I am alive

I am alive. I woke up feeling ill. I’ve been trying to write a chapter since 9 am. it hasn’t worked, though there have been naps.  I think I’m giving up.
Promo tomorrow morning and if I feel better, chapter in the afternoon.

BTW I’m not sure I’m ill. Might just be stress inducing auto-immune symptoms.

Vive la Bourgeoisie

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In the end, you know, Marx was right, but not in the way he thought he was, which is why the system he created is such a life-destroying sh*tshow and the world won’t be free or stop declining towards hellish living conditions in the spots invaded by it, till there are tickets sold for the annual piss on Marx’s grave gathering.

Seeing things, but then interpreting them upside down and sideways, btw, was bog standard for the angry, hirsute inkblot.

I went trough school with people like him. — and I’m sure you did too — These are people who are actually very smart. They’re just broken on their ability to understand things and take everything into account.

Some are control freaks who can’t understand that in real life, and human life particularly chaos gets a vote. They’d account for all the known factors and think they had the entire situation. (We see this in climate modelers, who discount things that can’t be controlled, like the sun’s variable output, and then pretend these don’t exist.)

Some are simply men of system.  Or women of system. They need a myth that “explains everything.” Which requires even more ignoring of inconvenient facts and ideas.

I suspect Marx was both.

I first encountered this type in a school friend in sixth grade.  She could read some passage, understand every word, but think it meant something completely different.

Something like “The sky was blue, the sun shone and the birds flew” and she’d come up with “He’s saying the world ended, and everyone is dead” and you’d scratch your head and go “The hell?” until she explained her thought pattern, which ended up sounding a lot like Marxist deconstructionism.

Oh, I forgot the third pattern of distortion, which Marx DEFINITELY had: the need to feel superior. If you see what other people have already seen and said, you are just one of them. You need to stand out and see something different and hopefully something that makes you more caring/superior.

Because our education has been taken over by crazy people who suffer from all of these and, to boot, worship in the church of eternal redistribution, there’s some bizarre idea that Marx was the first to notice the iniquitous oppression of the industrial revolution and/or speak out on behalf of the workers and that’s why his work is justifiable/important.

Please.

That’s like current idiots speaking out in favor of women in SF/F and thereby erasing ALL THE REAL PIONEERS. And the women who were in SF/F from the beginning. And reducing writers to their genitals/skin color. And ignoring personal inclination when it comes to writing sf/f. Or working in a dockyard. Or being an engineer.  (“You must do this for the sake of female liberation, comrade.”  “BUT I don’t want to do that.” “Doesn’t matter. You must be a slave to female liberation.”)

It’s in fact exactly like, because on top of all there was so much virtue signaling and currying favor with the ELITE OPINION of the time it’s not even funny.  Or do you think it’s a coincidence the elites EMBRACED Marxism (despite lots of attempts to claim the contrary?)

So, quickly: The industrial revolution was not a disaster to your average peasant. It was a disaster for landowners.

Yes, yes, the conditions in the factories were terrible. By our standards. The lifespan was very short. By our standards. The anomie of the big cities, yadda yadda.  When compared to what? Small villages? Ask those of us raised in them. Yes, there was child labor. As compared to what at that time? Other than the life of the upper classes?

Look, we don’t have to guess about this stuff. In India, in China, in other places that came to the industrial revolution very late, we’ve seen peasants leave the land where their ancestors had labored, to flock to the big cities, to take work we find horrible and exploitative at wages we find ridiculous.

And even if China has added “labor camp” and prisoner wrinkles to it, note that’s because China is a shitty communist country, not because the migration wasn’t there before. Also the labor camp aspects, as much as one can tell (and it’s hard to tell, due to the raging insanity of the regime) seem to have grown as the people grew more prosperous, as a result of the industrial revolution and thereby demanded higher wages, which positioned China more poorly as the “factory of the world.”

In fact, idealizing “living off the land” has been in place since at least the Roman empire, and probably before.  It’s also been MISERABLE at least since then and probably before.

Because pre-industrial revolution farming sucked. It sucked horribly. And it kept you on the edge of subsistence. It double sucked when you were subjected to a Lord.  Look, systems of serfdom, etc. didn’t come about because living in a Lord’s domain was so great, and everyone wove wreaths and danced around maypoles all the time, okay?

The bucolic paradise of a farmer’s life was mostly a creation of city dwellers, often noblemen, who saw it from the outside.

There are estimations that most people had trouble rearing even one child, and most of one generation’s peasants were people fallen from higher status. I don’t know. That might be exaggerated. Or it might not.

Even during the industrial revolution, it was normal for ladies bountiful to take baskets of food to tenant farmers because…. they couldn’t make it on their own.

And btw, the more the industrial revolution pulled people to the cities, the more the Lords and “elites” talked about how great the countryside was and how terrible the factories/cities/new way of living were.

A lot of artists and pseudo bohemians jumped in on this bandwagon and so did Marx, who was both a pseudo bohemian, by birth “elite” (Well, his family had a virtual slave attached to him. He impregnated her too, as was his privilege), and by self-flattery intellectual.

Therefore the factories were the worst thing ever, the men who owned them, aka capitalists were terrible, terrible people — mostly because Marx wasn’t one, and probably because they laughed at him — and the proletariat they exploited horribly would rise up and–

All bullshit of course. Later on his fiction needed retconning by Anthony Gramsci who, having the sense to realize the “workers” weren’t rising up, just getting wealthier and escaping the clutches of the “elites” more made the “proletariat” a sort of “world proletariat” centered on poorer/more dysfunctional countries. This had the advantage of making the exploited masses always be elsewhere (or the supposed exploiters) and therefore made it easier to pitch group against group to the eternal profit of rather corrupt “elites.” Mostly political classes which are descended from “the best people.”

But Marx was right.

I mean, in one small thing. The history of humanity is a struggle between self proclaimed “classes.”

It just has absolute ZERO to do with who owns “capital” and who “works” all of which are bullshit class divisions.

The struggle is between those who want to outfit humans with saddles, so they can ride them like ponies and those who escape being ridden.  And both tendencies appear to be cultural.

If you’re culturally descended from the romantics, who found living in the countryside great and the industrial revolution a tragedy, you might be an idiot. If you’re not an idiot, then you’re probably identifying with the rulers who, looking from the outside, thought that living off the land was great, and the famines and struggles, honestly, probably more than those dirty peasants deserved. I mean, the rebellious masses never tug the forelock enough amiright?

Most of Marx’s most vociferous followers in the present, including Sandy of the Occasional Cortex and Bernie are of this kind.  “The masses need to be ruled, and I’m just the person to do it.”  They might use the environment or the land, or whatever to justify why their way is best, but what they mean is “These people should live in poverty, so I can have my inevitable place as their ruler.”

If you’re culturally a bourgeois, you’ll be accused of all sorts of horrible things. They’ll throw stuff at you, tell you that you want to exploit people (they project like an imax) and call you unimaginative, a stick in the mud, conformist, and whatever else they find.

In fact, you’re something quite new in the world.  You neither want to be ruled nor to rule.  You want to rule yourself. You apply the virtues of thrift, self control, and planing, to stay out of the clutches of the would be nobles in government, and you don’t have any interest in paying for those who refuse to follow those virtues either (though you’re unreasonably generous, often, to those in genuine need.)

The Marxists hate this so much they made bourgeoisie an insult. They keep trying to justify the success that comes to those who observe principles of self rule as all sorts of “privilege.” They keep trying to show that those who just let themselves be ruled are much better off, but the lie only holds up as long as no one actually looks closely. I mean, look at the “ruled” cities in the US.

These are, broadly speaking, US. The people who neither want to lead nor follow, but want to tread their own path and earn their own way.

And in the US we’re still majority.  (The tell was when people in 2016 voted for the candidate that promised the jobs instead of those who promised welfare.)

The intellectual descendants of Marx HATE that, and keep trying to tell us the “struggle” is between wholly imaginary classes, “workers” “Intellectuals” “capitalists” or between races, or between sexes.  Anything to continue refusing to own up to the fact that they have all these lovely spurs, and we’re supposed to wear the saddle, so they can ride us.

And this is why though they have hundreds of countries who conform to their model, they must take us down. While we exist, we refute their beloved theory.

And it’s why we must fight like rabid wolverines.  Because we have nowhere else to go.

Keep fighting! Make the annual pissing on Marx’s grave festival a thing.

Do it for humanity.

Do it for the future.

Do it for the children.

 

(Posts on PJM this week (two are behind paywall. Should you decide to pay for them/membership please use discount code HOYT):

https://pjmedia.com/columns/sarah-hoyt/2020/07/28/were-seeing-the-death-rattle-of-the-revolution-not-its-birth-n722898

 

https://pjmedia.com/columns/sarah-hoyt/2020/07/29/be-not-afraid-in-the-end-we-win-they-lose-n725921

 

https://pjmedia.com/columns/sarah-hoyt/2020/07/31/the-lessons-from-history-on-masks-its-kabuki-theater-all-the-way-down-n727861

 

 

Politics, Creativity, Loudness A Blast From the Past from September 2017

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*We have a tendency to forget, but truly, this is a blast from the past.  None of this is new. It is just completely open now.  This is a new phase in a very old war — I’m so, so very tired — but hey, dropping the masks was not a smart move for the other side. Their deeds thrive in darkness. Be not afraid. Dropping their masks gives them no advantage -SAH*

Politics, Creativity, Loudness A Blast From the Past from September 2017

Lately I find myself wondering just how minority the vocal minority is, recently and more or less assuming “very minority.”

The vocal minority I’m talking about here are my colleagues who, uniformly and en masse, give the impression that every creative person exists in a spectrum between Lenin and Stalin.

Anyone, including myself back when I was just a reader or a beginning writer with not many contacts, would be excused for thinking that somehow being lefter than left and thinking that communism was a cute and unexplored idea correlated highly with wanting to write fiction, particularly science fiction and [even more so] mystery.  Part of my decision to stay quiet early on was because I was sure this was so and that I was a very odd duck who had somehow made it through with the contradictory characteristics of not being a lefty and wanting to write.

More or less daily I heard people, some of them the few non-left who’d slipped in talk about how the left was related to creativity, mostly because the left required original, contercultural thought, which in turn of course was creative and related to creativity.

I’ll be honest, since I am by nature a trouble maker and — as my mom said, only half complaining — prone to scratching up every newly painted wall to see what’s underneath, that’s when alarm bells started ringing in my head.

Yeah, I know, it is part of the mythos of the left that they’re countercultural, boldly opposing centuries or millennia of oppressive politics, etc.  It’s a cute self concept, and it allows largely conventional, privileged, often rich people to think of themselves as the oppressed hordes or at least the defenders of those. [You don’t have to buy their narrative.]

But let’s be blunt, because honestly, I’m in no mood to cater to their delusions: this hasn’t been a fact since I was born, and probably long before.

If you’re a reader of early twentieth century fiction, say Agatha Christie, you’ll find that even back then the communists were treated as rather cute pets, or something like “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”  Further, they were often from the rich and privileged classes.

In fact, growing up in Europe, I can tell you that contrary to just about every movie and tv series and book NOW published, communists were not the struggling under class (they were sometimes their over-educated young, though) but more often were the sons and daughters of the nobility or the upper class.

Dave Freer might have a point when he says the “aristos” instinctively sensed a system (top down planning) that, in the name of the downtrodden, would undo the revolutions that stripped their kind of power over the last centuries.  He might be right, particularly because that top-down alliance, i.e. the king or upper nobility doing things in the name of the poorest people to keep down the bourgeoisie was routinely played in Europe from about the 12th century onward.  Heck, you could say the French revolution was the result of Louis XVI trying to play the game, being singularly inept at it and getting burned.  (Beheaded.  Same difference.)

Anyway, for as long as I’ve been alive, in all Western countries, the way to be respected or promoted or advanced in any artistic, news or otherwise intellectual field was to convincingly mouth the platitudes of leftism in its Marxist incarnation.  If you could add a genuine touch of Stalinist psychopathy, then you’d be considered genuinely righteous and advanced faster.

So that was my first alarm bell ringing on the idea of “but leftists are more naturally creative because they have to challenge the existing system.”  How did that work, when they were the existing system?

Then came experiences, like speaking out, getting publicly told I was crazy (at the time speaking out more or less in private, in private lists and about minor issues, like telling one of the luminaries of the field that no, George W. Bush (!) didn’t raise the postage rate to bankrupt her PERSONALLY as it made her efforts to sell her used books harder.)  The thing was that everyone would pile on in public, and then the avalanche of “I don’t dare speak because I want to work/have children/etc” “but I agree with you” started, a lot of it from people my age or younger than I, i.e. in my sclerotic field, what passes for “youth.”

And I started wondering “How small is the vocal minority?”

I’ve since come to the conclusion they are very small and very scared.  To put things bluntly, again: a triumphant, confident cultural movement feels no need to shut down those who dissent.  They might argue with them, but they don’t shut them down.  They know they are most in accord with reality, most people agree with them, and eventually will come to their side.

Confident cultural movements don’t try to shut down dissenters and don’t deploy antifa to tar [or in 2020 physically attack] anyone who doesn’t agree with them with the brush of extreme right wing.

It’s only movements who are afraid the opposition has a point and has more adherents than they do that feel the need to be that violent.

Meanwhile in the creative fields of today (and even in the news fields and intellectual professions), the order of the day is the screaming down, shutting down, soft banning of all dissent.  We are treated to people acting as though soft-right speakers were an armed invasion of our universities.  Friends who aren’t even right wing enough to be considered non-left are enduring soft black listing from their publishers.

The result?

Well, you see, the left isn’t the creative side of this equation.  This is not because leftists are inherently less creative.  Saying that would be stupid, as only stupid people would maintain that creativity somehow relates to a political side.

It’s more because leftism is the establishment right now.  Which means they attract a whole lot of good boys and girls who want to be in the artistic/intellectual professions but who have never had an original thought in their lives.  If they’d lived in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century, they’d spout blood-and-soil and genetic superiority nonsense because that was what would get them advanced.

There are still creative leftists (for the definition of left being socialism and communism) but they are usually pariahs along with me and everyone else to the right of Lenin.  That’s because then tend to defend their beliefs in non-standard ways and to find the good boys and girls of the establishment as awful as I find them.

Now, I think these people are wrong, and I often think they are morally bankrupt, but a lot of them are also extraordinary artists.

The good boys and girls of the establishment… aren’t.  They really can’t be.

Those of us who arrived at our political beliefs in defiance and iconoclasm, and who had to — back then — filter every item of news to find the truth beyond the narrative are creative by default.  You see, we had to reject so much of the entertainment fed to us, that we had to grind out own out of what was available.

So, as the establishment — LEFT establishment — clamps down ever harder on any dissenting thought, what they’re actually doing is destroying those few elements among them still capable of original creation.

This more than anything explains the slump in Hollywood earnings this year.  For how many years have they been milking the re-runs and remakes.

The publishing houses who demand a unified political narrative, put limits on imagination with cries of “cultural appropriation” and hire not by ability but by DNA are experiencing the same issues.  They might think it’s indie eating their lunch, and it is, but it’s only because they no longer have teeth to chew that lunch.  They abandoned their reading public DECADES before indie found it.  And they’re willing to go down with the ship rather than relinquish their political death grip on the product (again, not the sign of a confident cultural movement.)

As for academia… Good Lord.  Why do you think that liberal arts requirements keep getting added to STEM degrees?  What parent or even student would willingly pay for a field where Western history is banned because it’s “oppressive.”

The left, left to their own devices, would entirely dismantle Western civilization.  It’s always been their intent, partly because the USSR always considered itself “Eastern” and in communist propaganda, the perfect state was always an appendage of Russia.

But there are very few of them, and they’re stunningly non-creative.

The problem is that they have a grip on every accrediting authority, almost every publishing house, every museum, every cultural institution.  They acquired this by the long march and then refusing to hire/contract anyone not their comrades.

You must have a heart of stone not laugh like an hyena at the thought of a hundred years of long and slow march, and then indie, and blogs, and…

Are we at the tipping point, yet?  Not quite.  And make no mistake, we need as many hands as possible to the cultural war.  If you can you must write, or create art, or whatever.  It won’t bring you the same rewards, even now, as if you were a darling of the establishment, but the thing is…

The worm is turning.  The times they are achanging. We’ll have some losses (how not) but in the end, the cultural tide is with us.  The more the establishment clamps down, the more scared it looks, the more adherents it loses.

And their product is just bad.  In books, it’s becoming well nigh unreadable.  There’s only so long you can wear the skin of a gutted institution while demanding respect, before the putrefaction is clear and people turn away in disgust.

In the end we win, they lose.  Be not afraid.

 

 

They Hate Us, They Really Hate Us

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And by us I don’t mean the right. I mean humanity, or maybe even warm blooded animals. Perhaps life itself.

There is a tendency to read any type of old, old myth and think “maybe that’s the memory of an old civilization.”  At least there is that tendency amid scholars, crazy people and science fiction writers.

Somewhere I have a collection of legends about the big flood from many pre-Biblical sources.  (These things are always published with much glee by a certain type of person who thinks that by finding these they “disprove” Judaism or Christianity.  It’s kind of infantile. To put it mildly. After all, let’s suppose there is a G-d and events related to Him, things He directly caused to happen on Earth. Do you know what the…. footprint of such an event would be?  I mean, let’s be real for a moment, okay? How many “pre-announcements/foretellings of 9/11 did we see in art and writing? as though an event that big projected back as well as forward.  How much more would something like a world-wide flood project.  Never mind. The type of mind that thinks that refutes world religions is the sort of mind who thinks “hey hey ho ho” is a policy refutation.)

Anyway, the book itself was interesting, but one of the stories in that book even I couldn’t imagine being a memory of an old civilization. It was how the flood was sent because humanity was too noisy and wouldn’t shut up, and some goddess or other got all upset and sent the flood to quiet them down.

I thought civilization ending PMS was just a step too far.  I’m no longer so sure.

Last week I came across a story — in much self-congratulatory tones — about how the shutdown had stopped the Earth vibrations.

Look, I have no clue if any of this is even real. These are the people who harp on and talk about vast flotillas of waste plastic in the sea, and make exhibits of it, but no one REAL has seemed to ever see one of these.  None of our friends who sail or cross the Atlantic have seen a single one. And you certainly don’t see it from planes. There aren’t any photos from people who just came across them and took a picture. None of that. It’s all just some article, some study, some denunciation.  And if you do the leg work, most of the pictures can be traced to some flood or tsunami that, of course, carried debris to sea.  This is not the same as being a litter bug and scolding us about littering and/or using plastic bags and straws does nothing to ameliorate the “problem” which at any rate is nowhere is big as they say.  Yes there is a problem with plastic waste — with all waste — off the coasts of China, but note, it is the West they lecture.

Anyway, so I don’t know if any of this is real, but the article said there were vibrations to the Earth caused by all of humanity moving and talking and driving cars (gasp, the horror.)  I have doubts about it, because it reads like all the crazy liberal bullshit “OMG too many people.”  I very much doubt our puny numbers are enough to cause vibrations or whatever, but you know, they believe it. And they were so happy it stopped with the lockdown.  Now, at last there was silence.

I’ve known they hate us for…. well, I think since I started paying attention, so probably around twelve or so.

It sticks out all over them. They hate humanity.  And to be fair to them (do I have to?) they are the inheritors of a long tradition going back to moralizing self-flagellating Christian writers, talking about how bad humanity was. They have learned from Rosseau on how bad humans are for rising above the animals. They fed on the Victorians and their moralizing tales of how animals were better than men (Was it Treasure Island that had the moralizing tale where man is judged and only dog speaks up for him?) And in the modern era, these early-weaned children of absentee parents who dumped them at daycare, were fed story after story of what I call hippie pap gone sour.  Because the age of Aquarius failed to happen, a lot of them went into talking about how bad man is, compared to you know, fish, or lichen or something.

You can find it in any zoo or museum exhibit. It’s that mainstream. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo years ago had an exhibit that made me laugh until I couldn’t breathe.  They had tombstones of animals who’d gone extinct, starting, I think with trilobites. And then some half-baked ignoramus had topped it with a mirror for the kids to look into and underneath it said “you’re looking at the only animal who can cause extinctions.”

And, apparently, time travel.

This is one of the reasons my kids know how to swear in Portuguese. (Praying, swearing and counting are still done in Portuguese. No, I don’t know why.) After I managed to stop laughing, I swore. And then I explained that no, extinctions are caused by changes in the environment. Any animal can cause extinctions, including its own, by changing the environment.

I have talked here about the stupid “After us” program in which they worked out evolution into the future. I settled down with the kids, because I love dinosaurs and natural history. But it quickly became obvious this was just an excuse to scour humans from the Earth, and once humans were extinct in their imagination, then all mammals and then all warm blooded animals. This is the program that ended with intelligent octopi swinging from trees and chirping.

It made no sense from an actual evolutionary point of view, as any of the catastrophes they devised were more likely to kill…. anything else than us, adaptable, clever apes.  But it fixed some itch they needed to scratch: their hatred for us, and anything that likes us, and anything related to us, and–

It’s not self-hatred. The people who say they hate themselves first are wrong.  Sure, they live in hell. In a hell of their own making, in which they deny themselves any type of meaningful human life with love and kids and things built for the future. BUT it only looks like hell to us.  Hatred is addictive, and they’re high on unearned moral superiority. They see the bad, so they’re better than us. That.

They imagine themselves like gods knowing good from evil.  It’s a false vision, but that’s what they want: to destroy, to silence, to make everyone they deem bad stop existing. They dress it up in “for the Earth” but if we were gone, they’d go on to eradicate every other life form, who are after all “harming the Earth” by existing.

Their idea of paradise is a scoured clean empty globe, quiet at last.

For years, I’ve thought the mass graves of communism were an unintended consequence.  Now I’m not so sure. Even they can’t be that stupid.  And we do know they hate us, they really hate us.

It is our fault in a way. We let it go on.  I was all down with “humans are uniquely bad” in my early teens when I came across a Heinlein sentence that made me pause and think. (No wonder, they hate him.) It went something like (Many years ago. I’m sure I’ve re-read the book but didn’t memorize the sentence, and that first time is what made the difference) “I am for humans, because I’m human.”

It made me stop and think “Who am I judging us in the name of? I mean even that trial with the dog speaking for us and every other animal hating us, that was what some guy thought animals felt, not real.  I mean, for all we know, supposing animals had moral judgement, they’d go “Humans, yeah, good guys. They produce so much stuff we can eat.””  And then I thought of all the animals who voluntarily seek the sphere of humans. And how many — Chickens, cows, sheep — would long be extinct without us.

But the fact I was sixteen or so when I woke up to all of this… We let it go on too long.

We let the attitude of “Humans all bad, they lose in the end” become hip and cool.  We let culture makers, most of whom, frankly, couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with instructions written on the heel, run our entire species down in order to feel superior. And we let THEM teach this to the kids.

Environmentalism, sure, as it should be.  Teach the kids to look after the natural world as much as we can, remembering we are not gods (there was some kind of bird in the North East, early twentieth century that we tried so hard to save, but kept getting hit with things like plagues. And then we put them in a preserve, and it caught fire and they all died.  We’re not the only ones who can cause extinctions. And extinctions will happen even if we don’t want them to.)  There is no excuse for littering. No excuse for wantonly destroying life of any kind if we don’t need to.

But it shouldn’t be anti-human. We, like lichens and plants are part of the natural world, and we’re allowed to exist.

But we let the gospel of nihilism and human-hatred be preached to the kids.

And the results are all over. What it causes is actual real destruction. Of civilization, of life, of everything and anything bigger than the souls of the dunghill cocks proclaiming humanity’s irredeemable evil.

May G-d have mercy on our souls.

Meanwhile, pass the ammo and fight the culture war. Fight them on every front in every way: Ridicule them, disprove them and make them face their own petty insignificance.

Hold a mirror to them and tell them “This is who you are. The more you diminish humanity the more you diminish yourself. We are not impressed.”

 

Another Turn of the Wheel – A Blast From the Past From August 2019

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Don’t put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again.

Today I was talking to Bill Reader, who is a little more discouraged than normal about the stifling climate of academia.  Mostly because, if what I hear of reports from the “inside” academia, like the arts, like writing, like news, like… well, the democrats, and all other places colonized by leftists, has gone farking insane. I mean, if you think that the NYU (?) study declaring that milking cows was sexual abuse is bad, you might not follow the giant pile of manure that is academia in our day and age.

Anyone rational would be fed up with it. And I’m sure a lot of people are.  I’m sure a lot of other mild-mannered lecturers in the liberal arts keep their mouth shut, and nod or pretend to nod, because (their) baby needs shoes, and they can’t afford to do a grand gesture of honor and leave their family starving.

And I pointed out something that came up in one of my private groups on facebook: the peak of leftist crazy has already passed. The wheel is already turning the other way. [By this I meant the peak of letting crazy leftist politics be mainstream and form society. As you can tell from the rest of the article, the remnants of the cult will only get louder and louder and more insane. Those of you in compatible religions, pray to Saint Dymphna. We’re solidly under his purview now.- SAH 2020)

You can tell this in several ways.  The first one was given to me by an older friend — who might now be gone, but we lost touch several list-groups ago — who told me in 2004 that the left was losing. They always get louder and crazier when they’re losing.

As a show of the fact they’re losing — not the election. They might pull that from the a…ir by virtue of extreme vote fraud. Which they work to facilitate ANYTIME they get any kind of power — I refer you to the fact that they’ve never been this completely insane.  But wait, there’s more.

The more is that they are pulling out the most bizarre and unlikely slurs. Look, the Russia thing didn’t have any legs. For one accusing the right of Russian collusion was the ultimate act of projection, after Obama’s “more flexible” comment. But beyond that: there.was.nothing.there.

Only the left doesn’t know how to back down anymore. Everything is a fight to the knife, and everything must be pushed to absurdity.  Take the nonsense around Kavanaugh.  They might have accused him of being skivvy around women and got along with it, but no. They had to go for rape, and the chick had to pretend to be so traumatized that she couldn’t fly (while having a vacation house in Hawaii) and then they had to accuse him of having a rape ring. And then…

In the same way they could get away with saying that Trump was crude in speech and manner towards women, and even emphasize the morals of work in the seventies were different from now, and leave him tarnished and walking wounded. But they had to go for the pee dossier and claim he really did grab them by the p*ssy and REEEEEE to 11.

Which pushes it past any pretense of being reasonable or believable.

#metoo could have flown if they’d made it a few, judicious cases, but their people have no discipline — and I’m not talking about the kids in schools and work. I’m talking about cases that get press — and when the press decides to run with George H. W. Bush molesting a nurse, in a description that anyone who has cared for an aged relative recognizes, empathizes with and realizes the man has no more control than does a toddler and only a fool considers that abuse, it’s insane and the movement is already burning itself.

This “and the kitchen sink” behavior is not the behavior of a movement that has any answers or any self confidence.

And as for the clown car of Democrat candidates… who the hell thinks it’s a good idea to pile on with “Health care for illegals, because health care is a human right and they’re humans?”  So is the rest of the world, but we assuredly can’t pay for it.  They are laying bare the idea that proclaiming something a human right that requires the labor of others is insane and a form of reinventing slavery. (The Dems? Slavery? Who’d have thunk it!)

Other things they keep signaling are how much they hate America and all of us. “Vote for us, peasant. We hate you” could only be a platform that appeals to an aristocratic class that has climbed so far up its own behind it’s forgotten what history looks like.

What history looks like, once aristocrats, or self proclaimed aristocrats get so out of touch is “Aristo, aristo, a la lanterne” and ça ira.  I recommend to the usual leftists reading this blog for things to offend them that they study the French revolution and realize once and for all that they are not the revolutionaries. They are the stodgy, entrenched aristocrats who have all the power. They got there via selecting for the kind of cant that at this point no sane person can believe. And so they’ve achieved in 4 generations what would take a monarchy centuries of inbreeding to achieve: either total lack of ability to think, or total refusal to.

Which brings us to… they survive because they really like power, and because they are protected by being on top.

Look, the institutions they control at this point are the profoundly conservative ones: news (prestige news) reporting, academia (the older and more established, the more leftist) the good old families, the people with money and power.  In fact, now becoming “woke” is the equivalent of joining a country club for parvenus to fit in, which is why people like Bezos and Gates trip over themselves to pay homage.

But the thing is, in every time and in every place by the time an elite controls all of that, the revolution is under way. If not a physical revolution with head chopping, a tech revolution, a new way of doing things that dethrones them.

The left is blind to that because it’s part of their credo to believe themselves eternal underdogs and revolutionaries. Writing that into our entertainment and news ONLY requires them to pretend they’re living somewhere circa 1950.  And not even the 1950s that were, but something from their own heads.  Which means…

They’re out of touch. Even those of them who can reason and think can’t do it without realizing the foundational lie of their ideology: that they’re in power while pretending to fight power.

Now they’re desperately trying to redact history to make themselves eternal victims. That never works well.

And meanwhile the real functions they hold are moving on, however shambling and imperfect. They have to move on, because the corrupt institutions can no longer perform. And a lot of these functions are needed (arguably even storytelling.)

More and more, the left holds a shell of power, while the real power moves on.

That’s the good news. When they seem most entrenched, they’re already falling apart.

The bad news is that they won’t go without a fight. And the fight is going to get bad. Both in overreach, because they are doing that, and not just with accusations. Consider proposals to make KG or preschool mandatory. It’s crazy overreach, an attempt at indoctrinating the kids who are somehow still evading them after 12 years.  Or consider California’s bizarre plan to make race studies (their way) mandatory.  Or– It’s all around. It’s all insane. And yet, they will continue doing it.

And then there is the fact they have an iron grip on vote manufacture, which means disinfecting our government might take … well… a revolution.

They’ve already lost where it counts. They’ve already lost the real culture and the “way things will be done in the future.”

What they still have, though, is the ability to make the next fifteen to 20 years very unpleasant, and, possibly, to ensure that what comes next is much, much harsher and more punitive than it would otherwise be.

Keep your hearts on high.  And if you’re a praying sort, pray.  Because the waters are going to get very choppy.

But given half a chance, we’ll turn this yet, and come out on the other side as America. Home of the brave and the land of the free.

 

Saudade

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A couple of weeks ago, at  friend’s gathering, someone asked: How long are we going to put up with this?

This was before the mandatory mask mandate in Colorado, but with everything from public gatherings to churches limited to ten people — strictly six feet apart — per gathering.

The title of this post — Saudade — for those of you gaping at it and wondering if it is the name of a fantasy character (Now I think about it, it would be a pretty good name for a fantasy character) is a word the Portuguese pride themselves on saying is untranslatable.

This sort of claim from any language more or less always makes me roll my eyes. Because it is translatable, of course it is.  Most of the time, in its pedestrian every day use, “tenho saudades” means “I miss.”

Now the thing to remember is that besides basically being the chaotic neutral D&D alignment with borders, Portugal is a place of poetry.  Perhaps because as my older son put it “The damn country is an iceberg. Most of it is in the past, trawling beneath the water, unseen, and affecting everything.”

So saudade, not used in its every day pedestrian sense, but in the sense poets and madmen (most Portuguese) use it refers to missing something with a deep, painful longing, something that can’t be called back/experienced again.

Perhaps the best way to express it is the ballad by Jean Ingelow quoted in Agatha Christie:

Ah, maid most dear, I am not here,
I have no place, no part,
No dwelling more by sea or shore,
But only in thy heart!

Saudade is what you might feel if you lived by the sea, in a beautiful city, and one day an earthquake came, the shore collapsed and the sea came in.  Suddenly all the places that were familiar and commonplace to you, the places you lived in and worked in, and saw every day were ten miles from shore, under water.

In storms you’d hear the tolling of the submerged bells and felt an acute but unavailing need to go back, to walk those streets again and meet all the friends who died that night, not as an extraordinary event, but as they were.

That’s saudade.

Saturday I left eating till much too late (this grief thing is weird. Every time it hits me as though it were brand new, too) and being famished and with us needing to go look in the business mailbox, we went to Pete’s (which is right around the corner from the business mailbox.)

Because Pete’s is an old style diner, the six foot (insane, unsupported, completely arbitrary) rule means that the main dining room is basically unusable. I mean there is EXACTLY one two person booth available.

Also, because some people are insane, some interpret the rule — all hail absolute king Polis, who needs a kicking on his fat ass. Since when does he have the right to violate our pursuit of happiness that way?  Also all of us asthmatics should sue him for violating ADA.  Oh, and Sprouts is on my shit list FOREVER. They don’t “view” a face shield as enough, and don’t make exceptions for asthmatics. WHERE are all the lawyers?– as meaning they can only remove the mask for shoveling food in. (Picture how much touching of that mask goes on, and the eating and just how gross and unhygienic the whole thing is.)

As we drove back, I felt — looking at the mostly deserted summer streets, the masked people — as though I were hearing bells toll under a stormy ocean.

I wanted more than anything to go back to just five months ago, to the normal, awake world, where Americans have freedom of assembly, of taking risks in pursuit of happiness, of having businesses open or not without the fiat and imprimatur of the government.

And the problem is, it can never come back again.  The compact is broken.

So many things we thought utterly unimaginable have happened in the last year.  Oh, some happened before, but we found out about them: like the utter perversion of our system of government by an outgoing president who decided to weaponize the secret services to a) prevent the election of someone he didn’t want b) prevent that person from governing if elected.

In politics, a lot of things are like the genie in the bottle.  Once you let it out you can’t cram it back in again.

The current — orchestrated — distraction might prevent Obama and the Clintons, and the whole vomitous of mass of self-proclaimed and dirty as sh*t (with apologies to real excrement) elites from paying for their crimes.  But it won’t prevent this from becoming the new normal.

Honestly, the only thing that prevented us from banana republic status for generations was the fact that the press wouldn’t report on the casual law transgression that democrats routinely engaged in, which of course gave the democrats a leg up, since Republicans couldn’t retaliate without being torn limb from limb by the hounds of press. But it also kept the fragile form and idea of a constitutional republic in place.

The democrats MIGHT (but I doubt it) have realized that what they were doing was the equivalent of certain diseases and parasites which mask their existence until it’s too late.

And it could be much worse. Without the internet. We are blessed that the enemies of freedom have a TOTAL inability to foretell where things will lead. Like all people greedy for power and control, they see ONLY their desire, not what comes after.

Look, they were never going to get their heart’s desire, which is the equivalent of Stalin’s reign in the USSR, but more absolute and going on forever.  Partly because that reign is actually impossible for any extent of time. (Even Cuba or NK only look that controlled from the outside (besides being smaller areas with very uniform culture.) Partly because… well. Stalin would eat them alive for lunch, without disturbing his mustache one whit.  When it comes to evil our lefty elites are the equivalent of a possessed rubber ducky.  The evil and the intent are there, but the ability to carry it out is matches their (in)competence at everything else. That same press that protected them also made them unable to survive without protection. They’re like the evil possessed toddler let out to play on the highway. …. often, as we’ve seen in the last few months, literally.

What they’ve proven over the last few months is this: They hate us and wish to torture us.  Winnie the flu, that increasingly flimsy excuse, becomes day by day more obviously a paper tiger, and they stomp their little hooved feet and scream they won’t let us out to live our lives, and that we have no rights that don’t come from them.

There is no going back. Even if they donned masks of normalcy and sanity tomorrow…. who would believe them?

There are many paths from where we are.

One doesn’t exist.  That’s their promised land where they get to play “Simon says” with us for the rest of eternity.  First because everything they learned on how to run a society is wrong, and often the diametrical opposite of what allows a society to run.  Second, because we’re a continent-sized country of increasingly restless prisoners.

It doesn’t mean unpleasant alternatives don’t exist.  When societies go out of their nut insane, as ours seems to have gone these last six months, the only thing that seems to stop it is war and more specifically losing a  war.  Considering the state of those who could win a war against us, (enemies foreign and domestic, in fact) I don’t think that would end well or be a viable alternative. Well, not for those of us who dream of living in freedom. (Though you can’t kill an idea and some of us have our scraps of flag, if only in our hearts.)

There are decent alternatives, too, though. Those in which Marxism which has infiltrated so many of our institutions is finally dismantled, and we start rebuilding western civ, now with more sanity.

Tech is harder to monopolize now (yes, yes, I know. the tech giants, yadda yadda. But that’s their attempt at one more yota of control. It’s not actually as easy as you think. There are ways to evade it when it becomes intolerable.) It’s harder to long march through the institutions when institutions are toppling (Largely because they were infiltrated by the gang that can’t tie its own shoes.)

You know where I’m placing my bets. In the end, we win, they lose. Unless we concede the culture fight, which honestly I don’t even think we can. Our very existence threatens them. They can’t cancel EVERYONE.

So be not afraid. I don’t know how long we’ll put up with this. I expect till November, one way or another (which makes me remind you to have food and meds on hand for a couple of months, etc.)

But even though I know the status quo ante was already rotten, and that the people who pulled this on us were already in power throw vote-by-fraud-mail and able to do whatever they wanted; even though I remember all their abuses before this last catastrophic intrusion….

I miss the unbroken sunlit world, where I knew a shop would admit me if I needed to run in and buy a blah blah, without demanding I impair my breathing or — who knows, next week — hop on my leg, or whatever governor shithead Polis dreams up to impose on THEM.

Sometimes the tolling of those bells under the water as the storm gathers fills me with unbearable longing.

Writing Challenge and Book Promo

*For those who want to know how I am. I’m …. managing. I still get moments of extreme grief out of nowhere.  But I’m trying to re-create A routine. Difficult as Marshall and I still have three rooms to floor, but– I’m trying.- SAH*

Book Promo

*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*

 

FROM KARL K. GALLAGHER:  Storm Between the Stars: Book 1 in the Fall of the Censor.

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Niko Landry and his crew thought a routine hyperspace survey would be easy money. But when the barrier separating their homeworld from the rest of the human race opens, they seize the chance to go exploring . . . finding an empire more dangerous than they imagined.

FROM MARY CATELLI:  The Princess Goes Into The Forest.

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In the home of a wealthy but vanished family, four young people, inventorying the household, find the props for the family’s amateur theaterics. But a few minutes of donning them to play at roles has consequences that none of them could have guessed. One plays a subtle courtier, one a brave swordsman, one a powerful enchantress. . . and one takes up the role of a princess, and goes into a forest.

FROM L. A. GREGORY:  Stoneheart: A Novel of the Bitterlands.

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A vicious attack. An enigmatic ore. Can two young mystics solve the mystery before chaos spreads?

Shale strives to protect his embattled city using his stoneshaping magic. But when he intercepts a plot which puts his beloved home in danger, all his knowledge and experience aren’t enough to uncover the truth. If he can’t find the source of the danger, everyone he cares about could die.

Kestrel believes in duty to family, friends and the natural world. When Shale asks for her help, she doesn’t hesitate to come to his aid. But as they follow the trail through perilous wilderness, can even her shapeshifting ability keep them alive?

Battling hostile environments and corrupted creatures, they forge their way to a fortress whose very stones can drive them mad. Can Shale and Kestrel stop a gathering calamity, or will the truth destroy their minds, their bodies and their land?

THOMAS SEWELL: Hitchhiking Killer For Hire: Sovereign Security Company (Sharper Security Book 0).

Former Army Ranger beaten and left in the south-west desert by a dozen strangers

Sam Harper wants to relax on a beach and surf. Put government service behind him.

But a border gang and their corrupt government backers refuse to let him retire from violence that easily.

Betrayed by friends, Sam must find a new purpose fighting human trafficking, truck jacking, and protecting those in need along the Mexico-Arizona border.

Can he endure long enough to make that difference?

Prequel to Sharper Security. This story stands independently, but is set after the events in Techno Ranger and Covert Commando, so contains minor spoilers about characters and relationships in those books.

WRITING CHALLENGE

*While I’m sure that Mary sent me the vignette word as USUAL on Sunday last, my email has ways of hiding things in search. So, for today’s challenge, write the beginning of a story, or a story challenge on THIS picture. SAH*
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Witch’s Daughter, Installment 10

*Sorry for the long hiatus. Things are still not… normal.  And I don’t mean just getting used to a world without Greebo, which is bad enough, but trying to finish reflooring the house before the snow flies.  Three rooms to go but one is the family room, which is going to be pure hell, just in terms of moving furniture around.

So: *For the previous chapters, please go here. These are posted first draft, as the brain dictates to the fingers which are remarkably stupid. Also there will be inconsistencies because until September or so, the timing on these is wonky, and I’ll forget stuff between posts. Eventually it will be cleaned up and fixed just before page is made secret/taken down and the book is published. At that time I will take lists of typos or volunteers to proof read. For now, it’s written in a hurry, usually an hour before it goes up. And, let me remind you, it’s free – SAH*

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Complex

Albinia was mortified.

She’d read novels — to be truthful mostly because Mama had forbidden her from reading novels.  In those works, it seemed that whenever a young lady brought home a suitor of higher status or magical rank or fortune, the young lady’s family would conspire to unwittingly embarrass her mortally.

Albinia had read with great amusement a hundred such scenes of the character being mortified by the behavior of her relatives.

Fine, so Lord Michael wasn’t her suitor, but still! He was the son and brother of a duke, and here was Geoffrey behaving as though he’d been reared in a stable… or worse.

She scratched at her nose, as he promised to explain everything and how everything was so complex.  It wasn’t so much that her nose itched, as that she felt something was very wrong, but couldn’t quite figure out what.  Other than the fact that her brother apparently could change shapes and become a swan and that papa might be the werewolf they had smacked on the nose.  She was trying very hard not to think of the implications of this, since papa had never met her. If she understood the timing correctly, he had left — disappeared — around the time mama was approaching her confinement with Albinia.  How terrible to first meet one’s father with such an unfilial action as smacking him on the nose.

Scratching at her nose was what Albinia did when she was confused and trying to gain time.  Usually trying to gain time to think of something not quite a lie to tell mama in order to stop her asking inconvenient questions.

Geoffrey made a big show of being offended by Lord Michael asking perfectly reasonable questions, then crossed his arms on his chest and said,

“Very well. We’re under a geas, you see, when none of us can be human at the same time. So I was trying to say my piece, because I don’t know–” Suddenly his voice shook, which to Al was the scariest thing of all, because she thought Geoff was going to break down and start crying.  “I don’t know if the others might have need of changing at any time.”

More to ward off his possible tears — she knew from when they all lived together how much any of the boys hated crying — than because she was incensed, she said, “What do you mean by that, Geoff? Surely you could leave each other notes and plan your human–”

To her horror this made things worse. Geoff’s lips trembled, and his eyes shone, and he said “W-w-we d-d-d-did f-f-f—”

And Al realized what had been bothering her.  Geoff hadn’t stammered at all through the previous speech, but now it was back, in full bloom. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Lord Michael’s horrified expression and wasn’t sure why, but she reverted to what always worked and said, “Geoff! Deep breaths, and speak slowly.”

This brought a wan smile to Geoffrey’s face.  He said “D-d–  Darn it, Al.  I rarely stammer anymore, because I have had years of solitude to p-p-practice, but…”  He took two deep breaths.  “Forgive me, Lord Michael.” Then to Al, “You see, at first we did just as you said.  We had a big board in this house, and w-we used to have a schedule.  And we also left notes and letters to each other.  That’s how father told us that L-Lord Michael should be able to free us from this geas, and also how he told us to wait until he came of age. B-b-b–”  Geoff took a deep breath.  “We couldn’t wait, you see.  You have no idea how terrible it is to spend years and years really alone.  Though I can see the others when in swan form.”

“Swan, not goose,” Lord Michael muttered under his breath, but Al chose to ignore that ornithological observation. She didn’t suppose that sons of dukes spent much time in the poultry house.

Geoff looked at Lord Michael and the wan smile became more pronounced, even if still wan, “Right. Swans. My step mother got the idea from some old tale or other. But seeing each other as swans doesn’t help much, as there’s a limited degree of what you can communicate by body language.  And Papa–  Well, it is best at any rate for any of us not to meet papa when he’s a wolf, since he becomes quite a ferocious beast.” He paused for a moment. “To be fair, even as a human, he used to be ferocious if we interrupted him while he was working, though at least as a human devouring people was not in his range of ideas.”

“I imagine not,” lord Michael said, drily and stepped back till he sat on one of the chairs.

“But as I said, we grew impatient. And we had some idea of how to break the spell. Or at least–” He paused.  “Papa thought it involved taking the path out the back door and meeting the challenges. He just thought the challenges required g-g-g-genius. And he said none of us had it to that degree… So the others–”

Albinia knew her brothers too well not to know what was coming next “They took the path?”

“One by one,” Geoff said.  “Till only I was left.”

She opened her mouth, closed it. There was a cold feeling of dread in her middle.  “And none came back?”

Geoff shook his head.  Now he sat on one of the chairs as well, and his hands were visible trembling. “Till only I am left.”  He looked at Michael.  “And if you won’t help us, I’ll have t-t-t-to go myself.  Only if none of the others could do it–  And papa doesn’t know. I didn’t dare leave him a note telling him what happened.  And, oh, Al, it’s been hell.”

And Al fell into the role she’d had all through childhood, when she — incongruously — tried to look after all the boys, “There, there, Geoff, it will be well.” But she didn’t dare ask Lord Michael to help. They’d already put him to so much trouble.

She looked to the side, where he — under the grime and dust of their adventure — looked very solemn.

Well. Never mind. If he wouldn’t, she’d have to do it. Even if she wasn’t a genius. Not even as much of a genius as the boys.

 

 

The Ape Who Loves

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Image by Günther Schneider from Pixabay

When I was fourteen I read Desmond Morris “The Killer Ape” [I’m reliably informed Morris wrote The Naked Ape, which if I remember also went on about how violent we were, though maybe not uniquely so. There was however a “The Killer Ape.” I just don’t remember the name of  the authors. It’s been 44 years, okay?] and because I was fourteen and virgin of any real history, anthropology and/or psychology, particularly animal psychology (to be fair, so are college graduates in those fields. In fact, college has become a way to cultivate and preserve ignorance and misconceptions, sort of a bell jar over the mind that lets no contrary facts in.)I thought it made a good point.

Since then I’ve read a lot of books about people who observed actual animals, and not only are we not the killer ape, but we have nothing on chimps, who flip on a dime from friendly to stone cold killers and will kill babies in their own pack.  In fact, our frenzies, our occasional mob behavior is probably a return to that part of the brain that comes from our deep ancestry.

And yet the idea is still out there that we’re humans because we’re the worst of the worst.  For the record, btw, every mammal goes to war.  Mostly territorial or subspecies war. I rather suspect some birds might too.  It is the way of the animal to defend and expand territory, and yep, mostly for those who are like them/close relations.

Yesterday I came across one of those pages that come up with “news” (if you intend to read only the crazier left, meaning this always annoys the heck out of me) when you bring up firefox.  I didn’t read the article, but right there, on top was an article about the ape and the mushroom, according to which we became humans because we ate a lot of magic mushrooms — man! Trippy! — and in my head canon I want you to know every sentence in that articles ends with a variation of “have you ever looked at your hand?”

Like the idea  that men were the killer ape, this seems, at best misguided.  Anyone who has lived with cats knows that every mammal tends to get stoned given a chance (Well, actually Greebo wasn’t fond of it.  Catnip seemed to have no effect on him besides a mild attractant. He loved the catnip rat a friend made for him, but I think because it was a toy his size.  The little catnip mice disintegrated under the onslaught of his claws. And Valeria completely ignores catnip.  And toys. She’s a little, broken cat. We won’t talk about Havey, though.)  We know that apes eat fermented fruit full of alcohol. I very much doubt they don’t eat other things that make them high. (Some of us hate being out of our minds which must serve as my excuse for not even liking to be drunk. Fortunately, genetically, I almost never am. OTOH I moderated my drinking considerably as aging seems to have made me more susceptible.)

So, magic mushrooms made us human, uh?  I wonder what the person who came up with that thesis was smoking.

But while I was thinking about it, I related it to the stuff above, and came up with a weird thought: We’re not the ape who kills. All apes do.  We’re not the ape who gets high, all apes do.  We’re the ape who loves.  We’re the ape who loves so much we take — and took, even when our life hung on a knife’s edge of need and scarcity — creatures of other species to our hearts and make them part of our band, our pack, our family.

If you look around, that’s pretty weird.  Sure, some species have symbiotic relationships, and sure, man and wolf/dog hunted together.

But if you think about it, that’s different form the mutually exploitative relationship of other symbiotic species.

Oh, we make use of our friends, but also as far back as we can remember or find evidence, there’s marks of affection.

And anyway, we’d never have started hunting together if we had eaten those wolf pups — tender meat — we found in a cave, instead of keeping them and training them and teaching them to ENJOY being around us, enjoy being petted, to defend us as if we were members of their pack, because we defend them like members of ours.

Cats, even stray cats we feed at the door, bring us kills, trying to support us as we support them.

What I’m trying to say is on both sides there’s a volational step to love those who are utterly different from us.

And that seems to be what made us human.

Sure you can say we’re horny apes.  You can presume that the traces of other human races all of us carry around are part of being horny and “humans will screw anything” and you can assume it was all rape.

It’s hard to tell, that far back in pre-history, before records, but I’m going to bet you it wasn’t all rape.  I’m going to bet you, because of course, if we can love cats and dogs (and bunnies, mice, snakes, fish, even monkeys) as children, we can surely love things that look more like us closer/better.

I bet you there were mixed couples. I bet you there were childless couples taking to their bosom orphans found in the forest. (There are enough legends about that, and those are sometimes the most reliable accounting of our ancestry.)  I BET you there was love.  Love is what made us what we are, a hybrid species that we find, more and more, carries genes of many others, and are better for it.

This is also, btw, no matter how much bigots on both sides of the isle howl, there is no such think as a pure race human. Yes, I know what gene analysis says, but bah, it’s early days yet.  I remember when the earliest gene analysis made us basically chimps. THP.

Humans love.  Humans love across species, across race, across what should be the unimaginable gulf of phillum and clade.

If we go to space and find aliens, I give you a couple hundred years, tops, before some human is trying to get a scientist to help him make a child with his smart octopus girlfriend.

How did that make us human?

Well, besides the obvious and improbable genetic mix with other human species some as yet unidentified (We’re in very early days of the field) and hybrid vigor, it forced us to develop empathy and imagination.

Cats, dogs and horses, our closest, most faithful companions, do not talk.  We had to bridge the gap.  We had to communicate with them, understand how they were communicating, and carry the relationship.

Which in turn made us more capable of understanding humans who weren’t like us, humans far away, humans in the past.

And, by giving us empathy, as a trained trait, (Perhaps a neo-natal trait that persisted because — as someone said in comments, tribes with cats kept more grain, and therefore raised more children.  My reading on the brain indicates mirror neuron and structures babies possess allow one to integrate and avoid being killed. I think our domesticating animals/being domesticated by them makes use of those.) they made it possible for us to live in cities, in large groupings, and thereby to develop civilization.

If we go to the stars someday (please) it is because some neolithic hunter didn’t kill a litter of wolves, but brought them home and made them his children/his brothers.  Because some hunter-gathering primitive didn’t strangle the kitten and put it in her sack, but fed it and petted it and made it part of her circle, raised with her children.

We are the ape who tames itself.  But our taming started with love across species barriers, across the gulf of misunderstanding, across the vast chasms of different self interest.  And that’s why we’re human.

Which might be worth — maybe — the occasional writer who gets all mired in grief at the death of her curmudgeonly, protective black cat.

Now I’m going to go help son put his doors back in and install floor transitions: me and my broken heart.

And I know the broken heart is the price for doors, for floors, for civilization.  And yes, for empathy and stories as well.

 

 

 

The Things that Matter

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I wasn’t going to write a post today, but I’m not always given a choice. And I woke up thinking I should write this.

I’m not alright.  Of course I’m not alright.  My older son says that there are things that break you and that it’s a proof of your humanity that you are broken.  Events after which we’ll never be alright again, if alright is understood as what we were before.

Of course you also grow through breaks.  I’m not even at the point of seeing that yet.  Today I CAN think for longer than 30 seconds at a time. OTOH I feel like I’ve been deathly ill and am just recovering.  In fact, as close as I can tell, I feel exactly like when I woke up five years ago after major surgery.  There’s no specific symptoms, I’m just extremely tired and out of spoons.  I.e. any endeavor, even looking at the shower  pan to see if it needs replacing or just re-sealing/re-finishing is way too much for me.  (The walls will need to be replaced.)

I told (younger) son I’ll try to do it tomorrow, because the wall system once ordered will take two weeks to arrive, and — you know — it would be nice for him not to have to trudge upstairs to the guest shower.  BUT I think I’ll have to treat myself as I did after the surgery (which is STUPID. It shouldn’t feel like this) and work two or three hours, then  call it a day.

Weirdly, I got where I am by son distracting me with work from 11 am to 10 pm yesterday.  Look, it wasn’t even that much work and I should have been done much sooner, but I wasn’t processing.  He probably did the most of the work, and I don’t know if he meant to snap me out of the funk, but what happened was, as I was trying to hide in a corner and pull the world in after myself, he told me I had a lot more experience and he needed me, so he dragged me to finish some honey-dos.

When I was done I could actually sleep.  I still feel awful, but I can think, and I think I’ll be okay.

However, what I wanted to write: This has been an exceptionally BRUTAL year.  It started at the end of last year, when our friend Charlie Martin moved out of state. Yes, I totally get why he did it, and it’s been good for him and hell, he lived two hours away, so we saw each other twice a year… BUT he was nearby and in the same time zone, and we used to talk a lot. So, that was a change.

Then the changes kept coming.  Some of them are good, such as the stuff with the kids (supposing younger son manages to get university to actually you know officially graduate him. [It’s all bureaucratic, but it’s a mess due to shutdown.]) But it changed the … texture of daily life.

Some of it was sudden and catastrophic and shouldn’t have been an issue, except it was, because the car died and left us stranded without a car, and we had to buy one, and since we’d had the previous car for 21 almost 22 years, it was a huge change.

Some was long overdue.  We should have eased Euclid over long ago, but … we have trouble saying goodbye?

Then there was the lockdown and that’s a kick in the pants destruction of a routine I LIKED.  (Work like crazy all week, take sometimes lunch special at Pete’s on Thursday, or lunch with son in springs during the week, but always take Saturday off and do fun relaxed day with husband (sometimes after cleaning house, if not done on Friday.)

Then….  Well, then I lost my shadow.

So it’s been a time when there’s no foothold to establish “normalcy” which is making me feel as crazy as when we were moving again and again and again over a year, till I felt homeless and like I had no roots.

Honestly, part of the issue is that I’m now in fear.  What will be taken next?  Havey?  One of us?

BUT….

Okay, here’s the thing: love them while you have them.  Kids, cats, dogs, husbands, ants, dragons, fish, friends, routines.

Just take the time off, take a deep breath and be grateful for what you have.  Be aware of what you have and that it’s good.

I know this is sometimes really hard.  It’s hard to appreciate your bratty, messy toddlers.  But take time, LOOK past the exhaustion and do so.

There is one thing I can promise you: everything passes. Everything changes.  Love what you have and enjoy while you have it.  And find something to love in the changed circumstances.  Even when it’s hard.  I’m having trouble with Havey wanting to sit on me ALL the time, and having to reach over him to type.  BUT he’s warm, he’s fuzzy and he loves me.  Could be WORSE.

Find a foothold of love as things change. Take comfort in things.

The human nervous system HATES change.  I’ve heard moving, because of the change in routine, is stress enough to precipitate as many heart attacks as divorce or death of a partner.

And I swear to you, 2020 is trying to kill me.  Over and over and over again.

But I’m not going to let it.  I hear gratitude and love help.  So I’m going to try that.

You try too.

I remember during a particularly “from hell” school year, in 7th grade, I needed a break like you wouldn’t believe.  Portugal has a “carnival” break for four days. (Don’t ask.)
I decided I was going to “stretch” it.
I couldn’t stretch the time of course! Only how I experienced it.  So I concentrated on doing things I loved and being REALLY there while I did them.

I still remember those four days (I read pirate stories <G>) sitting in the sun, reading, pretending it would never end. It worked. It was VERY restful.

I’m going to try the same.  You try. It might not hurt.

Hold on to the things and people that matter.  Even if you know they’ll pass.  While you have them, enjoy them and be with them.

It’s all you can do.