crew. Or that is the way it was.

            2. Younger Daughter was a Girl Scout. Had a Silver award, Gold was to my taste HARDER to get than Eagle in a lot of ways (only comparing folks at church that got an Eagle to the few that went for the gold, Not an Eagle (or boy scout for that matter). The requirement that the Gold project be 1) Unique, and Permanent and self sustaining made it a bear.

              1. The requirement that the Gold project be 1) Unique, and Permanent and self sustaining made it a bear.

                Plus (got this from sis who has 4 daughters) doesn’t Gold have to be part of a group project? When only one is going for Gold, that makes it almost impossible.

                Yes. BSA does not have to be any of the 3. Most projects are at least long(er) term. But do not have to be. Projects I’ve seen are:

                1) Playground rebuild for church. Add picnic tables.
                2) Courtyard rebuild/refresh/clean, including adding outside seating (picnic tables) for school courtyard.
                3) Grange. Paint kitchen, paint signs, replace letters and numbers declaring which grange, remove encroaching trees, paint lines on driveway, add picnic tables.
                4) Clean up, fix headstones of neglected pioneer cemetery, section (multiple Eagle projects). <– Been suggested as a possibility but don't know that anyone had done a section or not.
                5) Build and install bat housing in wetlands preserve.

                Requirement is to develop and lead a project showing leadership. Even minimum hours are not specified. Take item #3. Even the Eagle-to-Be, couldn't be present when the trees were taken down and cut up for cleanup, because required a chainsaw. But Eagle had to plan it, make sure the correct people were there, to get it done, then have the crew available to clean it up, once the chainsaws were done. While it is about getting the project done, it isn't about doing it yourself. While family can help do the work, shouldn't just be family, otherwise someone can claim leadership wasn't exhibited …

                All 4 listed have a permanence, or at least a long term, presence. But I guaranty after 17 years those letters replaced are starting to show their age. The kitchen and lines have been repainted again, at least once. Trees still gone. Sign's paint is fraying (other one the grange had to take out) and needs to be redone. OTOH picnic tables are all holding up well. Youngest set is 17 years old. But hardly unique.

                Guess which project was my son's Eagle project?

          3. For the time being (and probably for quite some time, given institutional inertia), the girls’ troops and the boys’ troops are separate. And the funniest part was that I heard a description of why they shouldn’t merge, based on a leader’s decades of experience with Venturing: apparently, in a co-ed situation, the girls tend to take over the leadership positions and do a great job, which doesn’t leave much space for the boys to take over and screw up like they have to. 😀 (Never underestimate the value of screwing up!)

    2. I credit the Boy Scouts with creating a fabulous husband for me. Not to mention the fact that it created one who could cook (he came to the conclusion that, if he was responsible for making the meals, he might as well learn to do it right so that he wouldn’t have to eat swill).

      1. Ditto. Thus he and son do all the grilling 🙂 (I do all the *prep and cleanup.)

        While I took the view, from my grandmother and mother, that if I knew how to cook, I’d be doing all the cooking, and cleanup, and none of the fun stuff. 🙂

        I can cook. Just made sure that no one knew. Not an inspiring cook (mostly because I’m a lazy cook), but I can cook. But I’m a good enough cook to be able to impress both parents and new scouts on their first camp out. Bonus, all I did is demo, not do. All of which I pulled out of BSA materials.

        *Prep. Both at home and personal campouts, even with the RV. Hamburger patties, formed, seasoned, and frozen. Steaks marinaded and frozen. Chile meat made and frozen. Salmon seasoned, frozen, and wrapped in foil. Can’t preseason fresh caught fish. Day before put in frig, or day of in sink, to thaw. When dinner time is near, tell hubby to start barbecue grill or wood fire (depending), put whatever on disposable plates, and hand off (Chile excepted, that went into dutch oven and hand off). Works the same when tent camping with cooler, just have to use items in the order most likely to thaw out first (Chile meat, hamburgers, salmon, steak, etc.). I know I impressed my BIL, fall 2020, when they joined us in the trailer for his first ever camping and trip to Yellowstone.

  15. Warning: Disjointed commentary.
    Marxists and other totalitarians want to simplify and restrict history and humanity to their benefit, because in real life, people are too different, and their motivations too individual to be controlled from the top down, unless they are crushed into the mold of serfs.
    Violating site protocol here, sorry.
    Mali only officially outlawed slavery in 2010. Of course it still exists there, as in many other countries.
    In the lead up to the US Civil War, slavery was the bloody shirt waved by the common people of the North.
    The Northern banks were heavily invested in the South, loans secured by property, including slaves as collateral.
    The match to this tinder, and IMO, the reason that war became necessary, from the Southern point of view, were the imposition of tarriffs which would have cut the South off from European markets, which then took most of the Southern cotton crop, and forced them to sell to Northern manufacturers at much reduced prices.
    On tribalism, among American Indians, their words for “stranger” and “enemy” were the same. If you are not us, you’re them, dammit.
    Factories vs farms: If the 14 hour days in b the factory were so much worse than the agrarian life, why were farmers leaving their farms to work in factories? (Note. In England and Scotland, most of those coming to the early factories were tenant farmers, displaced clansmen and families after the Enclosures Act, and servants, not landowners.
    Thanks for putting up with my occasional rant. John

    1. 14 hour days working in the factory were preferred over 18 hour days toiling in the fields. And the ‘meager pay’ was better, too.

      1. And indoors, and people to talk to, and sometimes even artificial lighting and indoor plumbing!

        (for the people who sneer at the last, see how much fun ‘au naturel’ is when you’re outdoors in the mud and cold, far from a chamberpot under a roof…)

        1. Definition of Heaven: “Flush toilet and shower after a long weekend campout without.”

  16. I would like every writer of that pious nonsense to realize they are promoting for real actual injustice: that those who choose to be parasites should have the same as those who create the surplus that allows parasites.

    “Being kind to the cruel means being cruel to the kind.”

    Yeah, it needs SOME nuance, such as if you’re being kind out of your own pocket then you know what you can afford, that kind of stuff– but the point definitely needs to be made.

    1. Apologies in advance:

      You’ve gotta be cruel to be kind in the right measure
      Cruel to be kind, it’s a very good sign
      Cruel to be kind means that I love you, baby

      Everybody sing now!

  17. I read the other. Yeah, you’re on a rip-n-tear all right. For good reason.

    Work is part of the existence of everything that lives. How the work gets done is up in the air for each and every instance. The notions these slackers espouse belies a laziness like few others before them. It’s…pathetic…to put it nicely.

    1. I can’t believe how utterly these idiots fail to realize that is only by untold centuries of work and innovation that allow us in the West to be, by the standards of the rest of the world and *especially* all of history, quite lazy buggers. Even the hardest working among us have SO MUCH LEISURE TIME.

  18. If you’re interested in Lizzie Borden, there’s a new book coming out with hitherto unpublished material: Michael Martins also wrote _Parallel Lives_, massive tome (more than 1,000 pages), about the city itself.

    I think technology has made it very difficult to “pull off” a murder. If you want to read true crime, read the arrest warrant against the man who killed his estranged wife in Connecticut recently:

    1. “If you want to read true crime, read the arrest warrant against the man who killed his estranged wife in Connecticut recently”

      It’s not nearly as hard to pull off an “unconnected” murder, because all that tech has to have a focus. In this case, the ex-husband. Or the famous “last person to see victim alive”.

      Our political class is about to find that out the hard way.

      1. I’ve always thought the Tylenol poisonings were someone thinking, “I want to kill John Smith, but I will be the prime suspect. Therefore I will kill X number of random strangers using the method I plan for John Smith, so the authorities will assume he is also a random victim.”
        The killer would be utterly evil, of the cold–blooded “rational,” type, of course.

        1. One woman did a copycat of the Tylenol poisonings a few years after the fact, for that very reason (only I think she went with Excedrin). She wanted to bump off her husband, figured this was a way to avoid being suspect number one. And so also killed a number of other people.

          They caught her anyway, thankfully…

  19. I suspect that without slavery, i.e. if the men in Virginia had to learn to pick their own damn cotton once the supply of Irish indentured started to run dry, mechanical harvesters would have been on the scene before the Revolutionary War.


    1. Cotton harvesting is unusually difficult to mechanize, to the point that it was a century between the first patent for a mechanical cotton harvester and the first commercially successful one. Unlike corn and small grains, cotton bolls need to be plucked out of the plant without damaging them, and without picking up too much of the surrounding plant.

      Furthermore, cotton harvests were complicated by the cotton bolls opening over a period of time, but needing to be picked at the optimal time — fully opened, but not so long that the fiber gets dirty. Early attempts at mechanization were hampered by needing to preserve the unopened bolls while picking the open ones. Mechanization really came into its own with the development of strains of cotton that open all their bolls at once (determinate), so that a single pass can harvest anything.

      1. I’m not saying it would have been easy. Just that without a source of slaves or sharecroppers, they would have been powerfully motivated to find another way. Picking cotton was the only thing that wasn’t mechanized before the Civil War, in the cotton-to-clothing chain, as least if my research hasn’t led me wrong.


      2. Leigh, don’t forget about seed extraction. Until Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, all the seeds had to be hand removed, also labor intensive.

        1. I get 1792 or 1793 for ‘cotton gin invention’ so they would have been widely available by 1810 or so. Dump cotton in, turn the crank, get de-seeded cotton out. Hook it up to a water wheel or windmill for even greater productivity.

          1. Oh, I agree, mechanization was coming, but it wasn’t there when, for example, the Constitution was drafted in 1787. I suspect, though, that was a factor in placing a future limit on the slave trade in the Constitution. Article 1, Section 9.

    2. “The men in Virginia” weren’t picking their own cotton, because they weren’t raising cotton; they were raising corn and tobacco. Cyrus McCormick effectively mechanized the corn harvest in the mid-1800s, but tobacco is still harvested by hand and is still very labor intensive to raise.

      1. Furthermore, it is much harder for an overseer to see whether the worker is doing it right. Consequently, slaves who worked on cotton just got a touch of the whip when they did it wrong, but those who worked on tobacco generally were rewarded for good results.

  20. I have a comment in moderation, probably because I provided links. At any rate, here’s the info without links:

    If you’re interested in Lizzie Borden, there’s a new book coming out with hitherto unpublished material: _The Jennings Journals_. Michael Martins also wrote _Parallel Lives_, massive tome (more than 1,000 pages), about the city itself at the time of the murders.

    I think technology has made it very difficult to “pull off” a murder. If you want to read true crime, find Fotis Dulos’s arrest warrant. It reads like a thriller. The investigators went out of their way to prove he did it.

  21. (Those of you who just dove for cover have it exactly right. When I hit this point I’m profoundly depressed and having serious issues pulling up.

    I hear you. There have been days the point of making word count, studying Python, or even just reading at all seem pointless anymore, especially with Shutdown 2: Electric We Don’t Care About Freedom Being Flushed Down the Loo on the horizon.

  22. Reading a book on European history the other day and the author pointed out that although people say that Europe got rich exploiting other nations, they rarely discuss where the Europeans got the money to build hundreds if not thousands of ships and sail them all around the world looking for stuff to buy. Punch line: they were already rich.

    1. Initially, they were poor. When da Gama got to India, the locals laughed at his “trade goods”. Rough woolen cloth? Really? Salt fish? Dude, here’s a gold piece for your troubles because we feel sorry for you, now go away.

      Europe in the 15th century was rich compared to the 9th century, but was by far the poor cousin compared to India or China. But they had reliable ocean-going ships equipped with efficient cannon, so they could start taking over intra-eastern trade and skimming the profits.

      Undoubtedly a lot of European wealth early on came from conquer-and-exploit (mostly from Potosi), and that was just the leavings after most of the silver ended up in China. But by the 1700s it was largely due to weath creation due to capitalism and intensive exploitation of local European resources (and property rights and constitutional governments and yadda yadda yadda).

      1. Pretty much. European stuff of the time might have been decently crafted. But the materials by and large were nothing special. If you wanted nice dinnerware, you got porcelain from China. Silk was hands down the finest textile material for most situations, and the Chinese had figured out how to produce it so early on that there were Romans who complained about the youth wearing degenerate silk attire. Spices didn’t necessarily come from China. But the most sought after ones generally did come from Asia.

        Sure, the most realistic artwork ever produced is from the European Renaissance. But you couldn’t exactly ship that to markets on the other side of the world…

        But the Asians got stuck in insular ruts, caught up in infighting, or both. And the Europeans figured out how the Asian cultures made the things that were desirable, and figured out how to make them faster, better, and for less.

    2. They weren’t rich. They had tech and they had money because the black plague had killed a bunch of people and left a bunch of surplus on their hands.
      HOWEVER they didn’t exploit other nations. They TRADED with other nations. Different valuation of different things is part of commerce. Marxists don’t get this.

        1. They tried to make it work with Tolkien-ish dwarves.

          If you want upbeat but different, how about this?

          “Respectful metal cover of a Newsboys song” is not something I’d generally expect.

            1. …. Dude, my mom watched that video, and she has been a Tolkien fan since she was roughly 9, not long after the book came out.

              She found it to be a perfectly acceptable modern adaptation of Tolkien’s dwarves, with respect for the source material.

              I don’t know what on earth about that triggered you to start freaking out about “edgelords,” and at this point I don’t care.

                1. If you couldn’t look at the style lineup and realize “Jackson does not get the Hobbit,” not my fault.

                  That’s not Wind Rose’s fault, nor does it make either of them “edgelord.” It makes Jackson’s Hobbit fanfic an unenjoyable adaptation to you.

          1. >> “If you want upbeat but different, how about this?”

            Oh, that’s GOOD. Thanks for your generous contribution to my playlist.

            Although your unending obsession with Vasc is making me wonder if we need to stage an intervention… 😛

                1. It seems there’s more people than you’d expect who would fit in here. I think I mentioned a couple of days ago that I recently learned someone I read on Twitter qualifies. On the one hand, it’s good to know there’s more of us out there in the world. On the other, it’s sad that we can’t just tell them all where to find their people (namely, us).

                  Though I suppose this place WOULD become overcrowded if we could. It’s already hard enough to keep up with the comments sometimes.

            1. Oh, it’s not unending, but I’ve got his MP3s on my exercise playlist so they get stuck in my head a lot, and he has enough variety that there’s usually some excuse to post it. Helps that my husband found Vasc’s music in the first place, and he plays a lot of the ones that aren’t exercise suitable.

              Yesterday’s hooked-on song was “Charge of the Dead Men” by Sabaton (with a nod to half of the rest of the songs on The Last Stand), and a few days before that it was Hootsforce by Gloryhammer. Looks like today’s will be Tunak Tunak Tun by ::looks at video title:: Daler Mehndi.

              Just didn’t have an excuse to post ’em.

              *looks down* Ignore that I’m wearing the “Have Yourself An Epic Day” shirt….

              1. Fair enough. And I’ve been on a Gunship kick myself lately, so it’s not like I have the moral high ground anyway. 😉

  23. Which, if you read it is mostly an “injustice” in the sense that these people are alcoholics, whores and have no self control and yet aren’t given everything, hand foot and help by other people who work for it.

    Interesting: There’s always a background level of “oh the poor homeless, we need to build apartments for them” type posts on FB. Lately, however, there seem to be more “they’ll just trash them and move on” responses. And notably, those responses are taken seriously and not just attacked.

  24. So I dropped in here today, looking for something cheer me up.


    FYTW … “Find Your Toes Wiggling” ?


    Stupid people screw things up for everyone else. We used to cull the stupid with farms.: farm animals, then later farm machinery. Stupid folks tended to self-cull. Common and widespread military service also weeded out a certain fraction. Factories and automobiles.

    Then, some dammfool let stupid people impose “safety” on society. Gah, what a blunder. Seatbelt laws, maker and wearer, probably whacked 15 points off average IQ.

    Freedom is an IQ test. No wonder the Left flunks.

    1. Heck, stupid hunter-gatherers were culled by sabre-tooth, which I’ve wanted brought back for a LONG time.

      1. No need. We have bears. Bears work very well against stupid people in the wilderness.

        1. I get a kick out of the ranchers in, now wolf and grizzly country when they say they are the only ones to have to put up with them. I’d have no problems reintroducing both to wilderness of the Cascades, and timberlands of the Coast range, and let them expand unimpeded to the valley, or whatever their former range was. Not sure the valley was grizzly habitat to begin with.

          We already have black bear, cougars, and coyotes. The coyotes need trimming down. Wolves are known to do that. We need more fox. Wolves are known to benefit the smaller canines by culling the coyote populations. Wolf’s are making their way into the Cascades. But haven’t made it over to the coast range, yet.

          FYI. We already have beaver, and river otter populations …

          Just saying.

          1. Wolves also trim down the elk (by about 80% so far, and are starting on the moose). And once they exterminate (not merely trim down) the coyotes, you get an explosion of rabbits and gophers. Elk are starting to winter in town when they can, or stay in the high country and starve in deep snow wolves can’t navigate, Wolves will start hunting humans again in due course.

            Not to mention that the Mackenzie Grays that they “re-introduced” were not native to the lower 48 (and are so far from endangered in Canada that assiduous hunting doesn’t make a dent), and promptly killed off our very shy timber wolves (which were present, but only seen on wildlife cams). And wolves were never “native” to Yellowstone, merely summer visitors. So naturally they soon left for better winter range.

            Further, the whole thing was a scam to suck money out of the gov’t. Wolves were just the handy vehicle that had a secondary purpose of increasing costs/losses for ranchers (since every animal rights nut’s fondest wish is to kill all the animal agriculture).

            “Crying Wolf” documentary

            Dr.Geist refers to wolf habitats as “predator deserts” because there’s virtually no large prey left:

            web DOT archive DOT org/web/20200808004344/

            www DOT vargfakta DOT se/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Geist-when-do-wolves-become-dangerous-to-humans-pt-1.pdf

            1. Sometimes they don’t exterminate the coyotes, they just cross with them– so you get a coydog that also has wolf pack-hunting instincts.

              That’s what killed that Canadian folk singer who was hiking on a fairly well-traveled public trail in full daylight.

              1. Spouse used to suggest the state of New Jersey reintroduce panthers and wolves to “naturally,” cull the deer population. The kids and pets lost would be a small price to pay. He stopped saying it when too many New Jerseyans agreed with him. (“It’s a joke, son!”)

                  1. People in Greater Seattle are always surprised and appalled when people have encounters with cougars … in a place called Cougar Mountain. o_O

                    1. so, our subdivision was plagued with coyotes when we first moved in.
                      This was annoying, but then while driving around, about half an hour away, we came across a place called coyote ridge. Talking to people there, they had no coyotes.
                      This led to one of those amazing moments when Dan turns to me and goes ‘The problem is that coyotes can’t READ.”
                      It still makes me giggle.

                    2. Madam, you simply need a smarter coyote. There’s a whole catalog they read through.

                    3. To give them their due, that’s because they are aware that cougars USE TO avoid humans.

                      To flip it back over, they don’t see the connection between “cougars avoided people unless they were actual manhunters” and “we banned scaring cougars that behaved badly by hunting with dogs.”

              2. Sometimes, yeah. That’s what the “endangered red wolves” are — wolf and coyote mixes that happened to get the tanpoint gene (which isn’t in all coyotes, but probably originally came from a dog). And yeah, there’s enough dog DNA in coyotes that it’s an odd mix.

                There’s video of an overly bold “urban coyote” that’s pretty obviously part wolf. The head is different enough to notice.

                1. >> “That’s what the “endangered red wolves” are — wolf and coyote mixes that happened to get the tanpoint gene”

                  Huh. Wonder why Dr. Bowman choose that specific breed to uplift.

        2. >> “Bears work very well against stupid people in the wilderness.”

          My house is surrounded by woods that I’ve thought about exploring, but I’m not the outdoorsy type and I have a suspicion I’d get myself killed if I tried. I wouldn’t even know where to begin acquiring the skills I’d need to avoid things like bear attacks.

  25. I agree that the abolition of slavery was the best thing to happen to the South. That, however, is somewhat akin to noting that having their industrial plant bombed into rubble was the best thing to happen to Germany and Japan.

    Yes, I do agree, but being somewhat of an idealist, I do wish that a better way had been found…

  26. Sarah, I have to drop this into any thread on Socialism:

    An Imperial Rescript

    Now this is the tale of the Council the German Kaiser decreed,
    To ease the strong of their burden, to help the weak in their need,
    He sent a word to the peoples, who struggle, and pant, and sweat,
    That the straw might be counted fairly and the tally of bricks be set.

    The Lords of Their Hands assembled; from the East and the West they drew —
    Baltimore, Lille, and Essen, Brummagem, Clyde, and Crewe.
    And some were black from the furnace, and some were brown from the soil,
    And some were blue from the dye-vat; but all were wearied of toil.

    And the young King said: — “I have found it, the road to the rest ye seek:
    The strong shall wait for the weary, the hale shall halt for the weak:
    With the even tramp of an army where no man breaks from the line,
    Ye shall march to peace and plenty in the bond of brotherhood — sign!”

    The paper lay on the table, the strong heads bowed thereby,
    And a wail went up from the peoples: — “Ay, sign — give rest, for we die!”
    A hand was stretched to the goose-quill, a fist was cramped to scrawl,
    When — the laugh of a blue-eyed maiden ran clear through the Council-hall.

    And each one heard Her laughing as each one saw Her plain —
    Saidie, Mimi, or Olga, Gretchen, or Mary Jane.
    And the Spirit of Man that is in Him to the light of the vision woke;
    And the men drew back from the paper, as a Yankee delegate spoke: —

    “There’s a girl in Jersey City who works on the telephone;
    We’re going to hitch our horses and dig for a house of our own,
    With gas and water connections, and steam-heat through to the top;
    And, W. Hohenzollern, I guess I shall work till I drop.”

    And an English delegate thundered: — “The weak an’ the lame be blowed!
    I’ve a berth in the Sou’-West workshops, a home in the Wandsworth Road;
    And till the ‘sociation has footed my buryin’ bill,
    I work for the kids an’ the missus. Pull up? I be damned if I will!”

    And over the German benches the bearded whisper ran: —
    “Lager, der girls und der dollars, dey makes or dey breaks a man.
    If Schmitt haf collared der dollars, he collars der girl deremit;
    But if Schmitt bust in der pizness, we collars der girl from Schmitt.”

    They passed one resolution: — “Your sub-committee believe
    You can lighten the curse of Adam when you’ve lifted the curse of Eve.
    But till we are built like angels — with hammer and chisel and pen,
    We will work for ourself and a woman, for ever and ever, amen.”

    Now this is the tale of the Council the German Kaiser held —
    The day that they razored the Grindstone, the day that the Cat was belled,
    The day of the Figs from Thistles, the day of the Twisted Sands,
    The day that the laugh of a maiden made light of the Lords of Their Hands.

  27. Just about every Marxist that I’ve ever met (mind you, this was in California) has never spent more than an hour or two in the conditions that many people LEFT from for the “dark, satanic mills.” Because 10-12 hour days in factories with maybe Sunday off beat the hell out of 14-16 hour days EVERY SINGLE DAY in the fields to grow enough to both live on and sell to someone to buy things.

    (I did stoop labor for long enough to know that it truly is labor-and anybody that thinks that growing food that way is a good thing instantly goes down several ranks in the queue of my brain. Trust me, the man that invented the wheelbarrow alone deserves sainthood, IMHO.)

    We can probably do better in how we produce food. But, the industrial agriculture and meat-production system has probably done more to save lives than a thousand of these “do-gooders” of any sort.

    1. Or working as a servant, where a writer philosophizing about the life said it might seem hard that the servant had to come running with two hours’ sleep after a late party because the master rang the bell, but since the job was to come when the bell rang. . . .

    2. This. A thousand times this. I’ve done enough stoop, fetch, water and care for animals when you’re freezing yourself and can never ever get warm – oh yes I get why people ran off to the mills. At least at the end of the day you knew you were done and could sleep!

    3. When watching “Clarkson’s Farm”, I sometimes get the impression that Jeremy Clarkson *already knows* that the thing he’s about to do is stupid, foolish, and will cost him time and money. But he does it anyway because the real purpose of the show is to show idiots like Bloomberg that pastoral work is difficult, hard, and very dangerous.

  28. Well, too much Marxist stupidity can set anyone off, so I do completely understand why you got two posts across two blogs out of this. I’ve also lurked enough to know what the true crime part means and definitely take care of yourself and do what you need to do there. I can see if the floofs are willing to cooperate for MeWe kitty picture therapy if that helps. It’ll make the seal point useful for more than typing around at least! =P Though if it says anything about my own black dog attacks even the tortie princess has been checking in on me more frequently these days.

    Honestly, I feel a bit ashamed reading these posts since laziness has always been one of the biggest things I struggle with. Bad life training definitely contributed… My mom was too permissive about a lot of things, my now-former stepdad ran the house military-style, complete with no praise for a job well done but endless criticism and harsh punishments over every little thing. I get the whys of his behavior thanks to Arsenal of Hope, but back then, damn… Time served in K-12 didn’t help either, though it does bring to mind an odd tidbit from back then that felt more appropriate for the MCG post…

    One of my old teachers said she never saw me as ever being happy in a career where I couldn’t be creative and suggested I write professionally. I found the idea absurd at the time since even I knew that getting on the bottom rungs of trad was like winning the lottery and never took it seriously. Besides, it was the Golden Age of JRPGs back then, too, and I spent a lot of time dreaming up worlds, characters, weapons, magic, and flashy special moves fitting for those, though that’s probably obvious from my vignettes. >_> Now that indie is a thing, though? Honestly, I’m still not sure I’d want to try making a living off of it. I don’t get gateway stuff like you or John Ringo and I don’t think I’ve got the “can’t not write” thing to me that Cedar mentioned to me ages ago. Maybe there’s something like it there, it’s just badly wounded from me clamping down on it from those past toxic environments for so long.

    So yeah the black dog did release its jaws a bit earlier but the bites still hurt and I still feel completely adrift and running out of time in a lot of areas, which does tend to feed the lazy streak. Regardless, take care of yourself.

    1. Something my husband is discovering. Once you let the stories come, they tend to start coming faster. They don’t chase him as hard as they chase me, but the day one of his characters told him ‘no’ was priceless. And the stories come faster now for him.

      I’d say give it a go. Just… tell a story. Make a tabletop gaming world. Doesn’t have to start serious. Then decide what you want to do next. Publishing hat is separate from writing hat. (Not doing this killed my writing for about 6 months until I separated them)

      Most of all don’t let the black dog, or demons on your back (literal or figurative) drag you down. Whether you publish or not give the stories a whirl. You may surprise yourself.

      1. Yeah, there’s a lot of bad training to work against here on top of it all. I hate things feeling haphazard but I can definitely get bogged down in notes for world mechanics, too. Just do it, huh? Easier said than done for someone like me, but we’ll see how it goes!

        1. Easier said than done for a lot of folk. You are not alone. Heinlein’s first 2 rules of a professional writer probably wipe out 95% of all aspiring writers.

          1) you must write.
          2) you must finish what you write.

          (2 was my biggest issue for a long time) But if you don’t do it you’re stopped before ever you start. You can figure out how to get around getting bogged in mechanics. You can figure out ways around the haphazard feeling. (Your plan can be to extract the mechanics from the written scenes and use that as your foundation. Or work out the mechanics as you write so you don’t paint yourself in a corner as you write. Find what works for you.) But to write you must write. You CAN do this. You’ll have false starts, but that’s okay. And along the way you’ll find things that work for you. And things that don’t. Tuck both away. You can do it.

          1. Main problem there is that working them out as I write is exactly how I end up writing myself into corners and making a mess of it, leading to frustration and throwing my hands up again. Still, running on a grand total of 10 hours sleep between these past two days probably isn’t helping with any of this.

      2. But do note that an RPG story and an author told one have many differences. Choose whichever you like, but if you want to do both, note that you will learn bad habits for one from the other.

        1. RPG stories, at least in the sense of “stories intended to be the framework of an RPG” tend to be rather hamfisted by necessity, due to the searchlight/flashlight problem (gm vs. player perception) and need to preserve player agency. Melodramas can look subtle by comparison.

            1. I think I got mixed up along the way, sorry. I’ve never been a pen and paper person for a lot of reasons and have absolutely zero of the qualities needed to be even an almost passable DM, much less a good one. I meant back in the old days I’d dream about doing my own video game along the lines of, say, Final Fantasy VII, getting into things like weapon and ability creation for a hypothetical game as much as the story itself. Not that you couldn’t novelize the plot of that game, of course, but this is where I start getting tripped up between the two story types, usually ending with me throwing my hands up, scrapping whatever it is I was working on, and going off to do something else.

              1. I’m not much of a videogamer, but the “story” in videogames never made much sense to me. Here, listen to this two-minute expository scene that sets up the next three hours of bashing monsters. Then do it again. Then do it again. I don’t care how good the animation is, repeated brief exposition scenes do not make a story.

                1. It’s not for everyone’s taste for sure, which is why the actual play mechanics are so important in those. I’d probably have less of a problem with this if I’d just spend more time reading and looking more to that. Though on that note I definitely need to go through ILOH’s latest this weekend… The type of stuff he writes and the way he does it can be good for breaking these mental jams.

              2. Start small. Try writing a scene. Pick a few characters, give them something to do and something to talk about. Write it the way you’d want to read it.

                I thought about writing for years. I didn’t learn anything until I actually started writing. That might not be true for everybody, but it’s what I found out.

                Here’s a little example:

                She hadn’t noticed the man. Indeed, there was nothing noticeable about him. A little taller than her, with brownish hair, brownish eyes, a scraggly brownish beard and an unremarkable face, he had only gotten her attention by yelling at her and whipping his long coat open to reveal that he wasn’t wearing any pants. Several women around her gasped in shock, cried out, or stumbled away, but she merely regarded the — flasher, that was the correct term — curiously.

                “Why are you showing that to me? I have no interest in it, or you,” she said, completely calm.

                The flasher’s lecherous grin remained frozen in place, but now he seemed confused.

                “My husband has a much better one. He doesn’t go waving it about in public, though. Why do you?”

                She was never to know whether or not the flasher would, or could, provide her with an answer. Running footsteps and a shout of “There’s the suspect!” sounded from somewhere to her left. The flasher ran off, clutching the coat around himself, pursued by two mall security guards. She watched until they were out of sight.

                “Huh.” I’m slowly getting used to this world, in all its strangeness, but some days are just extra weird.

                1. That’s one way to deal with that kind of pervert! Well, we’ll see how things go once I get my weekend stuff done and some actual rest.

            2. The omnium gatherum of monsters, used D&D and the like, is not wise in a novel, because it is very hard on unity of theme. But there is the question of how to limit your monsters to actually lend them unity.

              Indeed. In myth and legend, most “monsters” were what we would call one-shots: There was only one Nemean Lion, one Minotaur, three Gorgons, etc., not whole species of them. It’s “St. George and the Dragon”, not “St. George and a Dragon”.

              Of course, the entire universe and worldview of D&D and its clones doesn’t actually make any sense except as a stage for tactical problem-solving and/or adolescent power fantasy. I was something like the sixth person in Anchorage to play D&D back in 1976, but I won’t touch it now. There are better game systems that let the GM do proper world building where unique things can truly be unique.

              1. Makes it hard to have continuing adventures.

                I note that that’s legends. Chivalric romance often had a string of monsters, Lions, bears, giants, dragons, knights. . .

        2. Yep, and that’s been a huge barrier too, switching gears from one type to the other.

    2. I heard of an aspiring writer who asked a famous author for advice. After listening to all his questions about plot, pacing, dialogue and characterization, Robert A. Heinlein gave him a very short answer: “Tell the story.”

    1. If you go by some of the billable hours of some of the associates in large NYC law firms, 14 hours a day is pretty standard.

      1. Having worked for lawyers before, that “14 hours” is notional at best when you bill in 15-minute blocks.

        Call someone on the phone for 5 minutes, bill the client for 15. Hang up, call someone else for 5 minutes, bill that client for 15 minutes. Read emails for 20 minutes, bill that client for 30. Repeat all day.

  29. Grew up in Milltown central up north and went to a number of the museums there. It wasn’t an easy life, but there’s a reason folks lined up for the jobs. Wasn’t as much that it was easier than agriculture but it was consistent. But these numbskulls think that the illiterate Portuguese, Canadian or Irish immigrants (in my area) should have been offered an 0830-1700 job.

  30. I see the Left is finally turning on Cuomo. Not for killing thousands of old people, not for being a petty tyrant and making EVERY wrong decision for a year and a half, not for being a creepy sex offender, but for embarrassing them. The same reason Epstein didn’t commit suicide.

    Can’t wait to see that dickhead get frog-marched out of the Governor’s office in handcuffs.
    A good Zombie Apocalypse novel is at least as believable as anything we’ve heard out of the ‘Publick Health Authoriteez’ over the last year.

      1. Given that Northam and his deputy are still in office…I’m not gonna hold out hope that Cuomo is going to be cancelled either. After all, we all know Dems are never held accountable…

        1. Things seem to be moving faster with Cuomo. So yeah, I think he’s done.

          Also, the biggest reason why nothing happened to Northam is because it turned out the first replacement had a sex (harassment iirc) problem, and the second replacement had his own racism issue. And most importantly, the third replacement was a Republican. Can’t allow that. So Northam stayed.

            1. I suspect that if it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t be hearing about this at all. But if his Lt. Gov. were a Republican, then the Dems would grin and bear it. And then if Cuomo started to get presidential ideas, someone would make sure that he knew that his opponents would stick this around his neck like a millstone. Someone – albeit under DNC control – would use it to do to him what Tulsi Gabbard did to Harris in the second Dem debate.

    1. I’ll bet they knew about it last year when they were praising him. But, with the election done, they can finally afford to notice his crimes.

  31. It’s interesting that you spoke of Lizzy Borden and the segwayed into Yankee frugality. I actually took a class on the Trial of Lizzy ‘Borden. One of the theories of the case is that she killed her father because he was so cheap. and she killed her mother because she came across her killing her father.
    Apparently Mr.Borden while being one of tue richest people in Fall River was extremely parsimonious. the house they lived in was so cheaply built so mich a home for people of modest mean, that it didn’t even have any corridors or indoor plumbing. Although wealthy Andrew Borden would sell apples for extra money. Lizzy reverted to shop lifting.
    The theory was that she was acquitted by the all male jury, because they couldn’t bring themselves to sentence a women to death.
    After he acquitted Lizzy bought one of the finest home s in Fall River. and although ostracized for the society compared to her father she lived lavishly.

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