It’s not your fault. It’s not you. It’s them. You are not alone.
Look, I woke up late (I’m still recovering from weirdly severe if very short URI that hit me last week. Like all URIs with me it’s taking a long time for the after effects to clear. I feel almost well, except for this underlying feeling that recovery is built on paper tape that will give at the slightest push.)
So I woke up, and had blog block. I happens maybe once a month. I want to write, but there’s no topic for the blog. Nothing. just blank head. (I now have the white board up, and am going to start writing future topics on it again. For these occasions.)
So I hit a few friend groups, and we were chatting….
All of us have similar experiences, only the timing varies. Well, and how many of our fans/friends the implosion took.
Because I am artsy (eh, sorry. It’s just who I am. Yes, I was good at STEM, but I was also the kid who wrote, did art, designed clothes, designed and made stuffed animals, painted pebbles, made things with wood, etc. I’m not saying I’m good at all or any of this, but that left to my own devices, that’s where I gravitate. The other interests don’t help: history, science fiction, social speculation. Honest, if I didn’t like economics so much, I might have fallen.) in my case the answer to how big the implosion is: would you believe two implosions? The first after 9/11, the second when I came out of the political closet. Was that 10 or 11? And the size was “cosmic.”
To explain to those of you who haven’t had this happen to them — are there any of you in America, at this point, really? — it’s like this:
We all grew up in a culture defined and dominated by the left, which frankly had taken over the overculture by the time I was born almost sixty years ago. And because the media industrial complex was in charge of news, entertainment, movies, books, art, everything, the barrage was complete.
We grew up submerged in it. I was born in sixty two, have realized they were wrong at least thirty years ago (before that I kept trying to limit the dissonance with “they’re wrong on this, but maybe not this?”) and I still have moments, usually when world building or thinking through a social issue where I go “Oh, no, wait. That’s just Marxism, and I know it’s not true.” And at that I’m ahead of the curve. I still hear people commenting on how poverty causes crime. PEOPLE ON OUR SIDE. And that’s both an insult to poor and honest and upright people, and has never been true, ever. Though it’s a sacred dogma of Marxists.
It’s moments like listening to Presley croon “In the Ghetto” and going “What the? No. Sure, maybe lack of opportunities can cause this” — though mostly what it causes is depression and drug use, as we’re seeing for a vast portion of young people — “BUT poverty is not the cause of crime. And solving it by throwing money at it destroyed black families and made everything worse.” I should have realized that before. But having grown up in water, I didn’t even see it.
Heck, by many definitions, I was a leftist, because I grew up in Europe, where all you have are two flavors of socialism, and the government is assumed to have the right to do things like limit speech. (And don’t get me started on gun ownership.)
So, having grown up like that we learned to give a “discount”.
We gave a discount to our favorite artists. I had a thing that went “He is a political idiot, but he sure can write/sing/whatever.” We also assumed we were all alone. We were the only ones who saw the dissonance, the lies, the hypocrisy of the left.
We assumed our friends were stupid, not evil, even as they reviled people like us and endorsed programs we knew would destroy everything that keeps society working. And were objectively evil. But we went “well, it took me so long to figure out, and they’re good people. And frankly I don’t wish this knowledge on anyone.” So, we talked of other things and emphasized what we agreed on.
Mostly because we really thought we were, if not just us, a tiny, tiny minority. We had clawed each of our beliefs, one by one, from the overculture while it shrieked in our ears that we were wrong, and insane and evil. So we were sure of them, or we wouldn’t hold them. But we didn’t blame people who couldn’t see it. It felt weird, and like we lived in a parallel universe, but it was better to stay quiet and have friends and a life.
My heart, btw, goes to people who married people under this system, and whose spouses didn’t change. To both of them, because most spouses had no idea anyone disagreed, much less their spouse. I was lucky, because my husband changed, politically. Mostly because we couldn’t not talk to each other, having been friends first. And because he’s honest enough to consider evidence, no matter what. Also, because after Reagan, he had some doubts of the left narrative.
And then everything changed.
Part of this is that it is the normal modus operandi of Marxists not to allow dissent of any kind. Because they’re a cult, you know? The reveled has to be accepted, even when it changes. So they kept chasing smaller and smaller dissent.
The end of one of my friendships came when the friend said I always disparaged her political opinions. Since she’d just informed me that W was going to put all gays in camps (snort giggle) and that we were spending 3 billion a day in Afghanistan (SNORT GIGGLE) I might have snort giggled audibly. Note this was the first time I’d answered her political rants at all. Mostly I did the multiplication tables in my head. That was the FIRST time I snort-giggled. Why the heck that “always” I don’t know. But that was the last time we talked.
And this was after 9/11 had nuked most of our friendships, hang-outs and writers’ connections, because people were saying things like we deserved it, or became troofers. And these were people I’d thought mostly sane and intelligent.
I didn’t fight it. I sidled away. Later I found out they decided I was a “right winger” and made up sh*t about me. That’s fine. Crafting Straw Right Wingers is their hobby.
Then at some point I hit a wall. I JUST HIT A WALL.
In publishing they kept demanding more and more AFFIRMATIVE allegiance to the crazy.
Three incidents stand out, one of which I only remembered recently while telling a friend about it (because I’ve been sick, and things got shoved out of my mind):
The first was when — and I think you guys know this — my hermaphrodite humans book got rejected but would be “accepted if you change their pronouns to “she”” which, TRUST ME in that book makes no sense whatsoever. This was in the nineties, but I was too dense to realize what it meant.
The second was when an agent wanted to make me change the book so human sacrifice (involuntary, etc) was a GOOD thing that the good guys did. That he couldn’t understand I COULDN’T WRITE THAT was ….. a revelation. That he then gave most of my world building to one of the darlings (no, not actionable) was eye opening.
The third was when one of my editors told me the only way for me to break out of midlist was to write an autobiography where — strongly hinted — I blamed America for all the issues with my birth country/childhood.
I realized things had got stupid. That combined with this blog, and the fact I was in a few lists and groups, where I heard what they said when the door was closed and they thought they were safe — you haven’t lived till you hear someone who has the image of a kindly grandmother explains to you how life will be so much better once 2/3 of the population “the stupid people” according to her die in a horrible epidemic, which is sure to come — brought me to a place which, without being Lutheran got me to quote Luther: “Here I stand, I can do no other.”
With full and clear understanding that I was blacklisting myself (I’d seen the hatred and the cancelling, then more undercover that followed things like “She’s a practicing religious person” (In that case Mormon, but it went for all religions.)) back in the days when indie hadn’t proven to support anyone (now it’s at least as good as Trad) and when even right wingers thought that the left was more creative, because we were so effectively blocked from the public, I came out politically.
I’m not expecting accolades for my courage. I had to do it. I had no choice. Something bigger than me grabbed my cowardly self by the scruff of the neck and propelled me into play.
Weirdly I didn’t lose all of my fans or blog readers. But I lost a lot of friends in the field, a lot of my reach, a lot of my pull and I thought I’d kissed goodbye forever to any chance of having writing-related fun jobs, like comics or Hollywood. (Well, maybe. It’s weird, but the times they are achanging fast. Still, not the same.)
It was made easier because honestly they didn’t trust me, so they’d already not given me the DAHLING treatment. Though I probably would have done it, anyway.
But yes, I lost friends and people I respected, who suddenly decided I was the devil. I’m somewhat amazed I retained SOME, though I can count them on the fingers of one hand.
In other words, they can’t give us the leeway we gave them for COUNTLESS decades. They will see us as the devil, if we disagree on politics, even as their politics edge crazier and crazier to the point if you don’t agree that there is no objective reality and that children as young at two know if they’re trans, you’re a hater who hates, and you probably want to massacre gays and eat babies for breakfast.
They will make our books “out of bounds” without reading them, because we’re the debeel. They will malign us in ways that only make sense if we assume they’re completely insane (like an immigrant who tans being suddenly called white supremacist.) And other than the fact that their stupidity is occasionally hilarious, like the people who complained about politics in the …. Shifter series, it’s heartbreaking to watch.
We thought we had friendships, and associations and– It was all a lie.
Mind you by the time I hit that, I came with baggage from Portugal, and I’d been cut off by childhood friends and family members, so finding this was depressing, and in many ways breaking, but at that point I’d survived the worst cuts. When you survive the beginning, you grow scar tissue, until it’s sort of a second skin that can’t be pierced. You take the new hit and go “Expected nothing else.” And keep on trucking.
It wasn’t till this morning that I realized that many people blame themselves and the way they phrased things, and keep going over “there should have been a way to do this and keep my friends/associates.”
Look, it’s not entirely their fault either. We — our side. By the time we came along, we had SMALL choice, though still — kept quiet. We let them assume “everyone sane agrees with me.” And we let them create in their minds a completely bizarre “painted devil” vision of what the other side was like. Of course, a lot of this has been going on in mass-industrial-entertainment-communication since the 40s, so it might have been impossible to penetrate by the time we were born.
This would be like suddenly removing our human skin and revealing we’re really the devil. To them. They’re not going to ask why some people really look like that, or if it comes with all the other stuff. They’re going to react in panic and rage, because of what they think they know.
And they are going to believe they’re the “majority” and “the good people” which is why you get someone 3 years younger than I lumping me in with the “old people who need to die.” Because in the Marxist cult those who believe differently are “old” and “remnants.”
Oh and the future belongs to them, which does ring a bell.
It’s not entirely their fault. They’ve been indoctrinated from birth. And they weren’t strong enough to break away.
And it’s not your fault. You saw the lies, and you understand the lives you’re trying to save include your asinine and blinkered friends. Because Marxism kills. Fast or slow. But it kills. There is no other option.
And yes, you had to take a stand. For what it’s worth. Yes, it might be too late. But they can’t win, because their ideas don’t work. And we must — must — shape what comes after.
Mourn the friends you thought you had and sort of did. Mourn that they can’t even find the truth (with two hands and a seeing eye dog.) And then do what you have to do.
Which in my case, inexplicably, but inevitably is — somehow – writing a lot of books. Which means finishing this blog and going to (real) work.
Keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. A man in a (mental) overcoat is the enemy. Don’t shoot them, if you don’t wish, but be assured they’ll try to shoot you in the back.
Stand in the only place you can and do the work. Waste no guilt on could’av should’av.
It is our honor and our very great privilege to be born in a time when we can and must fight for individual freedom.
Sure we might lose. But it is still a post of honor.
And be not afraid.
Sursum Corda. You’ve got this.