Having learned an old language with many accretions, first, I knew the world puerile before I learned Latin and found that it came from puer — boy in Latin.

Once I knew that, though, it made sense. Puerile behavior is that of a group of boys, by which we should not picture the sober school boys, with much on their minds and a career potentially ahead of them, but a pack of village boys, illiterate and bored because even though they have to help with chores, there is nothing to occupy their minds.

So they run in a pack and are susceptible to impulse and sudden whim, which means they can as well save an animal from a ditch as stone to death a dog, but usually the later.

I don’t suppose most of you have had experience with that, because most of you didn’t grow up in real rural society, where the boys of the underclass were just allowed to run wild. The closest comparison might be to youts in the urban cores, but even there it is different, because they are more likely to be occupied with drug trafficking or selling at an early age.

Puerile is not just unlawful or wanton, it’s also…. futile. Childlike in the sense a bored child will do whatever comes to mind, even when it’s stupid, meaningless or counterproductive.

And it is the best description for the behavior of those who fancy themselves our superiors.

I suppose they have the acquisition of money and power as their goal, but the thing is that after a certain point money is just markers of success, and again, at a certain point the markers are meaningless.

These people have nothing to do. They have nothing to strive for.

Somehow, being utterly devoted to themselves, they are not connected to anything else, even their children and families. They don’t live FOR anything. They just live. There is no purpose to it.

Like bored village boys, they run in packs and do the craziest things because they’re bored. Like “spirit cooking” which no adult human being would consider for a moment on any level of seriousness.

This is reflected in the stories they write, which are boringly predictable and nihilistic. You start a story, and start following someone with interest and then of course, the nice mother must be adulterous or a murderer. The businessman is corrupt, etc. etc.

Because it’s easier to pull the cord on something, and make people feel emotion when you destroy something than when you build a more subtle end.

This was particularly effective when that turn off was a surprise, because no one did that. But that was a good 100 years ago. At this point, we expect the disillusionment and the spoiling.

The “Sudden and yet inevitable betrayal.”

So it no longer achieves a punch. It no longer means anything. It’s boring and dreary and gray, and an indication of why most entertainment branches are meaningless.

Like our politics and our politicians, they’ve become puerile. A semiotics that equates stoning a dog to death, or running pulling a stuck vixen out of a ditch.

The terrible primal force of bored boys, which made the “apprentices” in Shakespeare’s day a force of destruction, is now in charge of our cultural institutions and our politics, and most of our agencies.

Which is why we, alas, against our own better judgement, the adults, must build under, build over, build around.

Because that puerile force is evil, and yet meaningless, a nightmare that passes and leaves destruction in its wake.

And we must build.

226 thoughts on “Puerile

  1. Puerile is a good word to describe them. I could wish–since they are so hell-bent on destroying themselves and us with them, that they would leave the rest of us out of their deadly equations and self-destruct without us. And so my prayer: that God will intervene to protect the rest of us from their evil games.

  2. Minor nit: puer is Latin, not Greek. I forgot the Greek word.
    Dum puer cum puellula
    moraretur in cellula
    felix coniunctio!

    (grafitti on a wall in Pompeii)

      1. And in fact Kore was Persephone’s name before that to-do with the chariot and the daffodil.

        1. Didn’t “Kore” (or “Cora”) mean the Maiden?

          IE Not a real name, but a title.

          1. She was called Kore. I think it’s not very meaningful when dealing with goddesses to distinguish. (There’s some reason to believe that Pallas Athena merely means “The Maiden of Athens.”)

  3. I really don’t understand how most of these characters can have affairs. In my experience, the middle and lower classes are too busy working and spending time with family to have the a) time and/or b) money to have an affair.

    1. I guess you’ve known a far better class of trash than I’ve seen over the years. From the redlands in south Florida, through the Carolinas, New York, up to Barrow, Alaska, I’ve known lots and lot of no acounts that could be charter members of the Harper Valley PTA.

      1. “Middle and lower class” folks. White (or any other color of the melanin crayon box) trash is a distinct culture. I’ve known and met people from all across the economic and cultural expression of the American South, from North Florida to Northern Virginia and various points in between, from trailer parks that could only be improved by tornado, fire, and flood (at the same time, even) to “houses” and grounds that ought by rights to have their own zip code and probably hold the economic wealth of an entire town to boot.

        Trash is trash no matter where you find it, in my admittedly limited scope of experience. There exist what I’d call “poor but honest” types that are such through circumstance. Not corrupted by moral decay, ennui, lassitude, or apathy. Such people with at least a rough idea of principles and the importance of keeping their word.

        You won’t likely find them in the same places as you find human trash. At least, not for long. They’d not suffer it any longer than you or I, most like. There are also rich trash- these need no explanation for those who have encountered such.

        Trash keeps no promises and that extends into the marital bond as well. Puerile is a notch above in my book. Boys, even somewhat feral boys such as those I grew up around, at least have the excuse of youth and inexperience. Grown *ss adults might have been maleducated and corrupted, brought up in poor moral circumstance and without proper guidance and rules…

        But they’re all grown up and consequence should not be withheld for ignorance. Lack of consequence creates adults that have no bloody idea what the real world is. Human beings are born into the world tiny selfish savages. It is only through training and proper guidance and example can they become properly civilized. When they do not get that, they nearly always turn out bad. When they don’t turn out bad, bet you they had some example that they followed to learn proper civilized behavior. Even if it was fiction. Sometimes, especially so.

        On another tack, money makes the problems of trash human beings worse. They don’t become less trash. More likely, it exacerbates the problems that already existed. There are lots and lots of examples of mental illness and poor decision making out there.

        For those with belief, or the right kind of belief I suppose, you can look at the fact that everything has not completely turned to faeces instantly as evidence of the Almighty. Despite all the reasons to do bad things or make poor/selfish choices, altruism and pure, honest goodness exists in human beings. Charity. Honestly. Courage. Despite all the crap piled upon human beings nigh constantly, there is hope and beauty in the world and at least some of it is created by humans.

        Sometimes a human being needs to hear that. It’s easy to see the awfulness in the world. If you but look at the news, or Twatter, or a lot of the interwebz, they shove it into your face with cackling glee.

        But that’s not the world. It’s only the world they want you to see, because it usually benefits them somehow. Or at least they believe it does.

        If you who read this are tired, or weary of all the awfulness, if you cannot raise your voice (or your middle fingers), at least commit to endure. There is always hope, and goodness, at least somewhere in the world.

        1. Trailer park elves? 😀

          I attribute the ‘world not turning to crap’ to natural selection. Our primitive ancestors 200,000 years ago had a lot less margin for bad behavior. ‘Cave-man trash’ unworthy of social trust endangered themselves and the whole group. They had to be corrected, or removed from the tribe. Individuals and tribes that failed to deal effectively with such behavior died out.

          Modern technological society provides a lot more leeway for counter-survival behavior. Believing and speaking absurdities no longer brings swift and effective correction. Thus, we see a proliferation of absurdity.
          Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

          1. Eh. While I agree, mostly, there is another element to it, I think. From history, there were trash people all throughout. Sure, they couldn’t be as lazy. That’s a developed civilization thing.

            But trash bandit kings? Yep. Still happens today. See Africa, Middle East, etc. Trash tends to hustle enough to get by, maybe just barely, but no more effort than absolutely necessary.

            I’ve known trash human beings that live, essentially, not much different than our hominid ancestors occasionally. Hunt for food, steal when its easier, generally amoral b*stards. They live longer and with less effort, sure, in most developed nations.

            Goat herders in the high hills of Afghanistan? No bets, there are trash human beings there that they’re not.

            Low tech lowers the difference, at least wealth wise, between individual human beings. But, still and all, there are those that think they can get by just taking what they want from others. Short term thinking.

            Sometimes they are right. In the short term, at least. Raiding, slave taking, amoral b*stard behavior exists in all cultures that I’ve studied, old and modern.

            So yeah, I mostly agree. But the distinction I think is that stupidity carries a harsher, more lethal punishment when the margins are low. Tolerance for, say, horse thievery (and modern equivalents) appears higher in modern times because the loss of horse (equivalents) in modern time do not inevitably lead to death and serious suffering in the least case in modern times. Consequences are high when the margins are thin. If not having your car, say, was akin to not having your space suit, say, when you live on an asteroid, then the consequence for car theft (or space suit theft) might well include death.

            For cave-man trash, in the accounts I’ve read and studied, people are still willing to put up with a lot of sht. So long as it isn’t lethal threats (i.e. actions that *will cause the death of one or more people you actually like), people justify putting up with *ssholes quite often. Even in situations on the margins.

            But stupidity? That sh*t got lethal right quick. Low margin stupidity was almost always lethal. Yet it didn’t manage to eliminate the quality from the human gene pool.

            Still sucks for the rest of us, though. Heck, sometimes I do stupid stuff, too, and it annoys me. Not as much as dealing with trash human beings, though.

              1. Heh. Have at it. Trash is its own worst enemy. They seldom do the simple, easy, and correct/moral thing if they can get away with grift, lies, and blame shifting. Trash societies exist full of squabbling little goblin people.

                Petty becomes of paramount importance, to that sort. Drama reigns supreme. The stories of trash often stretch the limits of belief, as reality holds no such limits as making sense. Look up stories of enlisted military wife drama, trailer park stories, hood drama, and the like. Sit in your local courthouse for a day or two. Read the busted papers. Or just grab the local low class gossip (there are many) and sit a spell and listen.

                Trash always gravitate to the margins of society. If they have money, they waste it. Power, position, prestige? Only sticks around if the power structure is equally corrupt. Trash is not smart.

                But trash may, on occasion, be conman-clever. Your best bet and a civilized human being is to keep yourself as far away from trash human beings as possible. Which is, normally, not that hard unless your luck is exceptionally poor or your job requires you to go into their demesne. Which is, for the poorer type, almost invariably public housing, trailer parks, and cardboard boxes.

                If addictive drugs or alcohol are available, trash will always be imbibing, injecting, or whathaveyou whenever they can. They will lie, cheat, and steal with a smile, and call any who follow the law and work for a living fools. They believe themselves kings and queens of all they survey (usually a pile of actual trash is in view, ironically enough), and deceive and connive reflexively.

                Treat them like the goblins they are, pernicious and often pustulant pestiferous problems to all civilized beings. Trash rarely rises to the level of mid boss. Their natural position is of mook, rank and file bad guys and sources of frustration for the PoV protagonists- and, often enough, the BBEG. These are not nice people. They always believe their problems are caused by someone else, never their own fault.

                Writing wise, believable trash make you want to punch them in the face, repeatedly. If they are comic relief, they’re not trash but poor clowns in service of the plot-device (which is fine). If they actually show intelligence and wit on more than rare occasions, they’re standard issue goons, not trash.

                When I said that such places would be only improved by fire, flood, or tornado I mean that quite literally. The cause of civilization is only improved by the removal of trash human beings. They are incorrigible, on the main. Extremely rare instances exist of former trash becoming respectable. As in tiny, minuscule fractions of a single percent.

                But seriously, if you want to include trash, local court and the like are probably the easiest ways to get the characters right.

                1. Trash humanity, one way or another, got culled ruthlessly one way or another for the longest time.

                  I wouldn’t want to go back to how trash humans were culled on a regular basis. It’s not kind in any way, shape, or form. But, damned if I’m not tempted.

                2. All of those types, and those not quite as bad but still adjacent to them, sound familiar… One more reason to escape.

        2. Amen.
          My beloved is quoting someone (I forgot who) when he says if all the world’s riches were evenly distributed to every human on earth, in five years the rich would be rich once more and the poor would be poor (or dead).
          My brother, God bless him, is one. He blew his half of Dad’s inheritance in 11 months.

          1. I actually disagree. Many of the rich either inherited their wealth, and have no idea how to make it grow, or became wealthy long ago, and have lost whatever talent made them so. My late mother taught me that the rule was “shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations”. One of the core reasons for a Social Elite to exist is to skew conditions to prevent this. The Old Nobility did, the Planter Aristocracy did, and today’s Progressive Establishment does.

            1. My own disagreement is on different grounds. If all the world’s riches were evenly distributed to every human on earth, it would mean destroying all large accumulations of capital – and those are necessary to keep a complex society going. The result would not be a return to the same distribution of wealth, but a massive destruction of wealth, as the wastrels would waste their shares and the clever and industrious would lack the working capital to rebuild theirs. The whole world would be poorer, without becoming more equal.

              The history of Argentina during and after Perón’s rule is an instructive example.

              1. That is, indeed, the SECOND core problem with Socialism; the nitwit idea that equal shares of everything would amount to a working society. The FIRST core problem is the problem with all the flavored of Progressivism; the notion that a corps of ‘experts’ in central authority could possibly run a complex society anywhere but into the ground.

            2. His point was the rich (which should probably include the middle class) have the habits that let one accumulate wealth, while the chronically poor don’t. So the wealth would redistribute itself. There’s a lot of truth in the shirt sleeve rule, though.

          2. That is true, that the rich would be rich and the poor poor again for those that acquired it through hard work or thrift, but there are many who are hedge fund babies or have gotten a cushy job through nepotism.

            I have sometimes thought of the democrat party’s base as those who receive checks in the mail, some times the checks are large, sometimes they are small, but the recipients perceive money as growing on trees not a valuation of work generating wealth contributed to the economy.

            Brandon’s family is clearly trash.

            The goals of the socialists are to lock in their place in the hierarchy so that it doesn’t matter how stupid they are.

            I’ve thought that the super wealthy rarely stay wealthy past three generations, and almost never past five without outside intervention( Hedge funds that only distribute money in installments, and laws preventing nobles from selling their lands are examples). Large amounts of wealth seem to lead to hedonism or occasionally simply giving the bulk away in charity.

            I think upper middle class (skilled professionals, engineers, doctors, scientists) is a bit more sustainable over numerous generations, but all the generations have to work hard.

          3. It wouldn’t be exactly the same people, no, but the proportions of rich to poor would be the same. And in many cases, it would be the exact same people. Because keeping wealth is difficult, especially when there are lots of policies and laws designed to keep you from being able to do so.

          4. @ Dorothy > “in five years the rich would be rich once more and the poor would be poor”

            I once had a very wise Stake President who often remarked that there was a reason the Lord said “The poor ye have always with you.” Some people don’t ever learn how to be not-poor, and it didn’t matter much what their actual income base was.
            Verified by my personal experience with even good people: not really trash, but bin-adjacent.

            1. Really does not matter the economic level, some folks will always live paycheck to paycheck while slowly digging themselves further into debt with each cycle. They are seemingly incapable of self denial of any sort when it involves material goods or creature comforts and depend on that reboot every seven years to wash everything clean, rinse, and repeat.
              Been a while, does the law still only permit filing bankruptcy every seven years?

              1. You can file as often as you like. If you go through to completion, spacing depends on the chapter. 7, which is full discharge of debt is a minimum of 7 practically 8 years between discharges. Ch 13, which is Payment plan is 2 years from successfully completing the plan. If you go from 13 to 7, which is common it gets messy. Chapter 11 is business workout, that’s really case dependent. All of it is messy and depends on how you came out of the previous filing,

                Banks will often lend to newly discharged ch7 filers because they can’t go bankrupt again and they have a good case in court if the borrower defaults. It doesn’t actually work out in practice, but banks have never been constrained by things working or not.

            2. The best result I have heard of, from studies of lottery winners, is the one that concluded that it does not actually change the odds of your filing for bankruptcy.

  4. “Puerile” is a great word.

    The word that rustles my metaphorical jimmies these days is “deconstruct” and its forms. In modern entertainment and culture, everything has to be “deconstructed.” The Bible has to be deconstructed. Movies have to be deconstructed. Stories have to be deconstructed. Heroes have to be deconstructed.

    And when they deconstruct–which is a fancy word for destroy, pull down, un-construct–they build a random pile of rocks and metal out of the beautiful statue they’ve torn down, and tell us that we must now worship it.

    They cannot build. They can only destroy.

    1. The sad thing is some things called deconstruction are actually quite good. The issue is a lot like Cage and Pollock which teach us some useful things they are followed by imitators who don’t understand what the original deconstructor did or why, generally because you need to do a lot of work in a field to successfully deconstruct it (to quote Dali, “To be a surrealist you must first be a realist”). Thus, why Moore’s Watchman is a great story built by deconstructing superheroes (specifically asking about the mental state of an RL Batman and getting several different maladjusted answers[1]) and rebuilding the stories with an attempt at psychological realism.

      But that level of understanding of the parts, how to disassemble them, modify them, and reassemble them is hard work.

      It’s much easier to just be a nihilist and claim you’re creating “more real” art.

      [1] In fairness, I’ll admit I identify with Rorshach, especially at the end, but Dan has been creeping up on that front.

      1. Personally I have more respect for Marcel Duchamp, who openly set out to destroy the concept and the institution of art, as when he entered a urinal as a sculpture in an exhibition that refused on principle to adopt any definition of “art.” It’s kind of sad that generations of later critics insisted on classifying his anti-art as a higher and more sophisticated form of art.

        1. The reason I respect Cage and Pollack is they said something that needed to be said at the time…Cage about how music is simply organized sound and Pollack about the end point of painterliness. While Cage certainly ran the scam for more than needed to make the point a buck is a buck and at least there was initially a point.

          Their imitators didn’t even get the point much less expand on it.

        2. Cubism was artists painting what they’d been taught. The art schools of the day had the students break everything into geometric shapes. Most of that early avant Garde stuff was reactions to academic paining. Taking literally what they’d been told. It was, and is, very interesting. I remember the day it hit me, I’m a bit slow.

    2. Another word that needs to be revived, and which applies to most of these twerps, is ‘vulgar’. The beauty of it is that they are so invested in being Better Sorts, that being tagged as the vulgar trash they are would really HURT.

    3. The irony is that deconstruction has a proper use. Have you ever read the Dungeon Samurai series? Excellent books. People are transported to another world where they get powers. And they make a point that the reason they are able to soldier on is that many of them get powers that are useful for farming or mining, or other skills to keep the world rolling.

      Heck, in Through A Mirror, Darkly, I deconstruct a morally wrong-headed superhero trope. And I don’t even have any antiheroes in it!

  5. Old joke:

    The difference between a French man and an American man is this: the French man knows the Kept Woman he’s paying for. He gets to enjoy the fruits of that relationship. The American man is paying to keep a woman on welfare somewhere, but doesn’t enjoy it at all.

  6. Because it’s easier to pull the cord on something, and make people feel emotion when you destroy something than when you build a more subtle end.

    It is also why they can’t do even certain kinds of unsubtle ends, such as adventure fiction. One basic idea of adventure fiction is the protagonist is on some level the good guy, even in anti-hero Westerns such as made Clint Eastwood famous in the end his various amoral Man with No Name characters overcome evil characters.

    Sometimes I wonder if that is why they despise Gor so much and not the bad writing or male-dominated S&M worldview (note: the majority of Gor fans are female, even under 18, in a ratio similar to or higher than university admissions).

    I’m reminded of this story: The Backlash To ‘The Last Jedi’ Showed That ‘Star Wars’ Fans Actually Liked Luke Skywalker. They are legitimately surprised people like heroes and adventure fiction and its close relatives like the Western don’t function without a hero or an anti-hero. And no, an anti-hero isn’t just a generic bad guy but a narrow band of amoralism mixed with heroic tropes who acts heroically for non-heroic motives (even Conan is arguably an anti-hero, more so than Han Solo).

    It’s why “Sword &” is going to spend so much time on public domain fiction from the period of roughly 1880 to 1920.

    1. Side note: My husband loves Star Wars, loves Luke Skywalker, and loved what they did with him in The Last Jedi… because he is a chronically depressed individual, and the reactions were exactly in line with chronic depression.

      Not smart, not heroic, but the kind of bad decision tree you make when you don’t have a good emotional regulator in your head.

      1. That’s not what “they” did with him. It’s primarily what Hamill did with him (although Hamill stated repeatedly that he didn’t see this guy as being Luke, but as being a totally different old depressed guy, whom he called “Jake Skywalker”), and a bit what Rian Johnson’s writing partner did with him.

        Luke Skywalker was a stubborn, volatile guy with various issues, but depression wasn’t one of them.

        1. Luke liked to whine and boast, but his idea of being depressed was kicking a rock or running off to bitch to somebody, and probably while working on a mechanical project.

          1. Luke tended to whine and boast WHEN HE WAS A CALLOW KID in the first movie and part of the second!

            By the third, he’d grown and matured, and in the (now cancelled) EU he’d grown, becoming wiser and stronger and more capable.

            Much like Han Solo, the sequels reversed his character arc instead of moving it forward.

            1. And in additional defense of that whiny callow kid: He whined, but he was also a good kid – did his chores, obeyed his Aunt and Uncle, acquiesced to “you are needed on the farm” (most likely because he actually understood the work of the farm and could see that it was true) rather than evolving a plan to run away from the “oppression.”

          2. That’s what I loved about Luke’s character development in the EU novels: he maintained that wholesome farmboy core, while becoming wiser, stronger, and the galaxy’s ultimage bad@$$.

        2. Oooh. I like the idea of a Jake Skywalker.

          Luke had an older cousin-raised-as-a-brother, also basically an orphan, who was a depressive, and had left the farm a bit before the events of ANH.

          But, to my view, Lucasfilm stopped producing stuff that was really canon, and I’m definitely /not/ interested in having a way to explain the Disney trilogy as being somehow canon.

    2. It’s part of the reason why Top Gun: Maverick is so popular right now. The protagonist, Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, is no Dudley Do-right, But he’s a genuinely nice guy who cares for the people around him.

      1. Exactly…and he’s an argument against the “all heroes or goody two shoes no one likes”.

        Then again, I appreciate how they actually worked in the “time to move on to the next phase of life” into that movie.

      2. Oh, and they deserve credit for the single best “women can be just as good as men” plot point as required in modern films in Phoenix.

        Plus I really liked Bob.

        1. I thought the new hotness was men are better at being women than women are. It’s all so confusing. 😜

          1. Well, men are better at identifying as women than women since most women just assume they are women and thus don’t actively identify as women thus, given woman is defined as “anything who identifies as a woman is a woman” women who don’t actively identify as women aren’t really women or at least not very good women but men who identify as women are women and not men thus those men who aren’t men but women are better women than women who don’t actively identify as women who aren’t really women but some unidentified thing.

            This completes my gender studies dissertation. Failure to hire me as gender studies facility constitutes discrimination against my ethnic group.

        2. I suspect Bob is on the spectrum, which would explain his complete lack of social ability, why he’s considered so bland that his call-sign (given by his fellow air crewmen) is his name, and why he’s considered one of the best back seat operators (the people who handle the plane’s electronics) in the fleet. The movie handles him well, imo.

          Phoenix is also done well, as you note. She’s one of the best pilots in the navy. But so is every other pilot present. And aside from Hangman (and people would complain if the movie didn’t have at least one pilot like him), they’re not overly arrogant about it amongst themselves. Nor does the movie feel a need to engage in belittling any pilot’s abilities to build up other pilots.

          It shows real equality without calling attention to it.

          1. Yeah, that Ward Carroll channel on YouTube had a whole video on nicknames and callsigns, with some real life examples. Very good.

            Also, don’t miss the Top Gun parody video from back in the day at Oceana by the fighter guys. Pretty funny.

    3. I see Gor as the literary equivalent of moonshine whiskey. It’s nasty stuff of uneven and generally low quality, but it does pack a 100 proof emotional punch. So it’s a secret vice for many, while others are righteously outraged by it and want to take a hatchet to it, Carrie Nation style.

      (I was surprised, years and years ago, to learn that the majority of Gor fans were female. I had figured its audience to be about 98% male, in an inversion of the mostly-female audience for romance novels.)

      1. I genuinely enjoyed the first 5 1/2 books, they were real ripping yarns. Then they went all didactic and I stopped reading them. Whatever floats your boat and all, but not my thing.

        1. One of my favorites was one of the “Earth women transported to Gor” but can’t remember if it is Captive, Slavegirl, or Kajira (I think Kajira). It turned into a love story.

          Planning to cover Tarnsman and Sharon Green’s The Crystals of Mida, the first of the Jalva: Amazon Warrior novels which were written as a response to Gor (as were her Terrilian novels) for Garbaugust.

          1. My dad gave me, “Captive of Gor.” His review when we discussed it: “He sure doesn’t know much about women.”

            1. LOL

              Depends on the woman I guess. I know several hard core Gorian women who seek (and sometimes get) relationships as Kajiras.

              Then again, even Normal (in the second book) noted a lot of Tarnsman’s apartments are run by the Kajira as is the Tarnsman. Fitting with his “Bronze Age sensibilities” is a strong current of a woman’s biggest power is behind the throne.

              While everyone can’t agree where somewhere between 5 and 8 he gave up on much beyond that particular brand of S&M fantasy (Captive is low teens if memory serves…Kajira is 19).

              Oh, and since we’re discussing, I forgot my favorites (and in Pride Month): the Mission District Trilogy: Hairdressers of Gor, Interior Decorators of Gor, and Drag Queens of Gor.

              Can’t find the link though.

              1. I rather enjoyed “The Houseplants of Gor” parody.

                Though I can’t say how accurate it was to the actual books.

        2. Book 9 (the “Viking” culture) wasn’t bad either. It also contained the single most magnificent “I could meet your unmeetable demands, here’s the proof, and I’d rather die than give you the satisfaction” scene evah (IMHO).

      2. Nope…explains the success of 50 Shades.

        Plus, a lot of men get the wrong idea about women into Gor such as the Tuchuk bunnies at Pennsic or women in the IRL S&M subculture.

        1. 50 Shades and Gor tickle that particular “romantic” bone in women of the Strong Man That Desires Them, with the Bad Boy With The Heart Of Gold under all of the black leather on top of it.

          The male version is the Femme Fatale, if you think about it.

        1. Several years ago, I skimmed through a list of “Top 20 books that people lie about reading”. 50 Shades was square in the middle of the list.

            1. Possibly 😛

              But the list was a “I said I read this book, but I was lying” list. I don’t know why people would feel the need to lie about that to a stranger who otherwise has no idea what you have and have not read.

      3. I’m what many modern people on the left would consider a raging misogynist, and even I find some of the Gor books a bit tiresome. The problem is just how PATHETIC the women are in the later books. What’s the point of a fantasy series about dominant men if the women are so easily tricked and trapped? I can’t imagine Talbot genuinely falling for and settling down with any of them.

        There’s some obvious John Carter of Mars inspiration here, but Talbot’s head would be on a pike if he tried to pull any of that crap with Dejah Thoris.

        John Carter would be able to manage it, but he wouldn’t be chasing any other women.

        (but then, maybe that’s why there were only a few books actually featuring Carter and Dejah Thoris: they’d want to settle down)

        1. There was a book by a 17-year-old girl that was several hundred pages of the adventures of a ditz; beautiful, beloved by every man she met, stumbling from one perilous situation to another almost at random. She never got out of a jam through her own efforts because her IQ was probably lower than her bra size. And then, she gets mortally wounded at the end and dies in the arms of her favorite male interest. The book had a single word title, the “heroine’s” name. AGGGHHHH!

            1. It was a “sensation,” at the time, flogged because of the age of the author. I think she wrote two books. One of them naynhave been titled, “Atlan,” or so thing similar.

              1. Jane Gaskell. There were a lot of long woman in peril sagas, back in the 1970’s. Also a lot of woman has sex historical sagas. And big family historical sagas. Gaskell pretty much crossed them with fantasy.

      4. I would love to drop Quiet in the middle of a Gor novel – with all her weapons and a source of ammo and repairs.

        Now THAT would be a love story.

        But not with her and Talbot. She’d empty his skull one page in.

  7. On the bright side, you can now have really fun subversions of expectations by having a character turn out to be exactly what it said on the tin, despite the cynicism of the viewpoint character.

    And those tend to be more enduring because they still work and make sense, even if the reader knows it going in.

  8. “Deconstruct” is a nice fancy word to avoid saying, “criticize.” It lets the people airing their grievances lie to everyone, including themselves, that their complaints are more than their opinions. And they grant themselves permission to tell everybody else to just shut up, because they’re revealing TRUTH, you bigot, and they’ll have none of your whateverphobic hatred telling them they’re wrong.

    They build themselves a fragile pedestal of brittle anger, and guard it with fanatical weirdos who can’t afford to think.

    1. The real shame of literary deconstruction is that there are some good tools there, when wielded by a skilled hand that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. The kind of person who can present a work, say “it could mean this incredible detailed theory that brings this deeper meaning to the world,” and then cap that with saying “or it could be just what it says on the tin. Or both. Have fun with it.”

      1. Thomas Fuller wrote The Profane State in 1642:

        She begins at first with doing tricks rather strange then hurtfull: yea some of them are pretty and pleasing. But it is dangerous to gather floures that grow on the banks of the pit of hell, for fear of falling in; yea they which play with the devils rattles, will be brought by degrees to wield his sword, and from making of sport they come to doing of mischief.

  9. The parasite class (I refuse to call them the elite class) seek to destroy everything that is good. The old saying about the devil finding work for idle hands is accurate. They tear down our beloved icons and claim they are the righteous ones. Do they know they are evil?

    1. No, they’re convinced they’re the good guys. You have to think you’re the good guy to do really evil things. Someone wrote yesterday that the world improvers would have been temperance crusaders in the 19th century. I’d add that they’d be witch and priest hunters in any of the previous centuries. the 18th century aversion to “enthusiasm” was the product of long, sad experience, and the French Revolution and all that followed showed how right they were to distrust it.

        1. That’s an insult to the Inquisition.

          The Inquisition operated under the principle that “They Had To Prove That The Accused Was Guilty”.

          Our Clowns operate under the principle “That The Accusation Proves That The Accused Is Guilty” and “Attempting To Show That You’re Innocent Means That You’re Guilty”.

        2. No, they wouldn’t be the Inquisition. The Inquisition was rigorous about identifying heresies and fastidious about evidence, and contrary to the Black Legend, it actively resisted the use of torture at a time when the secular courts of all nations relied on it as a primary method of securing confessions. (By canon law, torture by the Inquisition was limited to a single session, not more than fifteen minutes in duration, and causing no lasting bodily harm.)

          You know what happened if you went to the Inquisition to accuse somebody of witchcraft? They interrogated you on suspicion of heresy, because the Inquisition knew perfectly well that witchcraft doesn’t work. The records on this point are clear and abundant – and consequently, the countries where the Inquisition was in force had by far the lowest rates of witch-burning in Europe.

          A good short summary on the topic can be found in chapter 6 of Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History, by Rodney Stark. (It should be noted that Stark is not Catholic; at one time he described himself as ‘incapable of religious faith’, but nowadays calls himself an ‘independent Christian’. He is not pleading the case for his own side.)

          1. Haven’t read the Stark book yet, one major aspect of the Inquisition was the Church making “heresy charges” a Church matter not a Secular matter.

            At the time the various Inquisitions were started, Secular Rulers would accuse people of heresy, convict them, execute them and grab their property.

            The Church basically said “That’s Our Job”. As you said, they’d carefully check the evidence for heresy. Many times, they’d say “Not Guilty”. Other times, they’d say “this person is just ignorant of proper beliefs and show the person the proper beliefs”. Generally, if they punished the person, it would be light punishment by the standards of the time.

            In some cases, the Inquisition might find evidence that the accused was guilty of crimes requiring the death penalty but the accused would handed over to secular courts for trial and execution.

            Note, I’m going to put that book on my “To Be Purchased List”.

              1. At the time the various Inquisitions were started, Secular Rulers would accuse people of heresy, convict them, execute them and grab their property.

                The Church basically said “That’s Our Job”.

                I learn so much on this blog.

                Okay. I retract the part about accusing the current PTB as wanna be Inquisitors by the Church. Secular version OTOH … whether the name is valid to apply, still fits. “Quilty, grab the property!” PTB would be 100% in favor of.

      1. You see some of the Temperance movement’s spiritual descendants in the anti-vaping crowd. Honest, they use exactly the same techniques. They annoy me a bunch and I have never smoked or vaped.

      2. Yes, they believe that the ends justifies the means. They always believe their fantasy perfect world is being prevented by those that don’t think that they are wise philosopher kings that will usher in a perfect world.

        My view is that means must always come first in the morality equation, because people can justify anything if they can use the ends as an excuse.

    2. I doubt many men (or women) choose evil because it is evil. They choose it because they mistake it for happiness. I guess that leaves depravity as a measure of the inability to tell the difference.

  10. Unless (this is quite possible) I’ve forgotten an alternative, the Latin word for girl is ‘virgo’ implying that the female equivalent of puerile is virginal,

    Perhape we need to come up woth a word that means ‘mean girls bitchiness’ Virgile? Viragoile?

    1. Well, there’s ‘virago’ – “a loud, violent, and ill-tempered woman; scold; shrew”
      With the adjective being ‘viraginous’

      1. Just so, Virago is a woman who acts like a man. Vir, virile, etc, Puella actually comes from Puer, a young boy, a slave. The Latins didn’t make a distinction between young children until later.

  11. “This is reflected in the stories they write, which are boringly predictable and nihilistic.”
    You can see this in some of the various mass-media entertainment, as well. (disclaimer, I watch very little TV, so this is all based on what they show in the ads for said shows) Shows like “Animal Kingdom” or “Atlanta” or “Breaking Bad” or “The Boys” (OK, that I have watched the first two seasons.) There are NO “good guys,” only “less bad guys.”

    No one for the average Joe to root for, to hope they overcome the adversity of the week and rise above. Instead you’re expected to root for self-absorbed drug dealers and their ilk.

    Heck, even Frank Castle (the Punisher) is more of a “good guy” than most of what they’re trying to pass off as “good guys” now-a-days…

    1. The great thing about all of this crap entertainment is that I don’t have to spend a single dime on any of it.

      I only have cable TV because it costs more to have plain internet (and the only good option for me is Comcast, AT&T is crap around here) and not have cable.

      The last non-manga comic book series I bought was The Wildstorm, and even that you could tell at what point Warren Ellis was writing and where the editorial staff tore up what was left and shat on it.

      Books? With the exception of…Dresden Files, and maybe three or four other series, I haven’t bought a non-Baen fiction book in years.

      Gaming? Almost everything is stupid crap, either somebody’s Fantasy Heartbreaker or Woke to the point of never sleeping again.

      These are all terrible stories about terrible people. And, you can tell these are all stories being told by people that want to tell some other kind of story, but they can only get the money to do the stories they’re telling now. They hate it, they hate the audience that eats it up, and they hate that to make a living, they have to cater to people they hate.

      So, they decide to share the hate. In full.

        1. I’m going to have to order it from Amazon or wait for the trade paperback, as the local comic book shops either creep me out (and, that’s saying something) or they are so red they make Eric Flint look like a reactionary monarchist.

            1. …which is par for the course for many socialists and Communists. They want to be a member of the nobility, but they don’t want the old titles-and old responsibilities.

          1. as the local comic book shops either creep me out

            Heh. Our local comic shop doubles as the drag-show supply and erotica shop.

            It was also the only place in town to get basic make-up kits for theater classes.

            Great (?) combination if your target market is college students. Not so great for anyone else.

      1. “The great thing about all of this crap entertainment is that I don’t have to spend a single dime on any of it.”
        Oh. preach it! The Wokistas cannot command our eyeballs or our dollars for their awful moves, TV programs and print publications.
        It’s easier and easier just to cut the cable, watch old movies streaming or DVD, and buy used copies of those books which one still finds interesting.

  12. I’m watching the anime series “The Saga Of Tanya The Evil”. The main character is not so much an anti-hero as an un-hero. She cares for nothing and nobody except herself. Trouble is, that attitude won’t do her any good at all.

    Thus, at every turn, in order to achieve her selfish goals, Tanya has to pretend to be the perfect war hero. She has to play the part convincingly, and consistently, no matter what she really wants. She has to do everything possible to see that her country wins its battles, because she fears what would happen to her if they are defeated. She has to accept promotions, and ever greater responsibilities, in order to keep up the charade.

    So she becomes the commander of an elite strike force. She has to lead and inspire her troops, whether she wants to or not, because she has to have their support. They achieve victories against great odds, garner praise and commendations — and she resists, every step of the way.

    1. That’s pretty much the impetus for Commisar Caiphis Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM! He’d prefer to be shirking his duty, which could get him killed. But he’s also one of the most visible members of his unit. So he has to find ways to shirk that don’t look like shirking. And quite frequently, he finds himself in situations in which the safest place is on the other side of the enemy, so….

      The result is the aforementioned “HERO OF THE IMPERIUM” title.
      The series also occasionally asks whether he really is courageous, but just can’t admit it to himself.

      1. Funnily enough, there are allegations that it started out as a Nanoha fanfic.

        Which is to some extent a love letter to mecha anime in the form of a magical girl anime.

      2. Which I think the author has said was the biggest inspiration.

        We also don’t know how much of the books (they were written in first person) is accurate or the self-loathing of someone that realizes that he might be the sanest person in the entire 40K universe and realizes that the only way he can survive is to fake being as crazy as everybody else is. I think even the author isn’t too sure which it is with Caiaphas.

  13. They are on course to meet my prediction,


    ” “Unless the nation’s truckers can refill with Diesel Exhaust Fluid, the trucks will stop. Literally. DEF production is about to crater and the country’s largest truck-fueling company, Flying J, has been directed by Union Pacific railroad to decrease its DEF-receiving shipments by 50 percent or be 100 percent embargoed. Unless resolved, this demand may cause countless thousands of 18-wheelers to be force-parked very soon, perhaps starting this month.”

    1. I’d say there’s justification to convict the President, his Cabinet, and his entire Administration of Treason, and have them executed.

      1. Why are they making urea from natural gas? I thought urea came from urine. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just collect cow urine from a dairy barn, or similar?

        1. Okay, I read about it, and I admit that making it from chemicals is less messy. But if it’s an emergency, and you can basically make urea by simple processes and then mix it with deionized water to make DEF, wouldn’t it be simpler to just hire some chemists and let them start cooking some homebrew?

          1. Sounds like a new market for dairy farmers. Dunno what they’d have to do to actually collect the stuff though.

            Of course, the point is to kill us by inches, not find alternate sources of the products we need.

            And the need for DEF could be removed entirely by taking out the EPA mandated part/computer program that tells your engine you need it.

    2. Would filling the DEF tank with water trick the system and allow the truck to run? They probably thought of that, but maybe they were complete idiots?
      Andries Rhoodie: “You have to be more than stupid to screw up an AK-47. You have to be a complete idiot, and even then you have to work at it.”

      1. Hopefully, that’s true. I don’t know anyone who works on 18 wheelers vs cars, but I’d venture there might be a few differences in compression, timing, etc.

        1. I’ve heard stories of $10k jobs to rip the lockout out of the vehicle.

          And that they were already quietly happening on a regular basis months ago.

          1. Works for me. However, I’m wondering if they bypassed the various “black boxes” that send / record telemetry in newer equipment. Either the conspiracy involves a lot more people, or they’ve done a more extensive hack, or the hacks are only for the older vehicles the government is trying to take off the road.

            1. Also, to me, 10k sounds like it might include some electronic doodads.

              But a) this is LOL, because my experience level is so very close to zero b) I don’t have even a sliver of a thought how ‘off the books’ would impact costs.

              1. That’s what I’m hoping. I just hope the hack was done by someone as paranoid as I am, because the Feddies 20 year habit of getting “private companies” to gather intel for them in actual violation of the 4th and 5th Amendments means that they probably can’t take it to a “Non-conspiracy” shop for engine diagnostics.

                Note for Fed-symps: They don’t use it at trial, but somehow the “random” audits, vehicle inspections, etc. are pretty efficient targeters of wrongthinkers.

                1. AoS understands EXACTLY how this works.

                  “Big, state/party-aligned companies using their dossiers to subtly impose social credit would be much more compatible with this country than the hard CCP-style approach. It would be difficult to detect and, strictly speaking, it’s a voluntary system. You can opt out (or be kicked out) and you can still do everything you did before – you’ll just pay 5%-25% more for everything you buy. Why make you chafe under obvious bonds when they can just make you poorer while raising margins and tax receipts? That would be Social Credit, but done the right way. The American way.”


        2. an early trick was to replace the engine with one without DEF, as long as the truck was not registered in California or NY, or going to Cali (not sure about NY)

      2. I think a lot of Americans are getting to the point where the EPA is the least of things they’re prepared to violate.

    3. I say there’s shortages and embugrement briefly, and then people choose to live.
      I might be wrong. I’ve been wrong before. BUT I don’t think so.

      1. Our crack EPA and Transport Secretary Bootyboy would put out inspectors with orders to confiscate the rigs.

        1. Remember the Russians who stole all that ag equipment, hauled it back to mother Russia, and then found it had been electronically locked via engine firmware? Yeah, keep that in mind.

      2. I just posted something from Insty at the bottom of the thread re critical shortage of DEF which is needed for diesel engines to run, both trucks and farm equipment. This is being done with malice aforethought by Team HarrisBiden.

        1. Urea has been short for some time (we use solid and 40% liquor here. R&D has 330 gallons of liquor here, basically overstrong DEF (35% iirc)

    4. Hmmmm: Thermal depolymerization (TDP) can reduce just about any biomass to a high grade crude. The category “biomass” includes politicians. Probably should run them through the wood chipper first and maybe mix in in some sewage to bring the H2O fraction up.

      1. I recall a few years back where folks were taking waste cooking grease and oil from restaurants and processing it into usable diesel fuel. I think it had gotten to the point where the stuff was being stolen from the refuse containers. Funny in that prior to this it was waste they had to pay to have taken away.
        I think the Feds mostly put a stop to all that as they pitched a hissy because that pseudo diesel was not being hit with all the road taxes levied on the real stuff.

  14. I must have led a sheltered life; I had no idea what “spirit cooking” was. But when one of the first search hits referenced Aleister Crowley all was made clear. Oy…

    1. I had heard of it. And in a couple post on me own blog mocked it by using the title for something sensible that could rightly be called such: Using spirits (alcohols) as stove fuel. Fwiw, methanol burns cleanest, and isopropyl tends to soot badly.

      1. Ethanol works fine, too. The required “denaturing” (some type of poisonous additive) to avoid the beverage taxes might make it less clean-burning, although the ethanol I use in an alcohol lamp for singing the fuzz off of silk rod windings when I rebuild bamboo flyrods burns very clean.

        As far as having to look it up, I find myself doing that frequently, especially about terms used only by specialists, gaming enthusiasts or people who understand Latin or Greek. 🙂 No problem; it’s fun to learn new stuff at my age.

        1. I buy chemically pure alcohol that I mix with food grade lanolin to create a spray on lubricant for one of my hobbies. It mixes much better and stays in solution longer than if I use 97% Isopropyl, so it’s worth the considerable extra cost, at least to me.

          1. I suspect I know the nature of that hobby, since I share the technique; I simply got tired of thick, gummy lubes for those…ummm…articles for which carbide won’t work. 😉 BTW, 99% isopropyl seems to work fine, and stay mixed; having only 1/3 the water probably helps a lot.

            If the hobby is as I suspect, agitating in a large ziplock bag works as well as, maybe better than, spraying, and doesn’t get overspray all over the place.

            1. Yes sir, nailed it in one. And a gallon ziplock freezer bag is my containment vessel of choice.
              A hundred of the little gems at a go, about three spritzers into the bag, seal and agitate to coat thoroughly.

        2. Aye, ethanol burns almost as hot and quite clean, without the toxicity problem though then it’s expensive. Denatured seems a good compromise if precautions are taken.

  15. Three years of Latin in high school and I barely remember any of it. I was fine with amo/amas/amat/amamus/amatis/amant, but when it got to things such as the future perfect subjunctive (“Oh would that I will have loved”), I found conjugation incredibly annoying, although admittedly more concise.

    It helped tremendously with my English, though. “Ante” and “anti” are not the same thing! Whose vocabulary would be complete without “antediluvian”? It also made learning Russian much easier.

    Daylight Saving Time angers me because I know for what “am” and “pm” are abbreviations (see what even thinking about Latin does to grammar! I want an infinitive to split!). I switch to using 24-hour time during DST. It confuses my coworkers.

    1. Oh, and on yesterday’s subject, it really helped with reading Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni series, which I read in high school (as they were published).

  16. There have been several serious writing sins in the comics industry lately, and the primary reaction of fans was that it was not only stupid to do such things, but worse to eliminate all story and drama possibilities at the same time.

    Not just turning the Tim Drake version of Robin into someone bi — but also breaking up his relationship of twenty-some years with Stephanie Brown, and having her deliriously happy to meet the Other Man. Because apparently people aren’t allowed to have even the tiniest of mixed feelings, in the most humiliating and puzzling circumstances.

    Comics fans in comment sections have come up with all kinds of elaborate Shakespearean plots that might have ensued from such an occurrence. But no.

    A bizarre subplot where Nubia from Themyscira is checking her social media accounts on the Batcomputer after breaking into the Batcave, and Batman is totally okay with Nubia condescendingly explaining this bit of female privilege.

    Somebody literally took this couple of pages, rewrote all the dialogue, and told a little bittersweet story about Nubia being an Amazon who was interested in man’s technology and man’s world, and how Batman was drawn into this. It wasn’t even difficult; it just required caring enough to put some work into writing.

    1. If there is any hope for the comic industry, it will probably come from Japan, and in the same way as the people in charge of GM and Ford had to get rid of the idiots or die in the face of foreign competition.

      The problem is that DC and Marvel are protected by huge corporate structures that I swear use the comic book companies as places to send remittance employees-people they can’t fire for some reason, but have to be kept away from being in charge of anything that can risk the company losing real money.

      1. The comics divisions of DC and Marvel are a standing testimony to the stupidity of U.S. trademark law. Unlike patents and copyrights, trademarks are registered on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis. Basically, the companies have to keep churning out crap with their old characters in it to retain the trademark rights to those characters, in case they ever get a chance to sell or exploit the movie rights. All the money in the business comes from movies and other tie-in media; I believe the actual comics themselves have been losing money for decades. But they aren’t there to make money; they are there to keep the flag flying until someone finds a way to make money out of the property.

        Of course, the sheer accumulation of decades of bad ideas and bad execution and ‘woke’ gunk degrades the properties and makes them less fit to be adapted for profitable media. Now that the older stuff is well and truly mined out, we are seeing the companies make movies out of the gunk – with approximately the results anyone would expect. The Chinese and some other foreign markets like watching Big Stupid American Movies with insane amounts of CGI, and haven’t got the knowhow to make such films themselves. It will be great fun to see the meltdown when Hollywood realizes it has nothing to sell but the latter-day equivalent of Godzilla flicks. The poor boobs still think they are Making Art and Shaping The Culture.

          1. It does, and it won’t happen as long as major corporations have the ears (and bank account numbers) of politicians. “Lifetime of the originator or 25 years, whichever comes first” is plenty good enough.

          2. And patent law, too. At least in the realm of computer software (my field), U.S. patent law is infamously, hilariously broken. The U.S. patent office has many times given out patents for which there was an abundance of prior art, because the people who worked there were ignorant of the field and didn’t know enough to do a correct prior-art search, and could easily be fooled by dressing up common things in highfalutin’ language. To name one particularly memorable example that still sticks in my mind despite happening over a decade ago, at one point the patent office was fooled into giving someone a patent on scrollbars, decades after they had already been used everywhere. That patent was overturned (I assume, since I haven’t heard about any lawsuits) but many weren’t, and became the subject of lawsuits from patent-troll companies, who buy up patents in order to sue people who are unintentionally infringing them.

            Oh, yes, did I forget to mention that? You can unintentionally infringe software patents. With any other field, you have to be aware that you’re copying the design of that mechanical device. But with software, especially the way-too-broadly-written software patents that get granted sometimes, you can be infringing on a patent and not even know it until you get served with lawsuit papers. It’s ridiculous, it’s been going on for far too long (people were writing articles about it in the late 1990’s), and it’s invisibly making lots of things way more expensive than they should be, enriching parasite lawyers at the expense of everyone else. (I’m aware there are plenty of lawyers who benefit society as a whole, but 99% of the lawyers who work in software patent law are merely parasites who suck money out of the industry without providing any benefit)..

        1. they have the know how, both the chinese and the indians and singapore etc…
          they’re just as horribly inefficient at it as they are at anything else. I have stories….

  17. A lot of Gor stuff, kidnapping romance, pirate romance, huge sagas of suffering or tortured main character, etc. are basically pretty dreamlike and unrealistic, on purpose. A lot of the appeal of reading it is catharsis and safe shocks. Presumably some people go farther than that; but almost every action TV show will have “the episode where X character suffers dramatically and gets sympathy from the viewer.” It’s done because it works — or at least it used to be done.

    In general, Tuchux seem to have had a fair reputation for helpfulness, back when I was in the SCA. I never really got into the politics and institutional history of it, and they had their own thing going so there was a certain wariness. But I know “negotiations” with them, the Mongols, and other “mercenary” groups used to be a big part of Pennsic War, etc.

    Interestingly, a ton of Chinese romance webnovels are just as interested in revenge as the cultivation novels are — but man, those romances get freaking Shakespearian levels of revenge going. They don’t just kill and humiliate all the baddies, like in the cultivation novels. Oh, no, they are very elaborate about making people sorry, and they spend more time on that than on the romance.

    And honestly, they are pretty satisfying, so I can see the appeal.

    It really makes you wonder about the primary audience for all those revenge plays, back in the day. Maybe they weren’t written for men who liked blood and thunder. Maybe it’s women who really are into that.

    1. Speaking from personal experience, I can attest that reading or watching a serious Roaring Rampage of Revenge (violent or political) can be really… just what you need to keep from killing someone IRL.

      Because so, so much of the time if you’re in a subordinate position you have to Be Nice no matter what, or lose your means of living.

      …And sometimes you really don’t want to be nice.

    2. The handful of Chinese period piece romances TV series that I’ve watched all have fairly similar layouts. Usually, it works something along these lines (with variations). The male lead is a prince. The female lead is a witty and resourceful high-status woman who is just as smitten with him as he is with her. She might also have a deadly secret in her background that the Emperor must never find out about (for instance, the last surviving member of a family that was executed to the last person after being framed by powerful corrupt members of the court). The series will run for about fifty or so episodes, and the major plot arc for the first half will involve an increasingly deadly feud with an unscrupulous prince who is a half-brother to the male lead. Roughly halfway through the show, the male lead – along with one or more half-brothers brothers who are acting as his allies – will triumph over his unscrupulous brother, who will be caught engaging in some form of undeniable serious criminal activity (possibly triggering open rebellion against his father when it’s revealed).


      During the first half of the series, slights and misunderstandings between one of the leads and his or her allies have built up. This promptly explodes into a new rivalry between the lead and his or her former allies of equivalent rank that is just as deadly as the one that was just overcome. At the end of the series, generally everyone in the imperial family – except maybe the Emperor himself – is dead, and the prince solidifies his position as the sole possible heir (or possibly ascends to the throne himself), hopefully alongside his love interest.

      1. And that’s a good and satisfying dramatic ending, because if it were a tragedy everybody would be dead.

        Comedies, BTW, have all the bad guys dead and the main characters not married, from what few I’ve seen.

        1. When I was on Kwajalein, my buddies and I regularly had Cheap Chinese Kung Fu Movie night, when the latest returnee from The World would stop into some Hono Asian market and pick up a couple of films out of the dollar bin. Mostly ended up: everything dies. Good guy dies. Bad guy dies. Good guy’s girlfriend, buddies, mentor. etc, die. Dogs, cats, birds rats, everything dies. Good stuff . . .

    3. Vicount Master Master Sir Edward Zifran of Gendy (aka, “Fast Eddy,” sadly no longer with us) told a story about being Land-o-crat a few decades ago and having to negotiate with the Tuchux. He went up Tuchux Hill looking for someone in authority and was accosted by a curly-haired guard in a hammock up in a tree, plus girl in bunny-fur bikini.
      Eddy: “I need to speak with somebody.”
      Curly-headed guard: “My sword speaks for me!”
      Eddy (to himself): “The sword would be brighter.”
      Fortunately before things could go completely into the pot a slightly overweight guy in a fur loincloth pops up and says, ” Hello, I’m Dennis the Decadent, can I help you?”
      At last count, Dennis was running the Pennsic 12-step meetings. My, how times change.

      1. I remember reading a SCA tale of a Princess (of Midrealm, Northshield as a principality ? ) getting ‘kidnapped’ by a Tuchux with the promise of as much mead as she (and her ladies in waiting) could drink.
        Much amusement as he discovered how much she and her ladies could drink and the price the King demanded of them to take her back.

        1. Vaguely similar plot to Blue Moon Rising, in which Prince Rupert rescues a dragon from a princess…

    4. I absolutely believe that. I had some truly awful backstabbing roommates once. After a couple months to process, I told then-boyfriend-now-Anonymoose “I don’t want to cause them physical harm, I just want them to need a kidney transplant so I can say no.”

  18. It is scary sometimes that your writings and the voices in my head agree so often. I feel the same way about very few people. Victor David Hanson is one. It’s like harmonics of the mind, almost.

    Now, we know we don’t agree on everything; but American Culture, as opposed to suntan-based bStardizations of the same, is designed to be a rising tide rhat lifts all boats (except those tied to shoals of tyranny, oppression, greed, or sloth).

    Well done. And please “keep on keepin’ on …

  19. via Instapundit (embedded links omitted) re Team HarrisBiden apparently intends to starve the USA Great Leap Forward style with its Green Leap Forward.

    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE JOE’S ABILITY TO, WELL, YOU KNOW: Get ready for the catastrophic DEF shortage. “DEF is the acronym for Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Every diesel truck that has been made since 2010 is required to use it. It’s a product made of 67% urea (made from natural gas) and 33% de-ionized water. DEF is kept in a separate tank in the truck and the trucks using it will not start unless the DEF system is working properly. There are regulators inside the engine that mix DEF with the diesel exhaust to reduce diesel emissions. That’s the purpose of DEF. . . . So: US urea imports are falling, US DEF imports are falling. And US domestic manufacture of DEF is likewise falling and may very quickly turn critical. But what about consumer sales? How will that be affected? Let’s connect some dots. Here is dot one, Flying J and the Union Pacific railroad. . . . Remember that the trucks will not run if their DEF tanks run dry. DEF is sold through the same pumps at fuel stations as diesel fuel is. If a driver cannot fill both tanks, he can only park the truck.”

    Bottom line: “Unless the nation’s truckers can refill with Diesel Exhaust Fluid, the trucks will stop. Literally. DEF production is about to crater and the country’s largest truck-fueling company, Flying J, has been directed by Union Pacific railroad to decrease its DEF-receiving shipments by 50 percent or be 100 percent embargoed. Unless resolved, this demand may cause countless thousands of 18-wheelers to be force-parked very soon, perhaps starting this month. That would be a very, very terrible event, because according to the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the trucking industry transports almost three-quarter of all goods shipped in the country. Union Pacific’s largest two shareholders are Vanguard and BlackRock. Vanguard’s largest shareholder is BlackRock. BlackRock’s key figure for strategy and policy is Tom Donilon, President Obama’s former National Security Advisor. Donilon’s wife, daughter, and brother work at the Biden White House. There is no wand to be waved to make the DEF shortage simply disappear. But doing nothing is both reprehensible and indefensible. There is no one better positioned to bring this looming catastrophe to the front burner than two men and two women named Donilon. Yet nothing is exactly what is being done. Why? Well, draw your own conclusions.”

    UPDATE: A Knoxville friend writes: “Ha, Rural King literally had pallets of 2.5 gallon DEF containers in their stores. $6.99, then $9.99. Now none. Same at Walmart. Tractor Supply etc. All of the newer ag equipment, tractor’s, combines etc require DEF. Talk about food shortages!”

    We just need a hack so it’ll run without it. But EPA will probably block this. I liked it better when Atlas Shrugged was just a novel.

    ANOTHER UPDATE: They were warned this was coming 6 months ago: The DEF Shortage – As Prices Rise, Supply Challenges Continue.
    Posted at 2:20 pm by Glenn Reynolds

    1. @ Cardshark from link> “Yet nothing is exactly what is being done. Why? Well, draw your own conclusions.”
      It’s necessary to know that what follows is a video of Biden declaring his intentions to end use of fossil fuels in America.
      At TheNewNeo blog, a commenter pointed out this additional new disaster (DEF shortages, like baby formula, have been on the horizon for months): a pipeline explosion at a major natural gas export facility.
      Very convenient

      1. Oregon (Federal?) now has a requirement that all electric power has to be based off of renewal generation. So local power (EWEB anyway, don’t know about EPUD, SPUD, or the other surrounding rural options) is promoting house based solar. Um. EWEB, since Trojan was shutdown, gets their power 100%, non-solar/wind, from hydro. Do not know of anymore renewable source, in the PNW, than that. But you and I know hydro isn’t on the list of “renewable”. (They really are idiots.) Since the dams that are used for said hydro are not only well above native salmon or even native trout runs (if there are trout in some of those, now, lakes, it is because they were planted), the lakes are also drinking water sources, and major Flood Control (not all flood control dams are used for hydro). Removing local dams is sooooo not happening. (Well they could propose, until Eugene residents learned they are looking at annual/semi-annual 40′ above flood stage levels. It was called “mudville” derogatorily historically for a reason. Granted flood waters would spread a wide distance across the valley. But still everything would be stopped. Including I-5.) Definitely would prompt us to get the heck out of Eugene (we are on the flats, technically county, north of downtown).

            1. PNW. The “changed the landscape and eco systems” argument has sailed. More diversity now than before those dams went in. The lakes behind those dams have been there so long, they ARE the eco system regardless of how (earthen or concrete) or why the dam was constructed.

              Yes. I know they don’t consider hydro as renewable. Exactly because it is, and it works.

              Poor kid hired to go door to door (Horizon Solar). Had an id badge, and tablet. No card to leave behind or marketing materials. Got an polite earful on why the answer is “not a chance”. Not the least of which a golf mate of hubbies is a former line supervisor for EPUB who just laughs when solar comes up for local installation. Also noticed that a former HS classmate has stopped posting his EWEB “earnings” every month. Sure, great in the summer/fall. Winter/Spring, not so much. Does not zero out over the year.

              Would consider retro-fit under these conditions, all must apply:

              a. 100% cost financed. 0% interest.
              b. 100% cost tax credit.
              c. Must include storage batteries.
              d. Life maintenance AND labor and material warranty.
              e. Grid for excess needed over storage, must be applied to EWEB (offset water/sewer) utility at tiered power rates …


              Any bets on whether they’d ever propose the above? Not a bet I’d take.

              1. We got solar, but that’s because we live in an area that is 99% full sun in the summer, when electrical needs (for AC) are the highest. Solar in western Oregon is slightly less laughable than solar in Seattle, but it’s still not the efficient option.

                We also got a partial system, the kind that knocks out the top-priced tiers. Because we don’t have storage for it, and we couldn’t afford a full system.

                1. We are in Eugene which for solar is a bit saner than Seattle 😉 but not like east side of the state. Last year we (technically, because while there was sun, the wildfire smoke got a vote) had sun from May until October, then snatches this winter (if cold). But this spring? You mean that yellow thing that sometime peeks out? No rain today, but no sun either. (We paid How Much for the sprinkler system????) I know cloudy days solar systems generate power, but when those whose job it is to know and someone who has one, the former laughs hysterically, or the latter is silent, it sends a message.

              2. My parents are doing solar, even though they are on the north side of a mountain in the northwest, because it would have cost as much to get the utility to hook up their new house as it would to get the majority of the solar system, and they inherited part of a good, functional system from my uncle’s estate anyway.

                Stepfather still says that if he’d known then what he does now, he’d have gone with something other than lead-acid batteries.

                1. it would have cost as much to get the utility to hook up their new house as it would to get the majority of the solar system


                  Running power to homes on rural properties has always been expensive. Then you pay for the power on top of that.

                  With a working inherited system to be able to install … 100%.

                  We’d consider if we are building. Retro? Take a lot more than they are offering.

                  Hmmm. What is the price of wood these days? Plus a second wood stove? They cutoff natural gas, that will be the only source of heat. They can’t stop burning on inversion days if wood is the only heat source. Heck even blackouts cut the furnace off. Takes less power than electric, but still requires some power.

                  1. “They can’t stop burning on inversion days if wood is the only heat source.”

                    Exactly how much would you like to bet on that? Because they’ve already been that stupid.


                    “That prompted state and local authorities to look for ways to cut down on pollution from wood-burning stoves, including the possibility of fining residents who burn wood. After all, a declaration of noncompliance from the EPA would have enormous economic implications for the region, like the loss of federal transportation funding.”

                    Now, they couldn’t actually enforce it…. but they could pressure the manufacturers and stores into only providing less efficient but “EPA compliant” stoves (DDG it). And, of course, the law is still there to be selectively enforced by the same bureaucrats who planted lynx fur to seize land as “habitat”.

                    1. Good point. I was going off of what the actual regulation states. Stupid me.

                      I will agree about the inefficient wood stove requirement. Our “new” Lopi (2001) catalytic is less efficient, by far, than the Fisher insert mom has (grandfathered). The Fisher is an ’80 stove. Not only more efficient, but with the designed reburn system, burns a whole lot cleaner than the Lopi. (Same wood. Who do you think gets mom her wood?) The only entity that knows it isn’t a catalytic version is her insurance (also grandfathered in with the insurance). Sadly, we’ll have to pull the Fisher to sell the house.

  20. Jung used to talk about the “puer aeternica”” (butchering the Latin, I know) meaning “eternal boy,” or “boy who never grows up.” I think he encountered them mostly as males related in some way to his patients, or guys he observed in public life. His take was very negative: like the guys who decide to embody the trickster archetype, a “puer,” can either grow up, or die.

  21. “THE STORY OF THE HANG-GLIDING CAT: Viral Video: Cat Hitches Ride on Hang Glider.”

    You sent this to David Weber, right?

      1. Nimitz loved hang gliding possibly more than Honor did. It’s a (tree)cat thing, apparently. 😎

  22. Difference between childish and child-like? One is mean, acquisitive, and uncarng while the other is open to the world without cynical restraint?

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