The Masks Are Coming Off- A Blast From the Past From August 2018

*Sorry. It’s the sleep thing. I’d almost not slept the night before, so I slept like 11 hours before I could get moving this morning. So, I got up very late, and I NEED to clean the house, because husband has the day off and plans for late afternoon. I know I’ve been playing hooky a lot this week. Bear with me. I’ll try to make it better. – SAH*

The Masks Are Coming Off- A Blast From the Past From August 2018


For years, being a conservative or — in my case — a libertarian (no step on snek) in the arts, in writing, in publishing, in any cultural enterprise was an exercise in going insane.

You knew what was going on in private, you knew how hard they could hit on what absolutely minor and ridiculous points, but the public in general was not aware of any bias, and if you complained, they thought you were paranoid.

This was particularly the case when you were small potatoes, or  when what they were doing was rejecting short stories or asking you to change your books.

Sure, I could sense the principles behind it, and how changing my books would make them say something I didn’t want to, but at the same time there was the weird feeling “um… is this true?  Or am I imagining it?  I’m a small-time writer, writing in a tiny-small-time field.  How could they possibly micromanage it to this extent?”

It was particularly hard for me because I grew up under socialist (national then international) regimes, with occasional outbreaks of outright Ocasio-Cortez er… I mean Communism.  This both allowed me to see the holes in it (no, truly, even at 13 or so, studying Marxism in five high school courses will cause you to see the holes) and, once I’d decided I was against it (I was actually fairly left, in the US meaning until my mid-twenties.  Couldn’t help being.  Young, stupid, and raised in a soup of leftists “facts”) I started seeing all the little ways the establishment — educational, cultural, arts — pushed people towards the idea of for lack of a better term “the inevitable certainty of Marxist victory.” The inevitability and echo chamber are essential, because Marxism is not particularly convincing if you look at it.  If you’re sure it will triumph, though you’ll pick up a vast majority of “the scared” (which are way more than the “convinced”)who want to be eaten last or not at all by adopting the philosophy now and being strident.

So, coming from that background, my “feelers” detected all sorts of things.

In my entire — 34? well, if you count hidden pen names and work for hire more like 40 novels, but never mind — I had very few edits.  Mostly the books get copy edited, not edited.

About 3 books were “edited” which amounted to “remove this scene, move that one” “I don’t think this sentence says what you think it does” and “this will heighten tension.”  Those were as far as I could tell very innocuous.

Only two books had rewrite requests, and both of those, had I followed through on the rewrite would have changed the books completely, in one case yeah, to fit with feminist and “race” narrative (they wanted the Masai woman from the first book to accompany the two white guys to India on the adventure because “she’s as good as they are” — which no one was disputing, though perhaps less equipped for yet another culture change — and when I objected that if we took her to India we would get into issues of Indian racism, I was told that only whites were racist), and in another case to have my character LEAD rather than oppose the future analog of the French revolution.  My refusal to do those re-writes, because then the books would say what I didn’t want them to say severely damaged, if not broke, my relationship with the respective publishing houses. (Yes, and I know some of you will recognize the book and go, “but that was… it can’t be.”  What you don’t get is that I don’t have that big a name, and that the house isn’t MAJORITY libertarian/conservative.  It just allows it and it depends on who you’re actually dealing with.)

But this was all done covertly, behind the scenes, and of course none of us could talk.  First because we’d seem like paranoid loons.  I mean, we’re complaining about things no one saw.

Second, because we would never work in that town again.

As this started to change, so did the pressure on writers become more open and more obvious.

This case is… well, let’s say I’ve known more like this than not.  Houses are actually willing to lose money as long as they can micro-manage the message.

And boy, do they micro manage.  Yep, at that level.  None of their “intended” bright future can be questioned, not even the incidental bits, like “a female president wold be the best thing ever.” or “Leftists are always wonderful.”

And no, of course they’re not doing it on purpose, in the sense that they’re not trying to consciously push every little detail of the message.  That would be exhausting, and also require them to be super-geniuses (they aren’t.) I’ve known and been friends with a lot of lefties before the current frothing times.  Haven’t dropped them, though some of them have dropped me.  It’s not that they consciously police every detail.  It’s that they are immersed in this “vision” that includes every little detail of the socialist paradise and its coming, and they absorb the latest directive from the echo chamber. So when they see something against that, they flinch and want the painful part removed.  Like, in the French Revolution book, I suspect someone looked at how I was denying that equality of outcomes was a good thing, and got very upset “no, no, she’s supposed to be supporting these.” probably even considering what I had done an error, not an intended thing.

But that’s traditional, and look, guys, I have friends in journalism and in education, and I know they get the same exact pressures.  “No, no no.  You can’t teach that.  You must teach this.”  “No, you don’t want to report that.  Or at least remove this word.  Otherwise it gives people the wrong idea.”

Heck, sometimes headlines get changed and strange assemblies to discuss some current events get caught (so much of these when kids were in school.)

So here’s the bad news: our culture has been immersed for almost a 100 years in a cohesive, monolithic narrative.  A narrative that moved steadily left, with no relenting.  This is why those of us who are older than about 35 grew up in a world where voicing a dissenting — conservative or libertarian — opinion got you labeled “crazy”and “uneducated”.  If you were denying what everyone knew, confirmed multiply from unrelated fields like news, research (oh, so easily manipulated, particularly in the soft sciences) and entertainment, then obviously you were either crazy or uneducated or, yah, stupid.  This is how leftism became a positional good.

The good news?  The barriers are coming down, the doors are blowing open, and now we know we’re not alone, we know we’ve been lied to and manipulated.  Sometimes we don’t realize the magnitude of the manipulation which, yeah, can be staggering.

And yeah, I know, some people on the right are convinced indie channels like Amazon are out to get them.  We know facebook and twitter and yeah Google are.

I contend Amazon isn’t — yet.  None of the cases I’ve seen are convincing.  Also, when it comes to indie publishing, they can hit a few, mostly on covers and titles, but they can’t do this kind of micromanagement that trad pub does.  Why?  Because they can’t.  Because they’re not dealing with 10 or even twenty books a quarter.  To police every indie novel, every story that goes up?  I would take a massive work force, and not the third-world-country-uncertain-in-English one that Amazon hires.

Won’t happen.  Not saying that we don’t need alternatives, and yeah, we’re working on that.

But that’s exactly the thing.  PRECISELY.  In exact detail.  There are alternatives. Or there will be, once things become untenable.  And as the masks come off, as each corrupt medium and source goes full turnip, people shy away from it.  Not just us, mind you, but the Muddled Middle.  How many people think CNN is reliable anymore?  The crazier they go, the more they make their agenda obvious, the shakier they get.

And when they reach a certain point, alternatives become viable.  Even when we think they can’t.  Look at journalism, which we thought was immovable.  But it’s not.

The USSR had to regulate typewriters, because they were dangerous to its stability of uniform message.  So were copiers and mimeographs.  Mimeographs, which in the west caused only a ripple of really bad fanfic could bring the ability to control information down.  Then fax machines came in and it was goodbye.

The current technology has issues, but one thing it’s doing is making it difficult for the left to maintain the unified narrative and view of the world without which it CANNOT survive.

Sure, I won’t guarantee they won’t win some elections.  Given their amazing fraud machine, they might even win most of them.  And yes, I know how dangerous that is, because it can take us into actual blood on the streets and much much worse, a reaction-regime which is not America in any recognizable way.

But in the end, regardless of how rocky it gets, we win, they lose.  Because they can only survive where every voice repeats the same and logic never intrudes.  And that’s not the world our technology is shaping.

Be not afraid!

65 thoughts on “The Masks Are Coming Off- A Blast From the Past From August 2018

  1. To destroy the Narrative, all one need do is notice and point out Reality. And yet, as screamingly obvious as that ought be, somehow some just cannot see or hear it. “There are none so blind…” and all that.

    And, rest, clean, do as need be. So long as BoR comes out on time and mostly error-free. I know, NOTHING is fully error-free, but I am hoping to only see “dagnabit, I missed that (minor) typo” and not see “Wait, WT[photon] was THAT?!”

  2. Four years on and the situation is so much more terrifying than stated in this piece.

    They are literally calling for child sex trafficking in service to their LGBT ideology. It’s the all or nothing, either we parent or the state owns our kids endgame now.

    They didn’t just rip off a mask they ripped their damn faces off.

    1. Commies have for many decades been open about their desire to destroy the family; families stand in the way of the power of The State. What they are doing now is simply another method of their long time effort to carry it out.

        1. Well yes, but leftists have such disdain for the family that they are incapable of grasping this and thus are shocked when they get the pushback they get against their efforts to destroy it.

          1. What was that headline on Powerline yesterday? “White supremacist” Muslims protesting LGBTWhatever stuff in the classroom. Um, “white supremacist” people who are automatically BIPOC because of their religion . . .

            Need more popcorn.

            1. “White Supremacist” like Nazi, Fascist, etc is becoming just another word for “I hate you”. 😡

              1. In America, every possible thing symbolizes white supremacy and a white nation.

                There are only white people in America, because every single person in America symbolizes white supremacy and white nationalism.

        2. This has always been a problem for the communists.

          They spend so much time living in the theoryland of victim/opressor, or simply swimming their own lies, that they have trouble understanding kinship networks, or that other people may have some attention for kinship, and none for communist lies.

    2. LizardPeeps from “V”,


      Crocodiles wearing human-face masks.

      Maybe they are Kdaptists?

    3. So what’s next? Lower the drinking age to 5 or 6 — or do away with age restrictions entirely? Issue drivers licenses to pre-schoolers? Sell guns to first-graders? Oh, no, wait, that would be Eeevul!

      And why is it not enough for them to introduce young children to regular sex? Why does it have to be deviant sexual perversions?
      Only idiots believe they know how other people should live their lives. The stupider they are, the more blindly they believe it.

      1. > “Why does it have to be deviant sexual perversions?”

        Probably BECAUSE it’s deviant, and these people are so sick they like that for its own sake.

        But it might also have something to do with turning kids away from the kind of relationships that produces more people.

  3. You have to take the control away from the Leftists. For books, that pretty much means indie publishing, or start your own publishing company.

    What I haven’t seen is a concept where a publishing company offers to print hard or paperback, stories that have only been in electronic format, by setting a target figure of requests, where readers put money in escrow, for the printing by a certain date. If the target figure isn’t reached, the money goes back to the readers; otherwise, the book is printed and sent to them. And no, I have zero idea what the sweet spot is for volume to cost to make an acceptable profit on that for both the publishers and the authors.

    1. With print on demand an author can with an account at Ingram Spark or some other such company buy real paper books by the yard. Typesetting is a thing of the past. There are some economies of scale, bulk order discounts and such, but the cost/benefit is still much more in the author’s favor that any trad pub deal outside a very precious few best sellers.

  4. “those of us who are older than about 35 grew up in a world where voicing a dissenting — conservative or libertarian — opinion got you labeled “crazy”and “uneducated”.

    I’m trying to spot the difference between then and now in that statement. Except for the greater likelyhood of attracting fibbies this year.

      1. My focus is too narrow, thinking of my family which has some members who haven’t changed since then except to double down. (sigh) What’s that called when you assume your little slice of the universe is the whole universe? Not projection but close to it. But I’m right about the FBI.

  5. One problem is that fewer and fewer Americans read books, and an increasing number of them can’t read at all…But at the “educated” level..”indoctrinated” is more like it..I’m seeing a majority who are virtually mind numbed zombies, unable to question anything…My working class friends are much more sensible and practical in general..

    1. Aside from the fact that there has never been a time in American history when this complaint wasn’t made, there is more to the world than just books.

      1. There is indeed. But civilized humans are time-binders, and if it isn’t recorded in books (or some other semi-permanent medium), to the next generation it didn’t happen. Why do you think TPTB are so eager to memory-hole real history and replace it with Duh Narrative?

      2. My comment was intended to be much more general than about books…only about 1/3 of Americans read books at all..My point was that when I talk with working class folks, which is most of the time, they are much more interested and receptive to discussion about the vaxx, inflation, politics…etc…The Closing of the American Mind was a very perceptive book, as it applies to most educated people…

    2. Given that “Ignorance is Strength” is one of the guiding precepts of the leftists who control the establishment, this should surprise no one. As noted many times, they are using 1984 as a “how to” guide.

      This is why Biden’s handlers keep giving him things that are the equivalent of “we have always been at war with Eastasia” to say

  6. I bees not afraid, but I am concerned and pissed. And I don’t think the bias against ‘us’ in Big NYC Publishing is coming down any day soon. We still have a long way to go before every writer of merit gets a shot. I don’t believe I’ll live to see it. (I’m 74). Awful, right? So writers like myself must do the unthinkable, give it away. FYI, I’m making my latest, ‘Escape From the Future and Other Stories’… FREE this coming Wednesday through Sunday eve. Have a great weekend.

    1. Speaking of writers, anyone see JK Rowling latest snark against attempted lefty shaming? It’s pretty funny.
      Of course what I find funnier is that she was the exact same kind of obnoxious, stupid “edgy” kind of young lefty as the people who now hate her for doubleplus ungood gender thoughtcrime. And those younger lefties now attacking her are too stupid to realize they’re looking at their own unhip future. Think Abraham Simpson pointing to his son Homer. “It will happen to you!”

                1. I wonder if she has been reading some of Larry C’s stuff. That seems like the kind of thing he’d say.

  7. Speaking of masks and Halloween, from yesterday’s Insty open thread:

    …..and its not even close.

  8. Over on Instapundit, our Hostess recently linked to an article talking about a protest banner that was hung in Beijing, directly attacking Xi Jinping. My favorite China vbloggers, The China Show, had a segment about it on their show yesterday. They described the protest, and why what Bannerman did was so significant. And they also talked at length about Xi Jinping, as well as what changes he’s made to China’s government that make it extremely unlikely that anything that happens in China’s government will amount to anything so long as he’s in charge.

  9. These days, cheering because “the masks are coming off” takes on a whole new meaning.

    In re: the actual post, had a convo with a sensible normie small business owner today.

    “What can I do? If we do not have masks on we lose the mask addicts. If we wear them, people like you drop us.”

    I suggested that sane customers are a safer bet. (She had already laughed at my remark about those poor people who think cotton is magic. Capt. Underpants notwithstanding.

    1. One anecdata point from Flyover County. I’m seeing more younger (people in 20s and 30s) wearing the face diaper, though this could be Californians shopping here. (The trend seems to coincide with the start of schools.)

      One neighbor came down with the coof, this time with a very sore throat. He’s vaxxed, don’t know if he had the booster(s).

      FWIW, $SPOUSE and I are skipping the annual flu shot. The “clinical testing” of mRNA flu shots leads to fears of “accidental” mixing, even though we trust the clinician we used to use for such. Glen Reynold’s comments about TPTB’s consistent misreading of the flu strain for the vax is raising some questions. May I have some more tin foil, please?

      $SPOUSE keeps reminding people to use Acetaminophen and Mucinex (or other Guaifenesin–we use Kirkland immediate dose) for the pain and gunk. I don’t know the current status of ivermectin with OR state Health Authority and the local medical establishment. (I did note that dewormer treatments are no longer OTC at the veterinary supply, but need a prescription.)

      1. I am glad I got my tetanus booster before this all went down. You have to wonder what is in the needle.

        MIL caught a nurse trying to substitute a shot she’s refused for the actual dose requested last month…

  10. They’ll make it plenty hot for us; but they forgot to read the last chapter. We win. And Tolkien’s “Scouring of the Shire” (which Peter Jackson, the bum, didn’t like) might be more than a fantasy… As Gandalf told the hobbits:

    “I am with you at present,” said Gandalf, “but soon I shall not be. I am not coming to the Shire. You must settle its affairs yourselves; that is what you have been trained for. Do you not yet understand? My time is over: it is no longer my fast to set things to rights, nor to help folk to do so. And as for you, my dear friends, you will need no help. You are grown up now. Grown in deep very high; among the great are you, and I have no longer any fear at all for any of you.”

    1. I missed that. I would have liked to see it. I thought it was left out for time constraints.
      What I’d fight with Jackson over was his treatment of Aragorn. I suppose he wanted to make Aragorn “vulnerable,” but the man is a archetypal King. That sort of doubt is not in character.

      1. Don’t even get me started on the Jackson movies. What was done to Aragorn absolutely undercuts his rejection of the One Ring. Aragorn is someone who has sought to be king his entire life, as it is the only way he can marry the woman he loves, and refuses the Ring and the power provides notwithstanding the temptation and indeed the lure of the Ring and its power to achieve his goals. Legolas notes after the Paths of the Dead that it was not without reason that Sauron feared Aragorn, and that should Aragorn have taken the Ring for himself, he would have been a powerful and terrible lord.

        Jackson destroys this (among many other things-don’t even get me started on the atrocity of the treatment of Faramir).

        If Ralph Bakshi was an orc for his version of LOTR, Jackson was the very least a Ringwraith, if not a Balrog.

          1. The Ringwraiths, before they received their rings, were already evil sorcerers and lords, so they were evil before they got their rings from Sauron. Balrog may be more appropriate because they are fallen Maiar, like Sauron, who followed Morgoth in the very early days before the formal start of the First Age.

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