So, as I’ve mentioned before, I am an introvert. I can fake extrovert. Though honestly, I think part of the way I fake extrovert is by being so introverted I am “eccentric.” Because see, for normal people seeing you walking down the street rocking a hat made entirely out of feathers (not that I’ve ever done that. I’m allergic to feathers, but take it as a metaphor) means you must be an extrovert AND extremely self-confident. They’d never DARE do that. It never occurs to them you just put the first thing that came to hand on your head because it was cold, and it happened to be the feather duster. (You removed the handle because that was just weird.) It also never occurs to them that you don’t realize they’re all staring at you, because you’re trying to figure out just why your character wants you to write him doing THAT.

So there are certain words that make me stop and look and go “um…. did I put my underpants on my head again.”

One of those words, as used by someone who is British was “peculiar.” As in, she commented on someone’s share of my blog, that I’d gone increasingly peculiar in recent years.

This causes the mental equivalent of patting my head to make sure I’m not wearing a feather duster for a hat. Or in this case that I’ve not been locked in my echo chamber to the point I don’t see how things are outside it.

I– Don’t think so?

And before you say “But you wouldn’t know.” Dude (Dudette and dudekin too), all my life I’ve been subject to suddenly going galloping into imaginary worlds, and then having issues when I have to interact with the real one, remembering that this is the real one. Like “Oh, yeah, cars don’t fly.” (Used to be a big one when I was a teen.)

In the same way that as a depressive, I fact-check reality constantly. For one, if the world REALLY is coming to an end, I’d like to know, thank you very much. Because it would be terrible to be sucker punched by the apocalypse after YEARS of dooming it on not much excuse.

In the same way, I have sort of a built-in mechanism for reality checking my analysis of situations/whatever. Like I’m ALMOST sure that we’re experiencing as much of a “Salida” as an invasion from illegal border crossings. But I’d not stake my life on it. It just has that whiff, but I haven’t found enough data to back it up yet.

However, in a time of corrupted data, it’s hard to be sure of anything. 90% of the reading I do in newsites and blogs is looking for the interstitial spaces and seeing what they show.

Look, I learned as an artist that you don’t really draw the thing, not on initial approach. You draw the blank space around the thing. And to be fair, after that, if working in black and white, you mostly draw the shadows. (Or at least I do. The exception is drawing something living because then I FIRST have to get the eyes right. Don’t ask. It’s like having the right name for a character.) I’ve been reading news like that for years.

Now, are my conclusions often unusual? Sure. But I find I tend to be more wrong when I follow what “everybody knows.”

I don’t want to rag on the person who made the peculiar comment, but she is one of the people on the soft left who are intentionally conventional (also European) and trusts the signals almost exclusively. Like, when she ran a magazine, you could jump out of the slush pile if you’d graduated from Clarion or one of the other accredited workshops. (No, I never made it in.)

On the other hand, she TRIES to be fair which is more than can be said for most on the left, and was one of the few who listened to our side during Sad Puppies. (Even if she didn’t believe us.) Though I haven’t tracked her the last few years (I’m not that social, and I’ve been busy with other things) so I don’t know if she has done the requisite grovel-and-apologize.

I also do know, from when I was in the closet that saying that kind of thing is what you do when you are trying to distract from looking at wrong thought or knowing wrong thing.

However, I took the whole “peculiar” thing and started taking it apart. Mostly because I was doing heavy manual labor while not feeling well at all, and thinking about things is how I forget I’m in pain. (I’m not feeling well enough for thinking of stories.)

I will admit I am peculiar, in that I stick out. I stick out in my position on a ton of things, particularly if you’re the sort of person who values the “authorities” of universities, of governments, of “the experts” — top men, you know?

Then again, when you look at where those authorities and opinions have taken us, you realize they are mighty peculiar indeed.

We now have 100 years of governments, “scientists” (mostly of the “social”) kind and other “experts” trying to push normal people into a system that would work great if everyone, at the same time, lost all our instincts and our culture, and what makes us human, and robot-like worked their prescriptions.

And by worked great you must understand it would mean people living sad lives with no purpose, but according to plan. With NO surprises for the rulers.

Despite commanding the heights of culture and not inconsiderable force, these “experts” have managed …. nothing good.

Mostly they’ve managed to put 100+ MILLION thinking, feeling humans in their graves prematurely, take prosperous lands and turn them into wastelands, distort economies to create gross inequity, then complain about the inequity.

And despite all this, humans, and notably Americans, have managed to work around all this “expertise” and central planning to improve life on Earth, innovate, and create and be happy.

It’s almost like all the narratives the experts feed you are mighty peculiar indeed.

(Adjusts feather duster hat.)
The minute one of their five year plans works as planned, or makes life better for any human for more than ten seconds, I will consider their opinion.

But I will not turn over my thinking/analyzing brain to their consensus narrative. There is a truth. It can be discovered. (Sometimes with much effort.)

I don’t care if it’s contrary to what everyone believes. Reality exists, and it’s worth knowing.

Mostly because reality bites you in the fleshy part of the back otherwise.

If that means I horrify the conventional ants in their conventional anthills, fine. And if they stomp me for it, fine. At least for a brief moment, I’ll have known and spoken truth.

And that’s worth it.

219 thoughts on “How PECULIAR

  1. Isn’t “eccentric” what you call a Rich (or Upper-Class) person instead of “crazy”? 😉

    “Peculiar” sounds like a “polite” way of saying “they’re crazy”. 😀

    Of course, everybody who posts here is somewhat crazy (except for me). 😆

    1. Some are not merely somewhat crazy.

      Of course, the aardvark is absolutely sane. That is why he doesn’t post.

    2. Crazy is a question relative to function, and relative to culture.

      From outside of US culture, pretty much no one is an excellent judge of American insanity.

      Inside of US culture, things are strange enough that very few judges are necessarily reliable. And have been strange enough long enough that ‘trends’ in someone’s sanity might possibly be more noise than anything else.

      I probably ask ‘is this information source crazy’ as much as anyone.

      It does explain the behavior of some sources.

      And I’ve hit the point of writing this where my next options are ‘I dunno’ or an increasingly incoherent rambling mess.

      I dunno.

  2. My beloved had a teacher in college (60s, Massachusetts) telling the class how Communism was the best system….until you added people. But once it had to deal with human nature….well.

    1. “Communism is the best! Look how well it works for ants and termites!”

      Of course, every one of them secretly dreams of being the Queen Ant.
      Shouldn’t “The plaintiffs are delusional and full of shit” be an acceptable legal defense?

      1. That’s the thing. It works there because genetically the worker bees/ants/termites CAN’T dream of becoming the queen. Juan Rico makes an observation like that about the Bugs in “Starship Troopers”. The SJW/Tranzi’s have so little actual empathy that they cant understand why the hoi polloi want the same things they desire. Worse than that the view it as an affront when they do get what the Tranzis view as their rightful due for their superior nature (facts definitely not in evidence).

    2. It is the fairest, most moral system we’ve come up with, and when it is small-scale, voluntary, and everyone joins in with a common goal AND there’s a way to kick-out non-contributors, it works well.

      When you impose it on society, it is H-ll on Earth (and on all other known planets.)

        1. OTOH, pretty much everything needs regular reform.

          Human societies are a fuzzer, vibrating through state spaces until /something/ breaks. If a scheme has the consent of the governed, they can arrange for bureaucratic routine that covers the 90%-95%-99% of easy cases, and have the difficult stuff handled with the informed judgement of the person closest to the problem.

          Once one commits to ‘you will respect my authoriteh’, the bureaucracy is much more out of date, and mishandled problems accumulate.

  3. Well, it does rather depend on which actual meaning of the word was intended. I can think of four ‘off the cuff’, and I’m prettty sure there are more.

  4. Hmmm. Sarah, wear the “peculiar” label with pride. As someone observed elsewhere, whenever the left adopts some new term for themselves (“social justice warrior,” “progressive,” “woke,” etc.) it becomes a term of approbation fairly quickly since their beliefs are so crazy and objectively harmful to the majority of people, while those of us on the freedom side of the scale tend to adopt the left’s attempted terms of approbation (“Yankee Doodle,” “bitter clinger,” “deplorable,” “etc.”) as badges of honor. The left will never get that we’re laughing at them in both cases, and belittling them as we do so.

    1. I don’t think you meant “approbation” (strong approval). Was the word “opprobrium” (strong disgust or disapproval) intended? Or am I really confused?

      1. Communism works at the extended family group level just so long as there is someone in authority with the wisdom and ability to make it work. And it always fails even at that level as soon as any members start to work the system for their own benefit. And someone always does. That is true human nature.

        1. Any system that assumes human beings are perfect or capable of perfection is doomed – humans are not perfect, and eventually either the system must exile the imperfect members, or force them to be perfect.

          1. There is never any shortage of folks that believe they can create the Perfect World. They just have to eliminate all those Imperfect People who don’t fit in it.

            Next step, Gulags and mass graves.

  5. Thank you for this post. I can hardly disagree.

    I did notice one sentence that I think has something missing and had me puzzled. “Mostly they’ve managed to put 100 + thinking, feeling humans in their graves prematurely” I’m guessing that should be something along the lines of “100 million plus” or a “100 years plus of.”

  6. I have come to suspect none of us have a true understanding of the world and how it fully works. Rather we’re all running in some degree of our own just so stories and semi-automated response systems, and that all function to some degree or another depending on the state the world is running in.

    The this is, the old dominant myth just doesn’t work anymore and is tearing itself apart.

    You,and most of us operate in a different set of base myths and assumptions about reality, so as the current over-myth breaks apart on the collision of its inconsistencies with the current state of things, we’ll likely seem to drift farther and farther from what the people running on the current over-myth can even comprehend. It’s like waking up one day and having someone telling you the irrigation cannals are running backwards now. It makes no sense.

    The rules of the world are changing, or at least which ones are dominant, and those who run by the old set, and those trying to new will make less and less sense to each other, until a new standard is established.

    1. The greatest irony of modern civilization is that so many people hate it. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen people whining about the system and how it’s not fair and they are desperate to escape this all powerful system that they feel is enslaving them. Take people from 100 years ago, move them forward in time, and they’d be convinced they were given a ticket to paradise. Climate controlled living spaces, indoor plumbing, technological wonders that could barely be dreamed of when they were born, and an abundance of food so cheaply available that obesity is one of the greatest problems we’re facing.

      After thousands of years of humanity dedicating so much effort of creating a civilization that cushions us from reality we’ve succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of our ancestors. In so doing, we’ve created such an effective cushion that far too many people can’t separate out the constructed reality of civilization and see that the reality our cave dwelling ancestors dealt with, that of being at the mercy of the weather, periods of famine, and disease being a constant threat, is still there. Held at bay only as long as civilization is maintained.

      It’s no wonder we don’t understand reality since we’re isolated from the worst aspects of it. Our modern constructed reality is currently dominated by the insane and ignorant. Is it any wonder that in a society that places no value on becoming an adult and assuming adult responsibilities, we have so many who never achieve it?

      1. All those who long for the “good old days” should be required to do a two week stint of primitive camping to experience the absolute pinnacle of existence a mere few hundred years ago.

        1. Having to dig a latrine or even just pull out a little shovel would be very educational for them.
          I found the one-holers (actually very well-kept one-holers- I’ve used the other sort, too) on the Alaska Highway to beeducational enough for me, thank you.

          Heinlein had fun with the, “Oh, for the good old days,” theme in Beyond This Horizon.

        2. “As it may someday happen” from The Mikado (aka I’ve got a little list) has this:
          Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone
          All centuries but this, and every country but his own;

          1. Or from the flip perspective, where they did an entire song on it.

            Am I alone
            And unobserved? I am!
            Then let me own
            I’m an aesthetic sham!
            This air severe
            Is but a mere
            This cynic smile
            Is but a wile
            Of guile!
            This costume chaste
            Is but good taste
            Let me confess!
            A languid love for lilies does not blight me!
            Lank limbs and haggard cheeks do not delight me!
            I do not care for dirty greens
            By any means
            I do not long for all one sees
            That’s Japanese
            I am not fond of uttering platitudes
            In stained-glass attitudes
            In short, my mediaevalism’s affectation
            Born of a morbid love of admiration!


            Short from there, but funny and WELL worth listening to, though I can’t find one to link.

            1. That is not one I’m familiar with and I Like G&S. AHH from patience an early one and less performed. W.S. Gilbert is quite the acerbic wit always worth really paying attention to the words.

              1. Never seen G&S in performance. Didn’t see any of the recorded performances for… a very long time.

                My mom invested in Gilbert and Sullivan tapes or CDs as an alternative to those really annoying kid song tapes.

                That, Massive Classics and…argh, there as another one I’m blanking on, history songs, vaguely western theme… filled the gap without her going insane on long drives.

            2. Ooh! Patience! A very fun play when done right—because it’s a satire on aestheticism, but what it’s really satirizing is people following trends (which is why it is a popular G&S show for those willing to venture beyond the Big Three: Pirates, Pinafore, and Mikado.)

        3. Not just primitive camping. Really tease them. Force them to do it in an RV without hookups. When they don’t properly manage their resources … Most won’t.

          Please note, holding tanks can fill up before the water tanks are empty. Indulge and that is 24 hours on gray water … Make them use the “Bucket” method to remedy; ONE bucket so if they screw it up, they really could pay, badly.

          Then there are the batteries, no generators allowed. Batteries do not hold up if one is using them for the heater. No batteries, no water, the water pumps do not pull much power, but they need batteries charged to work. No batteries, no light. No air or microwave either, neither run on straight battery.

          It is doable. We’ve done the above, for two weeks. Have also backpacked for 12 days. After the latter, one learns hot showers are divine; absolute Heaven.

          1. In high school I did a ten-day backpacking trek in the Sierra Nevadas every summer with my Explorer Post. Yes, you really do come to appreciate showers after ten days of using a bandanna soaked in freezing cold water (snow-runoff) to remove the top layer of grime.

          2. Heck, live in Europe in stack-a-student apartments. Hot water? Occasionally, but in summer, you take tepid washes, not hot. And we were informed by the manager/ Haus Frau that if we used too much hot, our rent would go up because of the utility excess. This was in the 1990s. I shudder to think what the cost of real hot water is today.

            1. *snicker* I stayed in a hotel — I think it was in Baden-Baden — where the hot water was available at an extra charge. The manageress controlled access to the hot water, by keeping the faucet handles for the hot water taps in the rooms behind the bar in the dining room. Pay the extra mark to rent the tap handle, and she would hand it over.

              1. A lot of places where showers are available for backpackers coming off days on the trail or in campgrounds are coin paid. Keep paying in them quarters for any water, let alone Hot Water. Sometimes, Grant or Canyon campgrounds YNP, you get two showers a day with your campsite, if the showers are open (they weren’t for 2020 and 2021 seasons. Though they kept the public laundry facilities open.

                Another skill they need to duplicate? Make them clean cloths without washing machines. No basin or wash board either. Tote those things down to the creek. Get that kettle boiling over the open wood fire for use after you’ve gotten the stains and then the soap out. Now wring the water out of the clothing, towels, sheets, etc. It is difficult enough with an old style type wringer washer, let alone what I just outlined!

          3. I was tent camping in that monsoon that California had at the end of October. MAKE THEM DO THAT.

            (My tent stayed dry, even if I couldn’t sleep for all the noise.)

        4. I am reminded of that scene in the first Jumanji movie where Robin Williams has escaped from inside the game and encounters a modern bathroom with commode and the proper paper products. His expression of sheer delight is classic.
          Miss him still to this day.

  7. “Odd. Peculiar” Tomayto tomahto. I frequently have found myself an inconvenient person as the following excerpt from my work biography might illustrate:

    “Meanwhile the process improvement initiative was gaining ground. The Software Engineering Institute had been recently founded, and it was a marketing plus to be able to be assessed at software development maturity level 3 by their criteria. Many good habits were instituted along with a lot of meetings. Everybody was split into teams and “empowered” to fix problems that we discussed at the meetings (as well as less formally). Our supervisors were in these meetings as well as their own supervisor meetings. Soon it became obvious that our developer meetings would uncover a problem and use our “empowered” status to implement a solution, but then the supervisors would meet and enforce a different solution. Since I was the developer associated with process improvement (Niki was management), I soon had developers stomping over to my cubicle to complain. Having heard enough, I finally said, “All right, we’re going to have an off the books meeting at lunch 2 days from now. Just developers, no leads. The only agenda item will be a debate and vote on whether we tell our bosses that they’re banned from our meetings.” I was rather surprised by my own audacity. At the meeting you can imagine the debate among 20 developers on whether to tell our leaders that they were not welcome. The motion failed to pass although it was close, but when we left the meeting, we heard that the bosses had met and decided to remove themselves from our meetings! News of our meeting and its agenda had leaked, and our leaders had decided that discretion was the better part of valor. Sometimes it pays to take risks.”

    Later when I got the annual quality award for our site, I sidled up to the big boss and said, “You know everybody who got this award was told by their supervisor to not do the thing they got the award for. We might want to think about that.”

    Sometimes peculiar is needed.

  8. As one who knows “government”, from inside and out, I have come to know that the most dangerous profession is the “urban planner”. For them to know what is needed, they must know what is impossible. The future. I actually know that a negative declaration is a good thing for an applicant. For 30 years, I was a guide through the urban planning jungle, translating planner into English. But now it is not what you know, but who you know. Who sent you?

    Code enforcement is evil. It makes one body; judge, jury and executioner. That is why they had “public health” issue “laws”. They are not laws, simply an administrative body taking on a legislative function. Then turn the “law” on its head: Guilty until you prove your innocence. Even worse, making a private business an arm of the government to enforce their illegal “laws”. This is the danger of “top men”.

    1. I had a friend whose house burned down right after the housing crisis of ’08. (No one was hurt, and the insurance company happily paid for everything.) I mentioned to him a few months later that at least he wouldn’t have any problem getting it rebuilt because all the construction workers needed jobs. He told me, “Actually it’s the opposite, because every regulator has nothing to do either, so they all come out one-by-one looking for anything and frequently contradict each other.”

      1. You ALWAYS want the same building inspector. I have a close friend who is a contractor. His greatest fear is that he gets two inspectors who want to change what the other approved, to “prove” they did something.

        When I was helping people cope with planning departments, I would tell clients of the 2 invisible warning signs “posted” at all Planning and Building departments:
        1. “We’re not out to get you. We treat everyone this way.”
        2. “Abandon hope all ye who enter.”
        Clients found that strangely comforting.

        There are also the 7 no’s. found in dealing with folk at the counter. You need to know which NO you are getting.

          1. I have no link. These are examples I came up working as a guide thru the urban planning jungle. I wrote them on actual paper, so it may take a while to find my notes, and type in with explinations.

            I have retired from being a guide. Now in retirement work for the feds. Threw a little sand in the machine by refusing to submit my vaccination papers. “I will not submit”.

            I have worked for and against government all my life.

            I leave one example of a NO:

            “There was no one else to cover the counter. I have no idea what I am doing. They told me to just say no if anyone asked anything.They figure if it is important, they will come back later when some one who knows is here.”

            The no sayer will never explain that, just say No. So you have to learn which no it is. Hear not just the word, but what it means, and who speaks. (This is based on actual experience). When you run into this NO, it is important to understand that you must return. Do not be discouraged. Just remember if you don’t ask, the answer is always no. (not one of the 7)

            1. There was a guy in the North County office of Los Angeles Regional Planning who was… obstructionist would be gentle, and he was the gatekeeper for all-things-zoning. Whatever you needed to do, he would find a way to obstruct it (and quite obviously took an unholy glee in doing so). The only way around that was to catch the office when he was taking a day off. When he finally retired, there was mass celebration in the real estate and construction industries.

        1. Once upon a time, back in the 90’s planning departments were helpful. I remember when I was building a custom accessible house (before such things became common), my architect and I went to the planning department for a first discussion of the code exemptions needed back then for things like no step entrances from the garage, wheelchair accessible breaker boxes and others. After about 10 minutes the planner looked at us and said “if you can find a single code to put on these plans that covers the things you want exemptions from our code, no matter where it comes from, this will be a lot easier”. So my architect went off and did some research and we went back a week later with the plans marked with a European code reference and a copy of same code. The office immediately stamped them approved and filed them.

    2. I can’t hear the phrase “top men” without seeing the forklift driver at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark – these top men, the ones who bury bodies or worse, life-changing discoveries, scare the bejeezus outta me.

  9. Why yes, young lady, you are particularly peculiar, but why would one consider that a bad thing?

    But no feather head wear due to allergy?

    Perhaps you need to think inside the box. For example I’d bet even money (Up to twenty five bucks.) that somewhere in one of your unpacked, from this move or a third move or so ago, you’ve an allergy free a fake feather boa that you bought back when, because it’ll be just right for, or oh my the color is the same as, or if I wear this no one at the con will, or…, boxes.

    Now think what a fine feather head shed that would make!

    OK, and if you call me on this, I’ll stand behind my $25 bet, if you open 25 boxes and find no fake feather boa (As I do consider you particularly peculiar [in the nicest way, of course, it’s quite possible you will] I feel it’s a worthwhile risk of twenty five bucks. Though I don’t think it’s an iron clad a safe bet, one can never be 100% sure how a particularly peculiar person will choose to be particularly peculiar.) I’ll pay up without a murmur and if I win I promise I’ll only chuckle quietly and most definitely will not loudly guffaw.

    Hum, this is a particularly peculiar post, I shan’t think what it may say about me. 😉

      1. Actually hadn’t thought of it until you suggested it. Too late though, no matter how much I carton to the idea, I’ve already boxed myself into a corner; if she calls me on the bet, I already stated in one her moving boxes and even if I could it wouldn’t be cricket to slip a fake box among her containers. If she takes me up on the bet and I lose I’ll just have to pay up even if it crates me. 😉

  10. I’m afraid that I’m a currently bit congested to come up with a joke that I think is good. Best so far is “You do not seem peculiar to me.” Isn’t strictly correct, I think everyone seems a little bit strange to me. OTOH, I do feel like I can understand some where you are coming from, and a lot of the time your thinking is pretty comprehensible.

    1. “All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer.”
      — Robert Owen, 1818 (or 1828, depending on your calendar)

      1. I’ve heard it as “All the world is queer but me and you and I sometimes wonder about you”. 😆

        1. Far as I know, what I quoted is the original. But I’ve seen numerous variants, such as yours.

  11. I love the word “peculiar.” It just rolls off the tongue.

    When I more or less accidentally saw “The LEGO movie,” I insisted my whole family watch it. The plot has a great deal to say about kids who build their own LEGO creations, and those that follow the directions and superglue the blocks so the finished product can never be changed. And the kinds of parents who want children that rigidly follow the rules. And… well, it’s just wonderful, that’s all. Hollywood sometimes knocks one out of the park.

    I’ll keep being peculiar, thank you. And building my own things out of the LEGO blocks of the world.

  12. “The minute one of their five year plans works as planned, or makes life better for any human for more than ten seconds, I will consider their opinion.”

    Real five year plans have never been tried . . .

  13. Hey. I’ve been peculiar ever since I can remember. The more I learn about how the world works the more peculiar I get. Since The Powers That Be have blinded themselves about how the world outside their echo chambers really works, I have as little to do with them as I can manage. .

    1. Grandchild #5 indicated that if we spend too much time together, I would no longer enjoy our time together. When prodded with “why not?” I was told “because I’m weird”. Oh child…I’m weird too and we can be weird together, and enjoy our weirdness. If being peculiar puts me at odds with the thought police and SJWs of the world today, I’ll claim that title with a capital P!

  14. You can be peculiar all you want. That’s just “eccentric” with a side order of “slightly unhinged.”

    Just hope that you don’t the the Southern woman’s version:

    “Aren’t you special?”

    Or, worse:

    “Well, bless your heart.”

    1. “Bless his heart,” can be honestly meant. As in, “Bless his heart, he tries so hard.”

      1. I was go-for-the-throat infuriated in a social situation last week…and generations of Southern ancestresses rose up, seized control of my vocal cords, and produced, “I’m so pleased you feel that way. It must be very comfortable.” Not at *all* what I’d planned to lead with.

        1. Gosh. And this is why I’m really Southern. I need to really be pushed past all limits to be rude. And usually only on line.
          My problem is that I also can’t process rudeness, particularly when I can’t figure out why. I’ll sit there blinking stupidly going “Why is this person being rude?” And then spend sometimes MONTHS analyzing it.

          1. My problem is that I also can’t process rudeness, particularly when I can’t figure out why. I’ll sit there blinking stupidly going “Why is this person being rude?” And then spend sometimes MONTHS analyzing it.”

            Same problem. Rudeness in general just filters in as some sort of weird accent that doesn’t make any sense. I can muddle my way through Latin, a bit of Spanish, German, and French, but rudeness? Doesn’t often trip the offense meter. Then I’m stuck wondering (once I parse what they intended), why the fudge did they choose to say that, and in that precise manner? Or am I in the wrong? If I’m not, and they are in the wrong, what could possibly have been going through their mind?

            Then six months later in the shower I get that “Ah ha!” perfect response to rude person that said rude thing! And no one’s around to hear it except NeighborCat. Who just narrows her eyes at me and demands more ear scritches.

            1. I think I’ve responded, in person, to someone rude quickly exactly once. Normally I’m wait? What? Pause. Annndddd too late. Forget it. The one time it went like this.

              Them: “So, where are you from?”
              Me: “Warshington” … anyone spot it … we’ve had this conversation and how common it really is.
              Them: “How do you spell that?”
              Me: “W A R S H …”
              End of our conversation from that point forward.

              Happened at littlest sister’s college graduation party. Her very wealthy (family based) Stanford college roommates.

              Better when online, if I bother. Anymore, somewhere around 50, decided life is too short. I can ignore rude. They aren’t my friend. Don’t need them as my friend. Someone else is going to take them down, it isn’t going to be me.

            2. There are upsides to the very-slow-on-the-counter-attack thing– several times I’ve not responded, and either didn’t even realize someone was rude or realized it, was fuming a little, and then THEY CALLED (or ran up to me in public) because THEY just realized they’d done something horribly rude and hoped I wasn’t angry!

                1. Mine is saying, with absolute sincerity, the same phrases that are usually used sarcastically.

                  I figure it out when the person starts laughing…..

  15. Peculiar? I am not so sure.

    There is a reality that is independent of my interpretation of it. That is a fundamental axiom and seems self evident to me. However, there is an awful lot of reality out there and to survive it is necessary for this mere mortal to create models of it. These models are not reality and different models can still be effective in aiding those who use them to function.

    Consequently, I do not confuse my perception of reality with reality itself. My internal map will probably never be exactly the same as the territory and wherever my map does not match, it is the map that is wrong.

    A corollary to the above is acknowledging that my model may not encompass all of reality and that someone holding an alternative model is not necessarily a denier of truth.

  16. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light … I Peter 2:9 (KJV)

    And in history, it is the people that are considered “peculiar” – as opposed to those who go with the flow of the Five Year Plan – that have advanced the human condition to better places.

    1. It’s the “peculiar” Elon Musk that is advancing rocket science instead of the “conventional” Boeing…

      1. He’s the latest example of how human advancement comes from individuals who ask “why not” and follow that up with their initiative … as opposed to drones following a Five Year Plan from a committee with no skin in the game.

  17. *glances at books, desk toys, papers, St. Walburga medal, Order of the Dragon ring, bit of calico dress peeking out of closet along with box of ammo* Peculiar. Got it. Peculiar.

    “Academically eccentric,” as in “dresses for the period covered in her dissertation” also works.

    1. At U of MN, professor of European History Since the Middle Ages showed up for the German unification bloc dressed as Bismarck, complete with Pickelhaube . . .

  18. Well said, and as always you do seem to know what tends to be worrying me. I wonder if I tend to get stuck in my own world sometimes, especially when it comes to what the less peculiar among us are thinking about the issues of the day. I still have a lot to learn for myself when it comes to checking depressiveness against reality but these posts do help (as well as seeing what our local Simon Jester has been up to while walking). You have mentioned before that it’s the Odds who come through when the going gets tough. Let’s hope they come through again, and I say this as one myself, though still not completely sure about my part in things.

  19. In the same way, I have sort of a built-in mechanism for reality checking my analysis of situations/whatever. Like I’m ALMOST sure that we’re experiencing as much of a “Salida” as an invasion from illegal border crossings. But I’d not stake my life on it. It just has that whiff, but I haven’t found enough data to back it up yet.z

    Des Moines area observations:
    I didn’t see a single, individual, one “yeah they’re probably illegal” type. On a Saturday that included Walmart. Saw *one* possible illegal, possibly just immigrant lady on Thursday, when I hit a bunch of discount/second hand places. None of the groups of immigrants getting “how to American” tours, not even anybody who just radiated “new” rather than “mostly integrated.”

    There have been no emergency requests for help for foodbanks on the radio– the usual requests, yeah, but there’s no “we are having a shortage of X, Y and Z items” like there usually is.

    I haven’t seen any food bank crowds anywhere. The local “round up your charge to the nearest dollar” is either Toys for Tots or a generic charity.

    I’m still looking around for any data that *could* be used to identify this, honestly!


    Oh. I just thought of a secondary reason that Iowa wouldn’t have a lot of illegals right now.
    Housing. Even rentals that aren’t very well upkept are in demand– it’s flatly harder to GET anywhere that will let you do the 25-to-an-apartment thing.

    1. We have lots of refugees and immigrants coming into the Lincoln and Omaha area.

      Whether they’re legal or illegal I’m not able to say, but depending on the venue, we see lots of Hispanics and/or lots of Middle Eastern and North African women swathed in black from head to toe and closely chaperoned by their male relatives.

      In Omaha, someone I know encountered a waiting room full at the local Housing Authority (before COVID), and chatted with a few of them in their language.

      1. I’m not very good at identifying “Hispanic”– even when one sorts away the folks whose ancestors are Spanish– but growing up rural I do have a pretty good eye for illegals. 😀

        Des Moines seems to get a lot of folks from India, not just the high-caste ones, and I think I’ve mentioned here before that we’ve been having an influx of teen-to-twenties, skinny, very dark African guys that are being settled in/taught how to American by one of the local mega-churches. (It’s down right cool to recognize the differences in how Americans…just ARE, next to recent immigrants. People watching is fun. 😀 )

        Haven’t seen any local veiling traditions that are even as extreme as a nun– the WalMart by Jordan Center has half the ladies sort of veiled, but it’s colorful scarves, some with nifty little beads or bangles– more Indian style, than Iranian. Couple of the Thai ladies cover their hair, but they’re mature enough I’m not sure if it’s fashion or what….

        1. I’m not very good at identifying “Hispanic”– even when one sorts away the folks whose ancestors are Spanish–

          One of my first wife’s brothers got married to a Mexican-American girl, and her entire family who turned up at the wedding including the cousins from Mexico looked like they descended solely from a part of Spain where it was always cloudy. Other than their uniformly dark hair and accents they could have been Scots.

          we’ve been having an influx of teen-to-twenties, skinny, very dark African guys that are being settled in/taught how to American by one of the local mega-churches. (It’s down right cool to recognize the differences in how Americans…just ARE, next to recent immigrants. People watching is fun. 😀 )

          On my last trip, I noticed a lot of skinny dark Africans in Anchorage, Alaska, of all places. And I got to eavesdrop on an American college kid try to explain Halloween to a couple of them in a diner. That was funny.

          (On the other hand, I had an Ethiopian Uber driver once, who told me all about how central Ethiopia up in the mountains is actually quite cold a lot of the time. But the Sun is high in the sky so they get the melanin.)

          1. One of my first wife’s brothers got married to a Mexican-American girl, and her entire family who turned up at the wedding including the cousins from Mexico looked like they descended solely from a part of Spain where it was always cloudy. Other than their uniformly dark hair and accents they could have been Scots.

            Ah, the FANCY families.
            Some of the guys in El Paso were like that, too– there was even an Irish looking red head.
            Still didn’t act like the Old Spanish families when I was a kid (they were NOT Mexican, any more than Zorro) or the Basques. It’s…really hard to describe, honestly. Probably why I find people watching so interesting.

            Ooooh, the “Explain Halloween” thing sounds like an abject HOOT!
            Our new guys are definitely not Ethiopian, unless they’re from a very different population than every other one I’ve seen. (Non-zero possibility there, I’m not familiar with if Ethiopia has tribes even we can tell apart.)

        2. Yeah–the people I’m referring to are definitely not Spanish in origin, but from south of the border. How far south someone else would have to say. The Walmart on North 48th has gone decidedly ethnic.

          1. Yeah, why is it the descendants of European (and Russian, and Asian, and…) colonists here are EEEVUL OPPRESSORS!!, but descendants of Spanish and Portugese colonists from farther south are Sainted Victims?
            Nobody has so little that some asshole doesn’t want to take it. And the government is full of assholes.

            1. Most of the Woke don’t think about descendants of the Spanish and the Portuguese. They are thinking about descendants of the American Indians “oppressed” by the Spanish and the Portuguese. 😈

            2. It is a mixed bag on that front. See how many things named after Spanish explorers, conquistadors, and missionaries are getting renamed in California.

              1. I’d love to see them come up with a new Spanish name for Walmart… We call it “Wally World” some of the time now among my group of friends, but we’re mostly all English speaking. Target is “Tar zjay” (I even heard someone referring to them as that on the radio here recently too, and it made my day). But–we no longer shop at Target because no one wants to need a bathroom while there only to discover that there are persons of the male persuasion intruding on one’s feminine privacy…

        3. Translation: charities are once again being paid (it was formerly $15,000 per head, dunno what it is now) to “resettle refugees” which in practice mostly means Somalis here for the welfare benefits, and who will mostly continue to behave like Somalis.

          International law says a “refugee” has to stop in the first safe country. Which would have been Ethiopia.

          Yeah, after one of our city councils in my state tried to sneak that over on us without allowing the legally-required public input, and seeing what it’s done to other cities, I’m all out of charity.

          1. They’ve been doing that the entire time.

            It’s why I stopped donating to Catholic Charities– they were taking tax money to resettle folks, and part of that was providing morally impermissible services to the refugees.

            So that’s going solid for at LEAST 20 years, now.

            1. Lutheran charities too, whatever they’re called. And about the same timespan, far as I know.

              1. For folks not following — Catholic Charities is the formal name, I have no idea if they use the same advertising guys as Lutheran Charities.

                I ran into them because of the combined federal campaign not being clear on that point. I got better information, later….

                There are charities which are Catholic which behave in a licit manner and are not making prudential judgements I object to, using my tax dollars. Just not that one.

    2. I suspect I get to Home Desperate at the wrong time of day for the illegals to get day labor jobs (assuming that it’s happening), but the big ag operations are pretty much idle for the winter, and I think the migrant workers have headed south. I’ve seen a couple of beggars, including one guy with a sign sending out odd signals. (The sign would make more sense near a major medical center–which our county’s hospital ain’t, not by a long shot.)

      Tuesday will be instructive. (My usual market day–Monday is frantic in town.) The EBT cards have been recharged, and I usually do a Mission run on the first Tuesday. If they grab the rice and beans and run them into the kitchen (I’ve seen one guy do that with two 50 pound sacks), it’s a desperate situation.

      Despicable Kate Brown’s edicts have frozen the rental market solidly. Considering she changes her mind more often than Fauxi, it’s a scary state to be poor hell, just living here in right now.

      1. The Box-Store guys came back a little earlier this year, but they’ve been gone, too.

        About… June, maybe? Tiny influx, but they went away, and usually there isn’t anything like this absolute lack.
        (Economically speaking, the jobs aren’t why the illegals are here. They’re nice for money, send that home while you eat at the food aid places. The really big draw is that you can live very well compared to ‘home’, especially if you have some legal family.)

        Just thought of the other route– there’s a very obnoxious portion of the illegal population that makes money from theft and related crimes. With so many people home, it’s likely that they’re getting *caught* more often. I know for a while there the cops were just jumping, and heard last week that our jail is unusually full.

        1. Truth be known, that portion of illegals that are criminals were crooks back where they came from. It’s just that the pickings are ever so much better here. And punishments if caught are a whole lot lighter under American law as opposed to the Code Napolean don’t you know.

    3. I keep asking the same question–if there’s a flood of illegals coming across the border right now, where are they? The restaurant kitchens are at 50% staff. The big-box home improvement parking lots and the carniceria parking lots have half the usual number of laborers looking for a day’s work. Sure, they’re getting welfare of some kind or another–but that never stopped them from working before.

      There’s something very different going on, and no one is talking about it.

      1. Something like 15,000 of them have been flown into Florida in the middle of the night and hauled off somewhere on buses. Anybody that knows where ain’t saying.

        1. Yes, there are stories about people transported various places. And then what? Are there interviews with the happily resettled refugees? Heartwarming profiles of foster families who have taken in unaccompanied minors? Not that I can find.

          1. Which is what happened with the unaccompanied minors last time…. they were “reunited with family” but no heartwarming stories about their mom’s aunt and her husband who haven’t seen relatives in XYZ years now getting to know their darling great-niece or something.

      2. NGO charity workers are enthusiastically helping these poor unfortunate refugees into subsidized housing and registered for EBT and every other aid program. Just temporary don’t you know, just until they can get on their collective feet and become productive citizens.
        After all, we have so very much how can we possibly object to giving a bit of help to a million or so economic refugees from all over the planet.

      3. Like Sarah says– the observed evidence makes the most sense if we assume there is an unusual number going south.

        It would also make sense if most of those coming across the border are organized crime and enslaved persons– the slaves have *never* been let out in general, although the raids on the places they were kept don’t hit the news so much, for some reason. Remember all the minors who were “released to family” that showed up in California slave-shops?

        1. I fear you are correct about that. I fear there is a great evil being committed right under our noses.

    4. Except federal housing law says you can’t discriminate on the basis of family size, and takes that so far as to prohibit even asking.

        1. True, but first you’ve gotta have that standard established, and most places apparently don’t. Apartment buildings have different rules, from the fire department.

  20. If only the ‘Progressives’ could understand: When reality fails to conform to your theories, it’s not the universe that’s wrong.

    And they can’t fix the discrepancy by lying about it.

    1. The ‘Progressives’ believe that adding an epicycle or two to their theories will be sufficient. If their enlightened Narrative is failing to produce the corresponding enlightened reality, then it’s because of us Bad People who insist on a reactionary counter-Narrative, one in which Narratives can’t change reality.

      But “Narratives can’t change reality” is only true because we Bad People believe it to be true. (And we believe it to be true only because we’re stupid and evil, and want to be mean to people.) So if we’re all re-educated or at least made to shut up, then their enlightened Narrative will be able to produce a Nice reality, just as their theory predicts.

    2. If there is one thing I learned from watching Mythbusters, it is that I should reject their reality and substitute my own.

  21. :said in a thoughtful tone:
    You know, most of the folks I’ve heard throw around the claim of someone being in a bubble are very, very solidly building brick walls inside of theirs.

    If someone really is in a bubble, you can usually tell from their concept of “everybody” doing this or that– and trapped in a bubble, if they then conclude that this means something.

    I know it’s not common, but it’s so *easy* to do conclusion checking in most cases! What happens when you stop listening to the bullhorn? The news said lots of people are dead of COVID–k, do we know any? The hospitals are at capacity– that’s public information, are they? Did they just fire a bunch of people? Is it all one hospital? Is that hospital, say, the one dedicated to COVID patients? (Which is a great idea, honestly– and rather notable that many places shut down hospitals rather than filtering to designated areas.)

      1. Why, one in each of the thousand largest cities in the country, of course.

        … Possibly one in each of the thousand largest cities on the continent, if limiting it to the US doesn’t give the right results.

        “We” after all, is such a variable word when one doesn’t take seriously differences in the myriad groupings under the umbrella of “humanity”

        1. The use and abuse of statistics. In this case, leaving out the basis of measurement.

          I still remember the statistics class I took a couple of decades ago, and how our instructor really hammered on those kinds of errors, and why we needed to be careful to avoid them. However, I think he was thinking in terms of carelessness and muddled thinking, rather than malice and misrepresentation.

      2. …they are *really* leaning on folks not knowing how many people die in the US on a normal day (over 8k) or being aware of how many folks are shoe-horned in for the ILI/Flu, Pneumonia and Covid numbers, aren’t they?

          1. Ahahaha! The Rule of Really Big Numbers!

            I knew it would come to me eventually– it’s one of those “lying with statistics” tricks– if you use a big enough sample, you’re going to be able to say that you found a significant sounding result.

            IE, “hundreds of people have called poison control because Product” … out of hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of uses, and not mentioning what Poison Control said.

            Most of the time, Poison Control’s job is to listen to the parent, ask “did they eat two and a half containers of the stuff?” and then tell them the kid may have a tummy ache. (Voice of experience, here. 😀 )

            But it sounds impressive!

              1. I am SINCERELY annoyed by “if more than instructed dose is ingested, contact poison control.”

                seriously, guys, I’d like some kind of sense of proportion, here!

                1. In fairness, there are /some/ medicines where the effective dose is pretty close to a really bad dose.

                  I would guess that few of those are OTC.

                  I mean, if 20 ml is necessary, and 25 ml is dead right there, you’d better have a pretty consistent way of putting 20 ml in. And probably you should be using some else instead if you can.

                  1. Acetaminophen. I read about somebody taken to the emergency room after downing 40 Tylenol pills. At the autopsy, his liver was GREEN. Kind of put me off Tylenol.

                    1. Tylenol can be dangerous if taken too much at once, in one day, or even regularly. There is an accumulation effect if taken too often, not just over dosing the recommended dosage.

                      Tylenol killed my MIL, that and a bit of nursing home neglect. She self medicated at night, too many times (technically over dosing, just not over dosing each time), then became distressed. Called for help, again (regular thing, she’d been transported 3 or more times per week to the hospital under distress, only to have it be nothing), at the wrong time. By the time they had time for her, she was gone. Would she had lived had they gotten to her while she was alive? Who knows. She was in the habit of self medicating with OTC medicines. May not have been that night multiple doses, but an accumulation effect. No one will ever know. We sure won’t.

                      I too avoid Tylenol unless specifically prescribed for a specific condition. Example rather than give prescription opioid after a root canal was told to take one Tylenol and one Advil instead. It worked. Or if have a headache, will take Alive or Advile first. It which ever doesn’t tone the headache down (stupid migraines), then I’ll take Tylenol, maybe.

                    2. “which ever doesn’t tone the headache down (stupid migraines)”

                      I’ve posted this before, taking CoQ10 daily has taken me from two migraines a week to maybe one every five or six weeks.

                    3. All medicines are poison.

                      Which is part of why I so strongly object to the generic warnings– seven to ten times the dose is a pretty big jump, using it for months on end when it says NO MORE THAN FIVE DAYS is a pretty big jump.

                      Folks don’t tend to instantly leap to “this is basically as dangerous as water, down more!”

                    4. Right for Acetaminophen/paracetemol the LD50 is not that far (like 1.5-2x) past the maximum dose at full strength OTC. The hairy part was the children/infant liquid formulas. They were both set up for a 10 ml dose, but the children’s formula was like 2-2.5 times higher dosage per ml and several infants died in the 70’s because parents grabbed the wrong thing and gave the higher dosage to infants. I think now its all one dosage per ML and the number of ML goes by weight. It’s a liver thing as there is a toxic breakdown byproduct. Drinking heavily and acetaminophen is a REALLY dangerous mix even at the prescribed dosages.

                  2. Which is why I object to it being on *everything*.

                    That teaches people to ignore the warning labels.


                    1. Something I saw on Outrageous Acts Of Science:


        1. Indeed. To be truthful, what they should be saying is “we’re losing a thousand every day who at some point in the recent last couple months tested positive for Covid. Or that looked like they might have Covid, so that’s what we put on the form. Most of whom were over the age of 80.” Panic, doom, etc.

          1. “Also an amazingly large number of people who were in skilled nursing who are annoying to deal with, and oh yes this is while practicing medical neglect instead of reasonable practices to prevent high risk folks who test positive from getting horrifically sick.”

            From the wave of phonecalls on Friday, a LOT of folks have had cases of “person with several risk factors got sick, took him to get tested, he had COVID, we were sent home to isolate with a cold pack and couldn’t get treatment until two days later when we dragged him to the ER.”

        2. The UK tried that for the latest and greatest variant. “60% of the people who died from the coof in November were unvaxxed.!!!!111eleventy!!!” It turns out that the total fatalities for “COVID” in November was about 160 in all of Britain.

          Lying with statistics. Arggh.

          1. Oh yes. Small numbers can be as deceptive as big ones.

            Back in September, one of our smaller events came very close to being canceled because of a spike in COVID cases in the county where it was being held. But there was a catch — that county was rural, with a relatively low population, so even a relatively small whole-number increase in cases would result in a massive percentage increase. As in, if they’d had 2 cases in July and 8 in August, that was a 400% increase, oh noes, we’re all gonna die!!!111!!!!

            it makes me think of when I was selling on the Amazon Marketplace, and how much damage a single negative could do to a small seller’s metrics. With small whole-number metrics, even one bad transaction could cause a massive percentage negative, and trip their algorithms for disciplinary action.

      3. “We’re losing over a thousand people to Covid every day!”

        “…and 6,800 to other causes! O the horror!”

        Because that’s the reality. Every day in America, more than 7,800 people die of SOMETHING. Heart failures are still #1, followed by cancer. 275 OD on fentanyl. 105 die in traffic collisions and 60 are murdered. More than 100 suicides. The list goes on, and on.

        But there’s no money or power to be had in raising hysteria over cancer deaths and drug overdoses.
        Candidate Joe Biden, August 2020: “We have assembled the most extensive, comprehensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.”

  22. Keep the handle. The feather duster will fall off your head unless you stick the handle down the back of your collar.

    1. And who knows, you could start a fad!

      I was a Pastafarian long before it became an official movement… back about 1991 my sister dragged me to the new IKEA that ate San Fernando Road, formerly a good traffic bypass during Los Angeles rush hour. (So I already regarded it with seething resentment.) I hate shopping and was bored out of my mind. At some point we passed kitchenwares, and I picked up a bright red plastic colander and put it on my head. Wore it for the two more hours we were in the store, and no one said a word. (Tho some may have been thinking, “Don’t annoy the crazy person…”)

      I still have the colander. Apparently I was indeed touched, whether or not by His Noodly Appendage.

  23. I mean really, you have to consider the alternative to being peculiar here. Do you want to be like them? No? Then embrace the peculiarity.

    1. Last night, I started drafting a comment that went “I want to be so alien to them that they run screaming out of the room…” Then I decided it was a bit over the top, probably not clearly expressed, too reliant on an audience familiar with what Sanity means in Mythos roleplaying games, and familiar with the religious model for left behavior.

      1. “I want to be so alien to them that they run screaming out of the room…”

        I fail to see the problem! 😀

  24. I followed a link today, and apparently the Anasazi are now supposed to be called “Ancestral Puebloans” instead, while cannibalism is not to be mentioned. Evidence of dismemberment and eating of humans is now just evidence of “social cleansing” or “ethnic cleansing,” as if that would be better somehow.

    I guess we could just call them Cannibalistic Ancestral Puebloans.

    1. Isn’t that just another name for an indigineous American Home mortgage? A Pueb-Loan?

    2. Remember when they were trying to spin butchered-exactly-the-same-as-other-large-animals-and-in-the-same-trash heap human bones were supposed to be nothing more than “unusual funeral practices”?

      1. To be fair, though, they are talking about how the Puebloans survived AD 536, and the cannibalism didn’t show up until the 900’s.

        (The big Cahokia tomb of sacrificed girls happened about AD 1000. Ah, the glories of Mississippian culture being brought up river from Meso-America.)

        1. However, some tribes apparently had some cannibalism into historic times. Most notably the villagers of Awatovi, who were rapidly becoming Catholic converts, and whose chief sold them out to another couple of Hopi villages with the intent to destroy everyone.

          The adult male martyrs of Awatovi (and their still-pagan neighbors) were burned alive in their kivas, most villagers killed, the village razed, captives killed along the way, and there’s archaeological evidence that 30 captives were eaten by their captors. In AD 1700.

          1. The women and children got killed, too, btw. Apparently there was some thought of enslaving them, but it was decided that they all had to go.

            But that’s just social control and cleansing, I’m sure. Yay.

              1. Btw, Awatovi had been majority-Christian since about 1630, when a boy blind from birth was miraculously healed when a Franciscan friar held a cross in front of his eyes. There was a whole history of churches being built, other Hopi coming and destroying the churches, friars building mission friaries for themselves, friars getting killed in 1680, etc. Awatovi was large, prosperous, and a center of trade and adopting European technology, so envy might have been involved.

                It was at Awatovi that sheep, peaches, and wheat were first introduced to the Southwest.

                The Spanish name for the village, if you need a search term for old Spanish records, is Aguatubi.

                Also some of the women and children did survive, but they had to demonstrate that they knew and practiced Hopi religious songs and rituals, and were separated and dispersed among several villages where they had no kin. Yay.

                1. Oh, and they had to be unbaptized to be allowed to survive. Yeah, I think martyrdom in odium fidei is pretty well established, there. And there were at least 800 or 900 martyrs, plus pagan neighbors who were made victims for whatever reasons.

                  People think the US doesn’t have many notable saints, but clearly we have plenty of homegrown saints and martyrs who are not being taught about.

                  1. Oh, geez, it gets worse. The Hopi attacking the village invoked a special katsina (kachina) ogre spirit, to allow them to do horrible slaughter and help them out.

                    And there are still people out there who make images of this particular Awatovi ogre spirit. Ughhhh.

                    Yeah, tell me again about how it was only the Spanish who ever did anything bad.

                    And I think that is enough Internet search in the morning. Especially right before church.

                    But if you want to visit the Awatovi ruins, apparently you have to arrange a tour with the reservation and hire a guide there.

                    1. They have kachina dancers for this. Ogre Man and Ogre Woman make grabs at spectators. Awatovi Scavenger chases clowns to try to eat them, and has a stolen sheep crook. The men have knives, and the woman has a saw.

                      There are some books about all this Awatovi Massacre stuff.

                  2. People think the US doesn’t have many notable saints, but clearly we have plenty of homegrown saints and martyrs who are not being taught about.

                    It embarrasses a lot of folks– and a lot of the time you have to do things like explain WHY the people “protecting” the “natives” were so upset about them being taught how to read and write, and go into some messy religious stuff between Catholic and Protestant as well as between various native tribes….

                    Same way that a LOT of St. Paul’s stuff just got kinda… skipped… like what he did before he became known as Saint Paul….

                    1. Some archaeologists draw the connections but won’t publish them, unless they get ironclad evidence. (Like the guy who collected tons of cannibalism/Anasazi material.) Others publish every crazy idea that comes into their heads, and have friends at the Guardian.

                    2. Oh, and the whole katsina thing is apparently heavily influenced by Mexican culture back in the year 900’s day, so that is why they had cannibalistic katsina to call on, in the first place.

      2. I saw an article recently about how archeologists had found Corprolite in the hearth of an ancient home that had evidence of human remains. (How they did that I don’t think I want to know) Thus proving that the cannibals had eaten the family, at home, and dumped on the hearth as a gesture of disrespect. My first thought was that they probably went to the same high school as I did -The cannibals, not the family- They would have thought it was funny.

        Oh and Foxfier, I admit to being dense, but i spent a good thirty seconds mentally trying to figure out how to spin-butcher a large animal.

        1. DNA analysis of feces and coprolites is pretty easy for archaeology, these days. Paleontology does it too. Usually you find plants and animals, not human remains, but it is the same principle.

          Not that taking the samples is fun, I am sure.

        2. My first thought was that they probably went to the same high school as I did -The cannibals, not the family- They would have thought it was funny.

          Puts you ahead of a lot of these folks… I swear, they NEVER draw the connection.

          1. Some archaeologists draw the connections but won’t publish them, unless they get ironclad evidence. (Like the guy who collected tons of cannibalism/Anasazi material.) Others publish every crazy idea that comes into their heads, and have friends at the Guardian.

    3. “Ancestral Puebloans,” because the Navajo term, “Enemies of our Ancestors” (or the reverse, can’t recall easily) was a wee bit too accurate, and it offended the current Puebloan peoples.

      I thought the Hopi trick of pulling the ladders out of the enemy’s dwellings, then tossing chili peppers into the fire to blind and choke everyone was also nice. Such peace-loving, gentle souls, all of them.

      1. It is just means that we can be culturally authentic if we go over academic publications with a fine toothed comb, and butcher but not eat the academics who are clearly not of Our People.

        I mean, you all don’t want to be racist, and insensitive, so if objecting to such practices is racist and insensitive, you clearly can’t have any problem with Our Side TM doing it to others.

        You can’t really love peace unless you will cheerfully implement the peace of the grave where there can otherwise be only war.

      2. Weren’t chili peppers introduced into the Western Hemisphere by Europeans? Like that iconic Western vision, the tumbleweed?
        What’s more dangerous than a polar bear? A bipolar bear!

        1. No, chili peppers come from the Americas. That’s completely settled and well-known and attributed. It’s just that they were extremely popular and got adopted worldwide as quickly as possible. As were maize and potatoes and sweet potatoes.

          Tumbleweeds definitely come from Siberia, though.

        2. Nope. Per wikipedia, Mexico. Article later says that first contact was there, and we use the Nahuatl word, and suggests that South America was the more recent origin.

          Context suggests possibly they were domesticated even earlier by the South American civilization we infer existed, that is mostly undiscovered. So cultivation prior to the evidence that wiki mentions may have all the evidence buried under the jungle.

        3. Nope. It’s the original pepper that’s native to the Old World, from India. Within fifty years of Columbus, we have a poet hymning the wonders of the red pepper, the poor man’s spice, and soon red pepper displayed black pepper from every dish in India not religiously required to use black pepper.

    4. You know, there aren’t really /that/ many anthropologists in the United States.

      The number to be murdered or executed to carry out a social cleansing of the field would be fewer. There would still be reservoirs of contamination among the anthropologists living among the foreign devil populations, but I also have a theoretical model for answering that.

      Scholarship is a social construct. Universities are funded by government. The extent to which university scholars have aided and still aid forces controlling the government in screwing over disadvantaged Americans impeaches the scholars and the universities.

      “Bob does not need a theoretical model in advance for people to implement a satisficing solution; some satisficing solutions implemented by people /cannot/ be modeled in advance.” has been a remarkably calming discovery for me. I still like to find theoretical models, I still get lost thinking them over, and I still forget that there are things outside the model. However, rediscovering that I don’t /need/ to have a theoretical model helps break me out of some of the angry obsessive loops.

  25. As a member of the society of Odds,* I can so relate to what I am seeing in the comentariat here. We know that humans have innate urges to conformity. I really feel sorry for the poor bastards too. It’s like they’re living life on a treadmill, with the carrot on a fishing rod, perched just out of reach and no matter how fast they run they can never catch it. For many of us, conformity was not ever available. As a lad I would have been thrilled to even be considered to sit at the ‘B’ table in high school. I got over it when I realized that they would never actually like me, at best to be a toady to people who were at heart, nasty bastards. So to become a non-entity, I wore my cloak of invisibility behind a shield of eccentricity. Wrote poems published in the school newspaper, and everyone left me alone.
    That to be said I want to add, as Odds we are in good company. Here I offer a few excerpts as published in the Music of my Youth:
    “why do I have to move with a crowd, of kids who barely know that I’m around?
    I work myself to death, just to fit in!” -The Who, Quadrophenia
    “Do the walls close in to suffocate ya,
    You ain’t got no friends, and the all the others they hate ya,” -Frank Zappa, Apostrophe

    * The Society of Odds does not exist, in case you were looking for the website because as Odds, no one could agree on a charter, a location, or agenda. So we called the whole thing off and just went and had a beer.

      1. They say I can’t be a nonconformist because I’m not like the other nonconformists. 😛

  26. A friend of mine (liberal, borderline socialist) once told me that my primary universe wouldn’t work. The servants are in absolute control.

    It only works because the Clan servants are genetically created to take care of the Blod and will go crazy if they can’t serve. Historically, they only manage it by taking complete control and turning the aristocracy into their pampered pets. If their every whim is granted and they’re helpless, they won’t rebel…

    I think it interesting that with her politics she still recognized on some level that human nature would pull any socialist system apart at the seams.

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