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Race Me! A Blast From The Past July 4, 2012

*Sorry for two Blasts from the past so close together, but part of what I’m doing is trying to diminish the number of hours this blog takes, because, yes, fiction work is what pays.  But also, I was looking for a BFP for Tuesday and came across this.  I’d already selected one for Tuesday and put it up, but I thought “Wow, this certainly is topical.”  Remember, when we allow the fabulists who divide people into neat “races” to hold sway in government, we start getting crazy people ranting about “White supremacy” (which would require laws to enforce, but never mind.  In their heads it’s anyone white-looking looking at anyone else of any other “race” crosseyed.  And when we have got to the point that opposition to Islam is considered “Racist” everything is a race.  Which only fuels the crazies who do think the fact they can’t tan makes them all that and fifty cents.  Which then fuels the commies….  Which gets us where we are.  They should fear, really, that normal people get pissed off enough to tell them to sit down and stop driving each other crazy.  With lead.  Of course, IMHO, since they have the right to demonstrate and be crazy, we should make them do it in some enclosed facility.  Thunderdumb: many go in, none comes out.  But absent that lovely dream, it’s important for the rest of us to remember the sh*t they say is no more significant than UFO cultists insisting there’s been landing.-SAH*

Race Me! A Blast From The Past July 4, 2012

What is race?  If you just answered it is a competition based on who can go faster, you win a gold star.  Because the other meaning of the word is far, far more elusive.

Phillip K. Dick speaking of sanity once said something like (like because I’m too lazy to go look for a quote, and besides it’s late, my having woken up about an hour later than normal and having had to deal with stuff postponed from the trip) Sanity is an edge narrower than a foothold, sharper than the tooth of a guard dog, more elusive than a phantom.  Perhaps it doesn’t exist.  Perhaps it’s a phantom.

Now, just as with sanity there are degrees.  While Phil Dick might have considered the guy on the street corner, weedling on himself and ranting about giant ants perfectly sane, most of us would have no doubt in seeing him for total nuts.  And while you can look at me and my friend Amanda – who is a redhead – and go “well, I’m not sure” if you set Amanda next to someone from Papua New Guinea, you’ll probably go “okay, they have different sets of inherited characteristics.” And you’d be right.  Heck, we all have different sets of inherited characteristics.  I’m fairly sure my brother and I inherited characteristics each from one side of the family.

So, how do we define race?  How do you go “you have this and that characteristic and that other therefore you’re this race.”  If you’re saying “I know your race when I see you” – go sit in the corner and think about your misdeeds.  I’m impressed over and over again by how many American blacks would be immediately and instinctively considered white in other countries.  Perhaps not Obama – although it depends on the country and the circumstances – but Jeremiah Wright?  Oh, for heaven’s sakes, there wouldn’t even be any hesitation.  The man looks Portuguese.  He doesn’t even look like one of the darker – still white – Portuguese.

What we consider black (I refuse to use African-American for the same reason I wouldn’t call myself Portuguese-American – and I got here yesterday. Because the American part is what counts.  Besides, African-American is not a race, it’s an origin.  If Dave had come to the US instead of OZ he could damn well call himself African-American.  Not that he would)in the US would pass unnoticed as Caucasian most places in the world.  (Maybe not Germany or Scandinavia.)

Did you know that if you put an afro on me and I have a tan, I am functionally black?  No?  Well, I was for most of the seventies, and this in Portugal, where race distinction requires a deeper tan and more African features.  And yet, three of my four grandparents were blue/green eyed and two were blond.  And the features don’t even all come from the same side.

Are you under the impression there is some set of genes that makes a race or another?  Well…  There aren’t.  There are some genetic defects that make it fairly sure you belong to one race – or sub-race – but that’s about it.  Even genetic testing at the level we have it can’t say for sure that you don’t have any x blood, just that you PROBABLY don’t.  That the genes you inherited don’t have traces of x doesn’t mean one of your siblings or cousins doesn’t.  We found out recently for instance that my sons have way more Amerindian blood than we thought, because Robert has some health problems that trace to that – however Dan has always considered himself anglo-Irish, and he just doesn’t tan.  If you put him under the sun long enough he’ll turn a slightly less blue-tint shade of pale.

Race is in fact a phantom.  It is also a survival of the human instinct for tribalism.  Throughout history “race” has applied to – not a set of genetic characteristics – but “my tribe” vs. another tribe.  If you’re my tribe you’re probably my cousin and look somewhat like me.  If you are another tribe, you look different.  That’s the earliest definition of race.  Later it extended to national unit and at the time that national units were sharpening their stories, to be accepted as valid, and you can read Nineteenth century about the Portuguese race and the English race and the Irish race.

And now…  And now we have the present system, in which the government uses race to divide and conquer.  In the name of righting injustices and banishing the increasingly more invisible specter of racism, they are looking for race in all the wrong places.  For instance, my maiden name now makes me a different race.  Which is interesting, because for years it didn’t.  My maiden name is Marques de Almeida (it is common in Portugal to do this sort of thing because there are very few family names, comparatively, so Marques de Almeida is a different descent line from say Soares de Almeida or…  You get the point.) If I had spelled that with a z when I became a citizen, I’d have been immediately and without blinking Hispanic, Latina or whatever you want to call it this week.  But I spelled it with an s and therefore I was white.  Now the feds say I’m Latina anyway.  Well and good.  But how does a letter make me a different race?  And what difference does it make, anyway, when at least one branch of the family came from near enough Spain that with one thing and another (and yet another) I probably have a lot of Spanish ancestors (not that I’ll admit to it for sure.  Not under torture.  I mean… Spaniards! – I’m joking, I swear.)

It is possible that you can’t eradicate tribalism from the human soul.  And if you can, I’m not the one to say the federal government should set about doing it.  They’ve already gone too far towards doing that and, like most attempts at changing the human soul with the blunt mallet of statism, it has backfired horribly.

Yes, black people in America have a troubled history – of which the government and the entertainment industry makes a point of reminding them every time they turn around.  So what?  Are they the only people taken slave in the history of the world?

Believe it or not, a lot of Americans believe this.  I once sat through a speech given by a Catholic Bishop – A BISHOP, not a parish priest – who decided to hang his point on the day of the speech being the day of two saints who were slave and mistress (both women.)  I can’t remember their names, but back in Roman times, slave and owner converted to Christianity and died for it.  What was the theme of the Bishop’s sermon?  Racism.  And as he spoke it became obvious this man, who SURELY somewhere along the line studied history, assumed – unthinking – that the slave was black.  She might have been, but it’s unlikely.  From the time period it is far more likely she was blond and blue eyed, while her mistress was somewhat more melanin enhanced.

But American schools don’t teach this.  They don’t teach that each and everyone of us has ancestors who were enslaved – that slavery was an evil that stalked humanity UNTIL the industrial revolution freed us.   Nor that most people were enslaved by people who looked just like them.

I once asked a teacher why not and was told that teaching that – though it’s true – would be racist.  Because singling out people who tan easily, have curly hair and might have recent slave ancestry and telling them they are the ONLY ONES who were ever enslaved is not racist (besides being a lie.)  And apparently it builds their self esteem.  You know, self-esteem is built on being a victim, which makes you virtuous, right?  If I told you “You were beat up by everyone in kindergarten, even the little girl on crutches” it immediately makes you feel powerful, doesn’t it?

No.  It makes you feel like you need protection and therefore it serves the government’s ends, not yours.  Which is why true history of slavery is NOT taught in schools.  Not to save anyone’s “self esteem.”

Phantom.  We’ve given them cart blanche to hunt a phantom. Should we allow our government to spend money and resources pursuing a phantom?  What’s next?  We’re going to give them a mandate to ferret alien landings?  Look, that probably would be better.  At least, it would be less harmful.  This race thing which of course the government sees as a means to win power by pitching a set of their bosses – the people – against the other has now become silly season.  When you say things like “unemployed” is a code word for black, you’ve entered nuts territory.  You don’t even deserve to be tarred and feathered, just pointed at and laughed, because you just crossed that edge of Dick’s definition and proved you’re insane.

In an increasingly more race-mixed America – and world – race is becoming harder and harder to track down.  You see, it’s not easy to pin.  The child of blond people can have black hair – a recessive gene surfacing.  Dan and I could theoretically produce a blond, blue eyed child.  Actually it’s not even that rare, in Portugal, for a family of Mediterranean looking people to throw out a blond child.  We had a couple of blond sheep among my cousins, one of whom could be my twin, except for blond hair and blue eyes.

What you have to remember is this: unless your ancestors come from a very small place and have been isolated for thousands of years, you probably have ancestors from all over the world.

One of my belly laughs on the DaVinci Code is that if Jesus and Mary Magdalen TRULY had had children and any of those lines survived, the descendants wouldn’t be the kings of France – the descendants would be ALL OF US.  Heck, if any of Shakespeare’s descendants survived (well, not from his wife, obviously, but for heaven’s sake, the man worked away from home a good deal) there is a good chance most of us in the anglosphere are descended from him.

We are of a randy species that never really made a distinction based on skin color or much of anything else when it comes to giving someone a two-penny upright.  And lost travelers, ship wrecked sailors, prisoners of war and heaven knows what else, have ensured that enough of that occurred to keep us one species.  Yes, people from Scandinavia can make babies with people from Sub-Saharan Africa, and that means that some gene exchange has kept on occurring.  (We’ve found that species – defined as unable to have viable offspring – occurs in far fewer generations than we previously imagined.) [It wouldn’t mean that someone from Sub-Saharan Africa made it to Sweden every few thousand years, either – just that a lot of someone’s made it to Northern Africa, and then those in turn made it to the Mediterranean and…  Genetic exchange on the retail plan.]

Now, with international travel, more of it occurs.  And meanwhile government bureaucrats are looking for racial characteristics and code words and unconscious racism under your bed and mine and trying to convince us that the way to eliminate racism is to keep emphasizing different characteristics of some sub-group.  Because you know, if we start saying “There’s nothing wrong with redheads” and “redheads are people too” and “you bought carrots.  It means you hate redheads” it will foster integration and good will and not cause EVERYONE to do a double take every time they see a redhead AND CERTAINLY not cause everyone to be afraid to mention “carrot” or “orange” near a redheaded friend.

They think we’re stupid, and they’re trying to make us insane.

I don’t know about you, but I personally am tired of it.  I’m ready to go under the bed with the fumigation equipment – for ants.  Today’s emergency – and if I find any government bureaucrats there, I’ll laugh at them.  Which is what we all need to start doing.

And as for race…  My parents told me I was human.  (Though for a while they weren’t sure.)  I choose to believe them.

The Fringe

So I tried to find some hard numbers on this but all the “Strange things people believe” websites have “strange things Americans believe” being things that Europe and the left can’t possibly accept anyone would believe.  You know, things like “there is no significant racism in America.”

That is their problem and none of mine.

However, as someone who has an appetite for and in fact hangs out in the strangest corners of the net, I can tell you people believe a lot of weird things.

If I had to make an estimation about how many people in America believe that Big Foot is real, it would be about a million, give or take.

How many people believe our politicians are lizard beings from other planets?  At least a few hundred.

Things like the Flat Earth society, or people who believe the Scottish are the lost tribe of Israel claim probably a million adherents, at least.  Feminists who believe that all PIV is rape, and that if men stopped existing women would spontaneously be able to reproduce on their own… well, they have to be in the low hundreds, all things considered.

UFOs? Ancient civilizations? That you can levitate the Denver Mint?  At least hundreds, probably thousands, maybe as much as a million.

Does this mean that the American people, as a whole really, really, believe all these things secretly?

Does this mean we give these people any head space in national discourse?

Uh… America is a nation of 300 million.  Even if a million people believe something, it’s one third of one percent.  America is no more crazy than most of the world, it’s just larger.  This means that a fringe is a significant number.

So, according to what I heard the events of Charlotteville involved maybe 400 people, both sides.

That is a fringe of a fringe.  One in 750,000 people.  More people than that assembled for street festivals when we lived in Manitou springs, a tiny Colorado mountain town.

If only 400 people read your book, you tank even in indie.  Of those 400 people, probably 300 were antifa, which is to say tugs who need money and are on Soros’ payroll.  The other 100 people were neo nazis of some description, or perhaps people who went along because their friends were going, or perhaps people who were there to see what happened.  And of course, some number of them were FBI agents, because some number always is at the KKK and Neo Nazi rallies.

These rallies have happened for a long time, all over America, without either violent confrontation or for that matter any noticeable increase in theory subscribers.

When we first moved to Colorado, 25 years ago, we were living near downtown in Colorado Springs.  This meant tons of parades went by our house, from Pride Parades to Old Car Parades, to “hey, we’re having a parade to celebrate our college graduation.”  The general procedure was to run to the window to watch the parade, particularly since our kid was one and a half and he loved music and people walking by.

So, one Saturday we heard a parade and ran to the window.  It was a KKK parade.  There were probably 100 people, marching down the middle of the street.  And people were ignoring them, and walking on.  No one died and also no one spent any time on social media talking about how this event betrayed the growing belief in white supremacy in America.

The reason no one died is that there were no antifa tugs pre-armed with baseball bats and whatever else they could grab.  And the reason no one thought this was a token of growing white supremacy is that, frankly, there was no social media and also the media itself didn’t bother covering the event.

There might or might not have been some article in the local paper, but if anyone read that, they shrugged and went “it was a hundred assholes.”

I don’t think I need to tell anyone that the neo-nazis are assholes, right?  They are also in general mentally ill and have other issues.  In the same way, the antifa are assholes and many of them are drug users or mentally ill.  In fact, the antifa tugs and the neo-nazi idiots have a lot more to do with each other than with the rest of the universe.  They are the fringe of the fringe.

In a sane world, the rest of the people would shrug and go “Yeah, two sets of fringe people fighting it out.  I’m interested.  Not.”

Instead, over the last few days, the media has been in a frenzy of finding racists under every bed; actual leftists are being turned against if they say we should pause and think about the events, and perhaps consider everything before pronouncing ourselves.  And people all over the spectrum are being denounced by the loony left as a secret Nazi.

Look, guys, I’m used to being called fascist and a nazi because I’m for limited government, individual rights and economic freedom.  Obviously someone who believes in the principle that hou shouldn’t hurt people or take their things must be….  No, wait, it’s not a Nazi, it’s a Libertarian.  Never mind. the left believes unless you endorse a big government capable of enforcing right think, you’re a Nazi.  It’s a form of mental illness I’ve become used to.

But now everyone is being called a Nazi and we’re getting the kind of “profound” psychological analyses that consists in saying “you said the antifa is also to blame.  You’re a fascist.”

Guys, fascists tell you they are so.  Neo Nazis ornament themselves with the swastika.  They are proud of their stupid beliefs.  They think everyone admires their courage.  Oh, yeah AND leftists aren’t given special psychic powers when they sign on for Marx’s team.  Most of them aren’t particularly empathetic.  They just think they are, because they tell themselves they’re doing things for “the downtrodden” or “giving voice to the voiceless.”

Most of what they’re giving voice to is their own inchoate prejudices, frankly.  And this is no different.  This is “everyone who doesn’t agree with me is Hitler and secretly a neo-nazi.”

I was highly amused at being called anti-Semitic on an echo of my post.  Because the caller was Jewish and communist (may G-d have mercy on his soul) and since I didn’t think socialism and communism were kind of sweet gentle ideals I must be anti-Semitic.  And also a neo-nazi.  Oh, yeah, and I was defending the neo-nazis in Charlottesville.

Again, may G-d have mercy on their souls.

When I blogged about this before people said it was nothing.  We’ve had such incidents before, and they passed.

People are right.  But in the past did we have such a critical mass of the young maleducated, who have been turned against their own country and are willing to believe the worst of their countrymen?  Did we have a media, balked of its power last November and anxious to burn it all down?  Did we have aging sixties activists viewing this as their last chance to strike a blow for the revolution?

I’m not afraid of the two sets of asses in Charlottesville.  They are the the fringe of the fringe, and no more significant for public discourse than those who really think we should send a strong message to alpha centuri who are sending lizards among us disguised as humans.

I’m afraid of the idiots who take that tiny, fringe event, and then read the tea leaves to imagine that their country men are “white supremacists.”

They are the people who worry me.  Because if they don’t stop the nonsense, it’s not going to end well.

For anyone.

 

And so it’s come to this… – a blast from the past from November 2014

And so it’s come to this… – a blast from the past from November 2014

When I was young I was a liberal.  Well, not by the standards of where I lived, but by the standards of the US.  Impossible not to be a liberal when you’re raised in Europe.

Here are some of the things I believed from an ESR post which you should definitely read in its entirety:

    • There is no truth, only competing agendas.
    • All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
    • There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
    • The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
    • Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
    • The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
    • For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
    • When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

Okay, I never believed that first one.  For some reason I had a burning passion for the truth.  That whole thing about hungering and thirsting for justice?  Well for me, raised in a village, and seeing people’s characters distorted by malicious gossip, the first and almost the only aim of justice was to re-establish the truth.

There is a story I was told as a child — those not raised in Catholicism, please bear with me — of a man who was a murderer, a thief, a blasphemer, and who died.  As he was plunging into hell, a chain caught him by the leg and held him up.  He noticed the chain had beads and, looking up, heard a voice say they were the beads of the rosary.  You see, even though he didn’t believe, in the rosary or in religion at all, he prayed it every night, because his mother had asked him to.  And that single virtue had saved him.

In the same way, what saved me was that single quest for truth.  It’s impossible to look at those statements above and not think “wait a minute.”

I read the Gulag Archipelago at 14 and I thought “no, you can’t say the anomie of capitalism or the heart break of the downtrodden in capitalist societies is like that.” Yes, they can sort of, compare Dickensenian England (and having read other stuff, Dickens was just another left partisan selling us a bill of goods, sorry) to the communist system, but that wasn’t even capitalism as such.  That was capitalism under a monarchy in a time when the technology was just efficient enough to be brutal.  Capitalism had moved on from the early twentieth century.  It was communism that hadn’t. And worse, they kept pretending the happy people of Brutopia were all happy and stuff.

I couldn’t stand it, and that set me on a quest to figure out the truth of all these received shibboleths so deeply embedded in the culture by the late sixties that they seemed to be divinely ordained.

There were things  that looked at in the light of day were laugh-inducing.  No, seriously.  Like America being just as bad as any place else, while multitudes were going broke trying to get here.  Just get here.  And not always for the money, either.  I knew a high school teacher who was trying to get here (legally.  She’s probably still waiting) just for the chances to be and become and learn.

And that one about Europe being rich because the third world was poor?  A neighbor tried this one on me.  He was communist, see.  And what he used instead of the third world was Portugal.  He must have got hold of the wrong leg of the lizard at some point, because “Portugal doesn’t create its own computer, because America won’t let them compete with IBM.”  Well, I was fourteen, and I wasn’t stupid.  America couldn’t make laws in Portugal, and Portugal had — in fact — expropriated the property of American citizens during the revolution.  So that was not what he meant.  If he meant because IBM was there already, that’s nice, but given how Portuguese patent and copyright laws are about as enforced as China, that too didn’t make sense. So what was the difference?  Well, Portugal had the highest number of national holidays in Europe at the time.  It averaged to two or three a month.  And I knew that — sheer application — was part of the issue.  But not all of it.  Portuguese are clearly not lazy, because those who emigrate work like mad. So I came to the conclusion it was the combination of a dysfunctional culture where you were treated with derision for doing something outside your class and where work was not ennobling and so being seen to work was a bad thing.  (While among foreigners you could do it.) Add to it a tradition bound teaching system as reliant on memorization as China or the Arab countries, and a built in respect for “the way things are done” which extends to the regulations, and even geniuses ended up just working for the government because it was easier.  (From what I hear of writers in Portugal, it still is.)  What all this had to do with America was beyond me, except that America was easy to blame and that kept Portugal from doing the incredibly hard and perhaps impossible (these things are very difficult) work of retooling its culture into something more functional.  It could go on being proud of its history and saying it was the best ever, and not examining itself in the critical light of day, beyond the “revolution” (actually a series of them) that changed the old boss for the new boss and made some adjustments (some of them very beneficial) but did not unleash Portuguese productivity or creativity.  (Just made them into another tired Euro country.)  I can’t imagine that the third world is any better.  In fact, having family in several of these “downtrodden” countries, I knew they were, on all counts, far, far worse.

Yes, America propped up some dictators now and then.  FORTUNATELY I’d read history which means I knew two things: the dictators that America propped up were no matter how bad superior to the communist ones*.  And in a cold war all nations do that sort of thing.  It’s not moral from an outsider, floating above point of view. But it is moral from the point of view of protecting your own people and allowing them to survive.

As for criminals being victims of society — pfui.  I was fortunate (!) to spend fifth and sixth grade in a school where a lot of what we’ll call for lack of a better word the “feral underclass” attended.  There was no virtue.  They were not victims.  They were enjoying themselves terrorizing the law abiding.  I could spew this stuff on command in essays for Portuguese class, but it was not true and I knew it was not true. One of my own cousins belonged — by choice — to the feral underclass. He was still in sixth grade at 14 and his parents asked me to tutor him.  Tutor him?  He hadn’t any problems learning, but he was having so much fun beating up teachers after school and stealing money from little girls who wouldn’t fight back.

Was he a victim?  Sure he was.  He was a victim of doting parents, so enthralled of the fact they’d finally produced a son that he could do no wrong (in terms of the deep culture that we talked about here before, that passes in families, there might have been reinforcement since his mother — from place of birth and names in family– came from moorish traditions.)  They’d failed to instill in him the virtues that would have allowed him to thrive in a free society.  So he was a victim all right.  Of his family.  What the rest of society had to do with this is beyond me.

But though he came to grief later, particularly after his father died, yeah, he was having a good time.  He was nobody’s victim.

Those two years also were the ones I got put in “coventry.” For social and political reasons no one at that school spoke to me in public.  (I did have a friend, but she was on afternoon classes, while I was on morning classes.) Well, no one till I accrued a cottery of real victims. They were the deformed and the small, the poor and the despised.  I’d beat up their tormentors and they clung to me.  That was fine, (and some of them learned to fight back.  Beware the frightened rabbit in a pack) but they weren’t especially virtuous.  Some were very nice people, but some weren’t (being ostracized for that long twists you) and none of them would have benefited from staying victims.  That’s just stupid talk.

So I came to doubt all of those shibboleths, which is a good thing because it turns out, as ESR explains in the article, that we have proof all of these were dreamed up by soviet operatives (Stalinist) and implanted in our culture amid the idiot fellow travelers, in order to corrupt and destroy the west.

In that sense it is literally malware uploaded to a healthy culture, to destroy it from within.

Those of you who are computer programmers know what must be done with malware — it must be uprooted, root and branch.

Now, the problem is that it resides in everyone’s heads by now, even our own, having been propagated by our art, our culture, our news, even, which we trusted to be neutral.

And we don’t want to trash the infected sectors, i.e. get rid of the people running the zombie program of dead Stalinists.  We can’t, because all of us are infected, to an extent.

It might come to a blood bath, but if it does the system will be permanently crippled and diminished — and because we’re humans, not bits and bites, it’s worth mentioning some of the more infected bits are our friends, our neighbors, our family members.  So it might come to a blood bath.  In fact, I’m very afraid that’s the path we’re on, but we as free men and men of good will, we owe it to ourselves to do what we can to avoid it.

So, our path is more difficult.

For years, my husband has despaired of watching movies with me, because I have that truth-checking program in my head.  Hit three or more of those pat “everybody knows” above, and I leave the room, no matter how engaging the romance wrapped around it.  You see I grew up, literally, in a socialist country, surrounded by propaganda at all times.  It was so heavy handed you couldn’t help but see through it.  And I did.  Which means like someone who’s been immunized, I’m sensitive to the virus and anti-bodies deploy.

The funny thing is in the age of Obama, he’s started seeing some of it too, with the result that his favorite romcoms right now are Japanese and Korean.

For years, to, it qualified my enjoyment of books.  I can stand more in a book than in a movie, but hit me too many times with the “everybody knows” or the mini-truths being propagated from above (like “Obama care rescued us all from death, hallelujah” which I’ve been seeing in movies and some books. Or “everyone who opposes Obama is racist”) and the book takes flying lessons.  The same for the horrible oppression of women, and how all women in the regency were secretly suffragettes and PROBABLY hankered for abortions.  (Okay, it’s not that bad, but I’m tired of how in regency romances every female runs a shelter for abused women — rolls eyes.  Yes, there was a lot of that, but not THAT much.)

Look at those points above that ESR was so kind as to compile for us.  Memorize them.  Part of fighting the malware is knowing its code.  When you find it in your own head, eradicate it.

And write books that mirror how the world really works (to an extent.  You can’t do exactly because stories have to be more plausible and cohesive than reality) and propagate them.  If you can, homeschool your kids.  If you can’t, teach them to see through that propaganda in our culture.  Tell them the truth.  The enemy died of its dysfunctional culture, but these errors it “uploaded” in our system are designed to kill us.  Don’t let them.

It took over 1oo years to come to this.  We can’t recover in a year.  We’re going to have to take incremental steps, with infinite patience.

So it’s come to this.  It won’t be easy.  I think it’s doable, because their worldview in no way reflects reality and is collapsing in shards all around them.  But it won’t be easy and it won’t be fast and a lot of it will feel like, in Dave Freer’s colorful phrase “Taking on hell with a bucket.”

But then easy battles have no glory.  Go forth.  Fight the lies in your head, so you can fight them in others’ heads.  Write compelling stories and teach your children well.

Our culture can be saved. And we’re the only ones who can do it.

Now go.  In the end, we win, they lose. Make it so.

*This is because all communist dictators in fact became puppet viceroys of Russia.  But, you say, weren’t their counterparts American puppets?  Well, usually no, because America is REALLY bad at it.  It wins a war, it gives the country tons of money, but allows the enemy free rein to talk and subvert the peace.  No.  But even if it were, the problem is that the  Soviet Union, which, btw, ultimately meant the Russian Empire, was incapable of producing most of what its people needed.  So when they acquired these new territories, they became places to be exploited, their people slave labor and their product sent to Russia at a loss.  When America acquired sway over a country they wanted to sell them stuff and develop factories there while the cost of living was lower.  (No, that’s not the same as Russian slavery, because it allows the country thus “occupied” to catch up, see Japan and to an extent — hampered by its stupid communist/fascist regime, China — which of course brings up the anomie of capitalism which is literally worse than the gulags.  (If you think that think shame on yourself.))  If you want to know how much worse it was for a country to fall under the sway of Russia than of America, talk to Peter Grant who saw the destruction of the Portuguese colonies in Africa.  Be prepared.  He’s a GOOD man but not always a nice one.  Particularly to morons.

Fools to the Left of Me, Clowns to the Right

No one, not even Drudge is touching the Charlottesville insanity.  Or it wasn’t last night.  That is because “nobody knows nothing.”

Depending on what actually happened and why, this could very well be the fuse that heats the cold civil war.  And if you’re rubbing your hands, don’t be.  Go read about the type of civil war where the populations are thoroughly emulsified.  It’s not pretty, it doesn’t end sometimes for centuries, and it takes civilization down three levels, at least.

And yeah, to quote from the Ankhmorpork anthem “we own all your shoes, we own all your guns, we own all your troops, touch us and you’re done” is tempting, but not really.  Sure, we own all of those, or at least they’re mostly on our side.  The problem is that the other side has a near-psychotic disregard for everyone’s else lives and can build bombs.  They’re not GOOD at it, mind you.  The days of rage proved that.  They blow themselves as much as everyone else, but practice makes perfect, and if this starts we’ll have plenty of time for them to practice.

Then there is the fact that our barely existing Pax Americana (yeah, we SHOULD be thanking Obama for the “barely” in existing part) is not something that will continue while we take a jolly break to pound each other’s heads.

And yet, the way things have been going, with not only an entire cohort that was indoctrinated in Russian propaganda (originally) and then just in America-hatred in our best schools, it might be inevitable.  How long can a nation subsist with the enemy within?  Particularly when the enemy’s power is threatened by new technology.  Particularly when that enemy is financed by Soros who might very well BE the beast of the apocalypse?

In America, if it were healthy, the crazy that happened in the weekend would never have happened.  Both Nazis and communists have the right to say whatever the hell they want to.  As long as they don’t have power, let them scream.  But that’s not possible in the land of safe rooms and microaggressions.

Also in a healthy society, if the fracas had happened because of the usual provocateurs, the rest of society would shake their head and go “So much crazy.” not pile on (particularly on the left side) claiming this just proves all their theories.

And no, to whom it may concern, a region not wanting their past or their regional heroes erased to appease a vocal minority does NOT make them white supremacists.  This idiotic changing of names, removing of statues and erasing people from history is NOT the work of a free society.  It is wholly Stalinist and is letting the rest of the world know you by your fruits as it were.  I have nothing invested in the ACW, except for having studied it enough to know it was more complex than most people think, and I’m only “southern” by fiat of my friends, but even I get outraged at the erasing of the past of the region.  And you know damn well they’re coming for Jefferson and Washington next.  At which point they’ll have to go through me.  It’s the left’s old bullshit of removing the giants of the past so their diminutive stature looks tall.  Pfui.

I still hope it won’t come to physical fighting.  I don’t know if there’s a path where that doesn’t happen and worse doesn’t happen.  But I hope it doesn’t come to physical fighting because I don’t want to indulge the left’s fantasies, either their fantasies of revolution or their fantasies of martyrdom, and this would be one followed by the other.  I don’t want to indulge their wish to bring down America.  Pour oil on the waters wherever you can, and no sale their crazy as much as you can.

And if the evil must come, those of you who are praying people, pray that it’s short, relatively bloodless, and that what comes after doesn’t make the crazies of Charlottesville (both sides) look good.

This is my PJMedia work for the last weeks, and yes, I need to work more:

Mr. Acosta, Can You Hear Me Now?

Big Brother Is Listening to You

Those Who Walk Away From Feminism

A Message to the Children of the Revolution: Grow Up!

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike & Two Weeks Promo by Freerange Oyster

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is:fix

Two Weeks Promo by Freerange Oyster*

*don’t blame the mollusc.  We’re having some work done on the house, so he sent the promo two minutes after I’d put up the vignettes, but I was helping/suggesting/moving things and didn’t get to see it till late that night.

Amanda S. Green

Nocturnal Rebellion

Nocturnal Lives Book 5

All she wanted was a simple murder case, one uncomplicated by shapeshifters or interfering IAB investigators. What she got instead was much, much more.

Now three cops are dead and Mac’s world will never be the same again. It is up to her to find the culprits and bring them to justice. But what justice? That of cops and attorneys and criminal courts or that of the shapeshifters where there would be no record and a quick execution of punishment, whatever that might be?

As she walks that fine line, Mac walks another tightrope as well. Shapeshifter politics are new to her and, as she has learned, more complicated than anything she ever encountered as a cop. One misstep can lead to not only her death but the deaths of those she cares for. Like it or not, she has no choice because she has learned there are other things just as inevitable as death and taxes. Sooner or later, the world will learn that shapeshifters aren’t just things of legend and bad Hollywood movies. If that happens before they are ready, Mac and those like her will learn the hard way what happens when humanity learns monsters are real and living next door.

John Van Stry

Future Tense

Days of Future Past – Part 3

Since being brought forward in time to the post apocalyptic wastelands of what was once his home, life has been pretty hard on Paul. Though it has had two good points, namely Sarah and Heather. But now Coyote wants him to take care of the task that he was brought here to deal with in the first place: Aybem.

While it has always been clear that destroying Aybem is supposed to be Riggs’ job, Coyote remains unconvinced that Riggs can do it without Paul’s help. After seeing just what Riggs is capable of doing, Paul isn’t as convinced that he needs to be there, but he also knows he’s not going to get any choice in the matter.

And of course, just what does happen to you once Coyote no longer needs your help?

This is the last book in the Days of the Future Past trilogy, a story of a young man brought forward in time because he came to the attention of Coyote, who thought that the gods’ chosen hero just might need some help.

Cedar Sanderson

Snow in Her Eyes

Detective Amaya Lombard is a witch hunter and a damn good one. Hated by the magical because she works with cops, feared by cops because she works with magic, she walks a fine line between malice and murder. When an entire family dies in magic and blood, only Amaya can find the truth that lies behind the seemingly senseless mayhem… because even the dead deserve answers.

Pixie Noir

Pixie for Hire Book 1

You can’t keep a tough Pixie down…

Lom is a bounty hunter, paid to bring magical creatures of all descriptions back Underhill, to prevent war with humans should they discover the strangers amongst them. Bella is about to find out she’s a real life fairy princess, but all she wants to do is live peacefully in Alaska, where the biggest problems are hungry grizzly bears. He has to bring her in. It’s nothing personal, it’s his job…

C.J. Carella

Havoc of War

Warp Marine Corps Book 5

THE FINAL BATTLE IS AT HAND

A renegade American fleet has launched a genocidal counterattack against the Galactic Imperium. Empowered by entities from warp space, the Black Ships are about to unleash unspeakable evils on the entire galaxy. Only the US Navy has any hope to stop them, but first it must contend with alien armadas still intent on wiping out humanity.

At the forefront of battle, the Warp Marine Corps faces impossible odds. Armed with new weapons and wielding ancient technologies, Captain Peter Fromm and Colonel Lisbeth Zhang will fight not only for the lives of all humans in the universe, but their souls as well.

Havoc of War concludes the story that began with the Amazon best-selling novel Decisively Engaged.

On sale until August 14th

Decisively Engaged

Warp Marine Corps Book 1

They picked a fight with the wrong species.

A NATION AT WAR: The United Stars of America. Born in the conflagration of unprovoked alien attack, the newest entrant to galactic politics took the few crumbs of hypertech gifted to it and ran with them, soon expanding over dozens of star systems and establishing a wide trade network, protected by its powerful Navy and the dreaded Warp Marines.

A FIGHT TO THE DEATH: A single Marine platoon, tasked with protecting an embassy on a hostile alien planet. An embassy – and the human enclave around it – that soon finds itself surrounded by armed mobs. Can the Marines and a ragtag band of civilian and Navy personnel survive long enough to be rescued?

On sale until August 14th

Alma Boykin

Familiar Tales

Fear the Hamster! (No, seriously, that little guy’s spells pack quite a wallop.)

Five urban fantasy short stories about magic workers, their Familiars, and life in a world where magic may be mundane but it’s never dull. Humor, adventure, pathos, tax deductions, and a wolverine with serious white-coat-itis. And bad breath.

Laura Montgomery

Far Flung

In the very near future a seastead offers consumers a choice in governing systems. Navy Capt. Adam Tenney’s daughter takes that offer, but what can he do for her when pirates threaten the seastead, the U.S. refuses to recognize it, and he is trapped in a desk job on land?

All the Trouble in the World

All the Trouble in the World is a great PJ O’Rourke book, which I highly recommend, but that’s not important right now.

It occurred to me the reason we’ve got to this particular state of shambles is that we’ve given in to the therapeutic/do-gooder notion that we have to solve all the trouble in the world.

This is a relatively new notion.  it used to be, when the West was mostly Christian (with a smattering of Jewish) that we assumed the troubles the world is full of would get solved when the redemptive event happened, be it the second coming, or the first, or whatever that will return the world to its perfect state under divine rule.  And until then, fortunately, anyone who had it too bad on Earth got rewarded in heaven.

The problem is once you stop believing in that, no injustice, no ill, no lack of acceptance, no undeserved hurt could be ignored any longer.  It all had to be fixed, right now.  Justice had to be brought to every little creature.  EVERYONE had to be happy right now, because there as no other time to be happy in.  YOLO, am I right?

Except that humans are still humans.  You can’t make everyone happy and fulfilled.  H*ll, I’m my kids’ mother and have known them since they were born, and I can’t choose what would make them happy and fulfilled.  I’d never have picked the really hard paths they chose.  Why Robert thinks bliss is a packed ER room is beyond me.
Imagine me picking professions, payment, etc for total strangers.

And in the end that’s what that comes to.  People picking in what way strangers are to be happy.

Which means people end up very unhappy indeed.

But even on their own, people can’t be happy because not everyone can end up doing what they want/marrying whom they want/living the way they want.  A decent respect for the opinions of others might not hold us back but other things will.  There are only so many people who can be astronauts after all, say.  And no, not everyone can be a billionaire.

This workaday world doesn’t not have enough opportunities/rewards to make everyone happy.  Most of my friends had instead to make their own happiness, after their first run at careers/marriage/motherhood/whatever turned out quite different from what they wanted.  But they coped, they grew, and most of them found another kind of happiness, doing something else that was possible for them.

In most of the world that is called “being a grownup.”

The problem is that there are people who think you should be protected from every disappointment, every buffet, every slight.  Everyone who wants something must be given it.  No one can be told no, ever.

The problem is that when you do that to people they are not happy.  Sometimes what you want is not what you need.  BUT more importantly, you never learn to cope, with even minor set backs.  So they have no give.  The most minor issue will break them.  It’s no surprise they feel micro aggressions.  The princess can feel the pea under forty mattresses, after all.  People who’ve never been cut will howl at a pinprick.

But it corrupts the do-gooders too.  Their lack of success stings them.  Understand, most of them start doing this out of genuine good intentions.  And then it fails.  Someone else must be doing this.  It must be them, the haters, the wreckers, the saboteurs.

Because it can’t be human nature.

It all starts with good intentions.  And it will destroy us unless we rub their noses in the fact they’re paving the way to hell.

If You See Something, Say Something

So, between the book banners and those who would fire people for sourced documents stating what any neuro-scientist will tell you over breakfast, the left has been on a tear and is going insane.

It is not, as some of my very young friends think, that the left has more dominance or is going more bully-like than ever.

No, this is the mark of a cultural revolution, where the dominant faction is losing its grip.  You see, they controlled the entire culture for decades and anyone who talked back was “crazy” and anyone they declared evil or stupid was evil or stupid.

If you lived through the eighties, you remember all the jokes about Ronald Reagan being both evil and stupid, both on network TV and in casual, non political gatherings.  The media reporting made it seem so, so everyone KNEW so.

Yeah, sure there were those of us who resented this, but we said nothing, because ‘everyone knew” we were wrong and the left was right.  Places like Readers Digest which were supposed to be middle of the road published crazy stuff like that the president of Mozambique was only a nurse’s aid because under the Portuguese no black person was allowed to be a doctor.  Reading this, I threw the magazine against the wall, because my SIL’s best friend, whom she helped escape from Mozambique (because the revolutionaries idea was to send all the black women to cut down jungle for agricultural space in the country’s deranged version of the cultural revolution) was black and a medical student.  But for millions of middle Americans that lie became the truth, and the revolutionaries, an armed puppet-branch of the soviets, became “liberators” of “black people”. ..  who would allow them to be doctors.  (Sort of.  If they survived assignments cutting down jungle or acting as comfort women to the Cuban mercenaries sent over to help with the revolution.)

The narrative was so uniformly shaped, so pervasively pushed that not only wasn’t it possible to question it without sounding crazy, but the inherent contradictions of the left couldn’t be pointed out.

Now, the good little boys and girls, who have done their best to virtue signal, play by the rules, and always say what “everyone knew” are getting talk back.  Worse, some of these people, like Damore, have science on their side.  which initiates meltdown, defensiveness and what appears from our point of view like roid rage.

Asking simple questions like “If men and women are exactly alike, what does a company gain from increasing diversity?” pokes a huge hole in political correctness, and makes it impossible for them to hold these contradictory ideas in their heads in peace.  If they tell you it’s because little Suzie who wants to be a programmer is being discriminated against, ask why we should instead discriminate against little Bobby, who wants to be a programmer, if they’re both exactly alike in any thing but sexual organs.  We’re not hiring them have sex, are we?  If we must have affirmative action, wouldn’t it be better to pick those people who grew up in poor conditions or something, and ignore other characteristics?

Be polite, be firm.  Ask questions.  When they tell you that you’re a Nazi or literally Hitler, tell them you’re not, but you’ve been called worse.  Then go back to questioning.

Question them everywhere you can, on every front you can without endangering either your job, your life or your family.  Question, question, question.  Their philosophy is full of contradictions and they can only hold onto it by pretending they’re not there.  Don’t let them.

The crazier you make them, the more they flail about, the more the unengaged spectators see that they’re in fact crazy.  And the more we win.

It’s time to throw this bastard child of soviet agit prop int he ash heap of history.  Go out there and poke.  If you see something, say something.  Do not let them think they can go unquestioned.

The end result of their efforts is always a soulless, murderous society.

Use your snark for good, and your logic for fun.

Go.

Being Free

I am almost fifty five years old.  In my entire life, in two countries, I’ve never come across a book so dangerous it couldn’t be read.  I’ve never come across an idea so dangerous it couldn’t be debated.  And I’ve never come across a book that while being read went out and hurt other people.

In fact the only books I ever heard say one shouldn’t read or it would hurt people if one read it, it was because some group, often some government thought that the ideas in those books could hurt them.

Most such books were very silly.  I’ve read the communist manifesto.  No sane human being who has read in the world of humans and understands other humans can read that utter piece of delusion without laughing out loud.  Unless that human being knows the graves that piece of nonsense has filled.  But the people who fall for its honeyed nonsense are not rational people.  They’re people broken in the same way its author was broken: little people hungry for power and sure everyone else had what was due to them.  It wasn’t reading the words that broke them.  They would have broken anyway.

I’ve never read Mein Kampf.  No one I knew growing up owned a copy.  People I trust tell me it’s remarkably silly and also hard to read, unless the translator does a fantastic job.  At some point or other I might skim it.  Not that I think it will convinced me, but because I think one should have an idea what’s in it.  In fact, I’m fairly sure it won’t convince me.  People did not fall in behind Hitler because of the words in that book, but because of the Brown shirts, the show of strength, the fear their country and their people weren’t central to the world as they always thought they were.  (And since I’ve been reading about the genesis of the German people, I have a little more insight on how badly that would rub Germans wrong.)

I read Friedrich Nietzsche which in a recent mystery show I watched was portrayed as the gateway to becoming a serial killer.  I was actually 12 when I read him, and he struck me as very silly.  I read Camus at about the same time.  I read Ayn Rand. Only Jean Paul Sartre put me off his reading.  Something about his writing and his way of expressing things and seeing humanity was like being submerged in toxic sludge.  But I wouldn’t say other people SHOULDN’T read him.  On the contrary.  I think he’s given a great deal of power and credit he doesn’t deserve.

I can’t say any one book changed my mind or made me a better or worse person.

Heinlein did change me, but it was subtle and overtime, and mostly he changed me less by telling me what to think than my asking questions that simply weren’t asked in the society I was born and raised in “to whom does tax money actually belong?” and “why should the common person not have the right to defend himself, when criminals don’t care if guns are illegal, because they are — duh — criminals?”

Those questions over time changed me into who I am, but you know, I was not and I’m not sure that what I believe would even have Heinlein’s approval, much less his endorsement.  And as much as I admire him, I have problems with several of his ideas like the fact he views humans as a net drain on the Earth and believed Malthus’s old lies. (Though it was mixed, of course.  All real humans are. His characters were very life affirming.)  And I don’t believe his marriage arrangements would work for a majority or even a significant minority of the population.  Oh, I’m not against them, understand.  If you’re one of the few for whom it does work, be my guest.  There is too little happiness in this world to be restricting the ways in which people find it.  I just don’t think, humans not being bonobos, it’s the natural, untutored way of mankind, where we’d all go except for preachers and repressive societies.  But he was a man of his time and upbringing, as we all are.  Which means some of the things he believed he was rational on, were actually the blinders of his time and situation.  To his credit he knew it, and he advocated reading widely, both fiction and non-fiction, and experiencing others thoughts as much as possible to knock out the blind spots in yours.

I took him at his word.  For fun I’ve read fiction by everyone from deep racists (and no one does racism as well as the elites of the nineteenth century.  Not all, of course, but the baseline for “not racist” was in a place we’d now consider racist) to modern science fiction feminists.

I will not read a book that won’t hold my attention but other than that, I will read writers of any political stripe.  I even like some authors whose basic outlook on life makes me want to pound my head on a wall until it breaks.  I rather enjoyed the Left Hand Of Darkness.  I read it three times.  Once for the book, once for magnificent character development (I’ve been trying to pull that trick of making the reader hate the character, then prove the reader wrong and break his heart for a long time.  It’s a hard one) and once to yell at the book “Biology doesn’t work like that.” and “that’s not how an hermaphrodite human race would work.”  and “you’ve been blinded by stupid feminism.”

(It’s the book that started me writing a — duh — world with a bio-engineered hermaphrodite race.  (Bio engineered for equality and peace.  It …. doesn’t work that way.)  I wrote eight very bad books in that world.  Hey, I started at 14.  Reading them wouldn’t hurt you, except in the sense I didn’t know my craft.  Yes, that world will be revisited… maybe next year, if I can stop being interrupted by health crisis and actually write.  Probably indie because my goal is not actually to drive my publisher insane. I swear.)

I’m often offended by lying history, which is why I stopped reading Anne Rice at Queen of the Damned.  Oh, it’s lying biology too, but I could give her that, its being fantasy.  I’m not going to tell you not to read it, though.  As long as you realize she was pulling history from ass, it’s not a bad set of books.  Yeah, even if you prefer to set vampires on fire.  She does setting really well.  Makes it a character.  Good idea to read it.

The point is, that books I deeply disagree with, but which are still interesting, I read.  Most of the time the worst they do is make me roll my eyes and go “yeah, that is the problem” when the author intrudes upon the action to explain how everything would be solved by a sufficient application of Marx.  At best, sometimes, they make me see that they might kind of, sort of, have a point.  Or at least, as with Heinlein’s ideas on marriage, reading him makes me go “Uh, yeah, I understand how with his history and living when he did–”  And that is good.

Look, unless you believe — as mom would put it — that you are pregnant with truth, and know all the ultimate dos and don’ts of mankind, so that you’ll be forever vindicated, yay and verily, world without end, even if you’re fairly sure that your set of beliefs is the “closest to right humans can get” you know that people believed differently in the past and likely (if you’re not an idiot and understand humans and history) will believe differently in the future.  Reading different opinions allows you to see how other people can believe what they do.  (Even if sometimes it just causes you to say “against stupidity the gods themselves strive in vain.”)  This not only allows you to test your own beliefs against the flint of other minds, it allows you to turn your insight into them into introspection and say “maybe this thing I believe is not so much right, but simply what I believe due to this blindspot.”  (It is entirely possible I find the idea of group marriage weird because I’m a deep introvert, who for a long time thought she couldn’t even do a conventional marriage, because I need so much “getting away and being by myself” time.  Turns out marrying another introvert works.  Also, with time you get okay with having him in your space all the time.  You can sit there and read next to him and recharge as well — better — than when alone.  Am I sure this is my blind spot?  No.  I think the whole idea of group marriage is psychologically too taxing.  But I’ll admit that it’s entirely possible it’s JUST my view.  Hence, ladies and gentlemen, why I say you should be free to try it.  I just don’t think it will ever be a thing of the majority.)

And I’ll be honest, absent magic, I can’t understand how someone reading a book, or even making a book a bestseller — EVEN IF THE BOOK IS BIGOTED AGAINST A GROUP OF PEOPLE — hurts anyone.  Dan Brown didn’t cause the Catholic Church to collapse in a heap.  Oh, sure, it lent some fire to pre-existing hatred of the Catholic Church among Protestant denominations.  The Protocols of the Elders of Zion haven’t caused Judaism to go extinct.  Sure, they lent ammo to some very idiotic people who ALREADY wanted to believe the worst of Jews.  Both bits of hatred pre-existed the books.  Reading them or making them bestsellers didn’t physically run out and kill people or even cause people to say mean things.

This is why this entire dumpster fire annoys me. It annoys me all the more because you know and I know that it happens all the time.  I’ve been subjected to this insanity as have my books.

To put it succinctly for those — you lucky few — not following at home: YA author wrote a book in which the character gradually overcomes racism.  It honestly seems to all intents and purposes a Politically Correct, innocuous book, which was getting the push such books get UNTIL someone decided that portraying a character who started out prejudiced WAS prejudiced, and that the book was therefore the worst thing ever, and the author was racist, and no one should read it because they’d become tainted.

And then there’s this crap — this crap right here:

Author Tristina Wright was one of several who condemned would-be readers of called-out books, while young readers followed suit.
“Imagine being so privileged you care about your own entertainment more than the hurt of marginalized people,” one tweeted, while another declared, “Reading a book specifically because it’s been called out for racism doesn’t make you a champion of independent thought. It makes you racist.”

Say it with me, ladies and gentlemen: no book ever on being read reached out and PHYSICALLY hurt any marginalized (or none marginalized.  Or purple with stripes and three heads) people.  Reading a book can cause you to agree with it, disagree with it, change your mind or become entrenched in your own prejudices, but it DOES NOT HURT ANYONE.  The Necronomicon is fictional, okay?  Reading a book does not open a pathway to the nether realms.

It can’t even be that Ms. Wright thinks reading the book will make people “racist” since the character sees her errors as the book progresses.  So why is she doing this?  I tell you why.  This totalitarian wanna be enjoys the power she has to destroy the career of, honestly, probably a fellow traveler, and to keep emotional bubble children like this one from reading whatever she decides is double plus ungood this week:

Mimi, the teen blogger who had once been so excited about The Black Witch, was among those who urged others to avoid the book, writing on her website and Twitter about the emotional pain it had caused her. She still hasn’t read it, and doesn’t plan to; she feels that Sinyard’s review tells her all she needs to know. “I trusted her take on it. She showed pictures from the book, and certain passages in the book, so it’s not like she was making it up,” Mimi says. And in the wake of the book’s release on May 2, Mimi is upset by the lack of response from Harlequin and galled by descriptions of the novel as pro-diversity and anti-prejudice. “I wanted the author and publisher to understand that there were people who were hurt by this,” she says. “But [Forest] says her book is for diversity, anti-homophobia, anti-racism, and it’s poking fun at all of us, like we did this all for nothing.”

It’s about doing this “for something” and the something is the power of the Puppet Masters.

Mimi is a teen and so we must excuse her twerpitude.  You have to go through miles and miles of twerpitude before you finally, perhaps, arrive at being a worthwhile human being at some point.

But unfortunately she’s joined by many so called adults.  I’ve heard my own books referred to as “racist, sexist, homophobic” (always in that order, yes) and this given as reason not to read them, because you know, quotes pulled out of context totally tell you what a book is about.  Take the sainted Handmaid’s tale, which like most Margaret Atwood I’ve never managed to read, because you know, the world building suspends my disbelief till the neck breaks.  Also she has literary pretensions.  I’m sure her book contains not a single anti-woman quote if taken out of context, right?  That mystery I read last week certainly had a straw man walking around all over saying how women were inferior.  And it was CLEARLY meant to make us think the opposite.

If you’re so emotionally fragile that a sentence that goes against your beliefs will forever destroy your psyche; if you’re such a primitive that you think the magical process of reading a book hurts someone; or if you’re a born slave, who thinks other people should control what you read and think and know, then you’re probably marching on the side of people who want the past bricked up and taken down, and put behind walls, so as to give unthinking children like our Mimi above the impression that what they think and what they know (pitiful little as it is) is the only right thought and was always, forever, in the eternal now.

On the other hand, if you’re a free man or woman, or aspire to be, read whatever you want.  Do not let the howls of outrage from petty totalitarians and their unthinking thralls lead you to either read or not read something.  READ WHATEVER YOU WANT.  THINK WHATEVER YOU WANT ABOUT IT. WRITE WHATEVER YOU WANT.

I’m free to declare your thoughts repugnant and you a wanna-be Puppet Master who wishes control human minds (which I also consider repugnant.  In fact, vomit inducing) BUT I will not declare that you should not read whatever you want to, or write whatever you want to, and that whoever who wants to read you and finds you amusing should read you, whether or not they agree with you.

Most “scary books” turn out to be either boring or laughable.  Some are mildly amusing.

Only people without the ability to think or discern reality think reading something is scary or mind-altering.

Humans grow by testing their thought against other humans.  Prevent them from doing this  and they remain eternal infants.

“For the first time in my life, I was reading things which had not been approved by the Prophet’s censors, and the impact on my mind was devastating. Sometimes I would glance over my shoulder to see who was watching me, frightened in spite of myself. I began to sense faintly that secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy…censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to it’s subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked, contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything—you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.”
― Robert A. Heinlein.

Be free.

The Myth of the Peaceful Woman by outofthedarkness

The Myth of the Peaceful Woman by outofthedarkness

There’s a persistent trope in science fiction and fantasy about a society consisting solely of women. It’s a peaceful and prosperous society, free from all violence. There may be some female warriors, who are somehow better than all male warriors everywhere despite having no real pressure or battles to harden themselves on. As a female reader with a strong taste for rational thinking, I am begging authors to stop doing this. Every female over the age of seven knows that a planet full of only women would not be peaceful. Every female Odd will picture this situation as The Special Hell. Allow me to explain the matter for anyone confused as to what this situation would actually look like.

Female social structure is completely different from male social structure. Men tend to organize in a hierarchy of sorts. There’s one guy at the top, a few guys he trusts underneath him, etc. downward until you reach the guys that are on the bottom of the pile. The structure makes sense. It’s efficient, everyone knows who’s in charge, and it’s largely based around the individual. Someone can rise or fall in this hierarchy based on any number of things, but their position is usually pretty clear from the outside looking in.

Female social structure is more fluid. It’s based more on group identity than on individual characteristics. You tend to have one woman who is kind of in charge, your queen bee as it were. Those in her favor circle around her, and the circles continue outward until you have the women who are not part of the group. They aren’t at the bottom of the pile, they pretty much don’t exist. At least, if they’re lucky they don’t. One’s position in the social hierarchy can change at any time, to include who the queen bee is. Remember the scene in Mean Girls where Regina tries to sit at the lunch table with the other plastics but isn’t wearing the right color clothes? She was just knocked out of her position in the social hierarchy.

In a social structure like this, there’s no room for difference of opinion or people who stand out too much. If an individual, even by noncompliance, threatens the group identity; she will gain the ire of the entire group. They will hunt her without mercy until she complies with the demands of the group, is removed from their reach by either death or physical distance (which is getting much harder with the internet), or manages to win enough females to her side to either form a new group around her or replace the existing leader. The last option allows her to push her standard on the group as a whole. There is no option to live and let live. In other words, female social structure is closer to the Borg than the complex world we currently enjoy.

I can already hear the cries of, “But women aren’t violent!” If you’re talking about direct violence, you’re mostly right. Women are not men, and we don’t hunt in the way that men do. Our weapons are usually words and emotions, not direct violence. Instead of a brawl in which two people fight it out and determine which is the strongest, you’re looking at extreme emotional abuse for anyone who is outside the group and unlucky enough to have their attention. Emotional abuse attacks a person in the most deeply personal of ways, and the scars it creates are more damaging than the physical scars of a beating. We wonder why girls who stand out grow so bitter, but if you’re a little too pretty or a little too different, other girls swarm on you and rip you apart with constant emotional abuse. They attack who you are at the base of your being, your very self-perception. This is why you see truly beautiful women who struggle to see their worth. Other girls have been ripping into them since the nursery, and it only gets worse as they get older. Boys court you and try in their awkward boyish way to get your attention, but you’re mostly convinced that it’s a cruel joke they’re playing on you, because of course you aren’t pretty or smart or special. The scars run deep and never fully heal.

However, physical violence is not out of the question either. Female genital mutilation is a very physical violence that is inflicted on women, mostly by other women. It is not unique to or even required by Islam, the religion we think of most on this issue. It’s tradition, and women will inflict this on their daughters and granddaughters quietly in dirty back rooms with rusty and unsterilized razor blades if the society they live in declare it to be illegal. If enough women decide to mob on some unfortunate outside their group, they may well turn physically violent and the beating will not stop once the point is made. It will stop when the target of their wrath is dead or nearly dead. Women don’t really have much of an “off switch” when we move into physical violence out of anger.

So what would a world made up totally of women really be like? It would be tyrannical beyond belief. No one would be willing to speak against the accepted narrative unless they were willing to be unpersoned or killed. Think of a mix between 1984, the very worst social aspects of socialist regimes, and the Borg. There would be constant pushing for position, usually by starting whisper campaigns or setting someone above oneself up to be badly embarrassed. Look at the SJWs of today’s world and see how they operate. That’s what it would look like, writ large across the entire planet. They attack anyone outside the group who doesn’t comply with their demands, and if someone inside the group says a single word out of line according to the ever-shifting standards the entire group turns on them without mercy. The only way to get back in their good graces is to loudly proclaim your “sin” and accept their abuse until they get bored of you. Even afterward, you’ll forever be “tainted” with the sin of noncompliance.

When you write your books and send them out into the world, please stop writing women as soft, cuddly pacifists. We aren’t. Kipling was completely right about the female of the species being the more dangerous sex. He was also right about the price of letting women control society. If any thinking individualist finds themselves in a society run by women, may God have mercy on their souls because those women will have none at all.

 

Don’t Be A Victim! A Blast From The Past from June 4, 2014

Don’t Be A Victim! A Blast From The Past from June 4, 2014

This is a post about victimhood: admiring, sanctifying, exploiting, parading and – strangest of all – stealing victimhood.

Guys, seriously, if aliens dropped in from alpha centauri tomorrow they would think we are very odd creatures. What is it with the big fights over who the biggest victim is, shaming and trying to make people feel guilty because they aren’t victims, claiming victimhood on behalf of anyone else and, most important of all, endowing oneself with someone else’s victimhood by white-knighting for them?

To define things: a victim is someone to whom, through no fault of his or her own, unpleasant things happen. Worse, in today’s lexicon, to cultivate the victimhood, a victim must remain a victim and allow bad things to continue happening to him/her. The minute he stops being a victim he loses all victimhood points.

So… who would WANT to be a victim. Beats me. I’ve been one at times, through no fault of my own, and it was pretty unpleasant.

Part of this, I think, is a perversion of the desire to help others. For instance, in books, it is easiest to gain sympathy with a character if pretty unpleasant things have happened/continue to happen to them. Anyone who has read my books knows I’m not above using those.

Here’s the thing, though, in a book worth reading, the character doesn’t come in whining and sobbing, doesn’t drape himself all over you claiming victimhood and REMAIN A VICTIM for the rest of the story. Instead, the character shoulders his or her limitations, grows and becomes admirable not by feeling sorry for him/herself, but by doing something worthwhile. If he or she does remain a passive victim, for this reader at least, the book takes flying lessons.

Mind you, if your ambition is to be assigned to a school’s reading schedule, then that’s exactly what the book should be. I don’t know how many of the kids’ assigned books could be described as “Downtrodden minority has a shower of sh*t rained on his/her head every page of the book, till the end when he/she dies a horrible death or achieves revenge in some stupid way.” It’s the plot of all of them I skimmed.

Add to that the strange concoction of sixties/seventies ideas that no one is ever guilty of anything and that even the most heinous criminal was driven to it by society, and we have… a fine mess, where being a victim gives you license to do whatever you want, and be as nasty as you want to perceived “evildoers” while remaining “saintly” because you are a victim.

As a confession, when I was in 9th grade, during the final exams (the ultimate accountability exam. It having come to someone’s attention that through the previous three years, the first years of the revolution, teaching had been spotty; days had been spent painting murals and having our “consciousness” raised and that some schools were never in fact assigned teachers, in 9th grade they made us take a nationally scored exam – ours was the first and weirdest year, since we weren’t prepared for it, but since then it’s become a national thing. You had to pass the exam to continue or, in fact, to have any chance at college.) which were stressful-crazy, since most of the stuff on them we’d never been taught, and “I haven’t been taught this” was no reason for the question not to count, one of the boys in the all-boy school across from mine committed suicide.

In retrospect, he must have been mentally ill. What he left behind was the usual “manifesto” bumble broth of complaints about how we were treating the environment and men’s inhumanity to men.

His letter made the rounds of both schools and more than one of us posted it in some public space, because of course, he was a “victim of society” and we identified with him.

This was foolishness. First, I’m fairly sure he was mentally ill (though it might not have been permanent had he survived. In the boiling broth leading up to those exams, all of us could be fairly overheated) and second, it was his decision to kill himself, not anyone in society.

But as adolescents we were primed to view “he was driven to it” as a reason enough and to lionize him. It was the spirit of the times. Nothing better than being the ultimate victim: a dead one.

It wasn’t always this way. One of my favorite books is A Little Princess, which is admittedly my most girlish taste in reading. I read it round about twelve, and granted, the girl is a victim. But the thing is, she doesn’t stay a victim. Through imagination and compassion, she builds a universe for herself that can’t be destroyed, and is ultimately rewarded. (BTW the movie is not like the book, and the book is better.)

And there were times, further back, when being poor or a “victim” in any way was proof that you were somehow evil. A bit of this mentality is preserved in Islam’s belief that Christ could not have been crucified, because that would be proof he wasn’t a prophet.

Yes, if you look further back, there are some hints of this in the Judeo Christian tradition. All the prophets of Israel seemed to be cast out and wander the wilderness doing the Biblical equivalent of eating out of trashcans, which was a necessary passage to their destiny, and of course Christian martyrs went singing psalms to the lions’ bellies. (Believe it or not, they did. It was a great factor in early conversions. Though I suspect now and then, one of them, faith or not, indulged in a good cry or scream. Who knows?)

What one is apt to forget in our secular days is the difference between dying in the FIRM belief in a reward on the other side, or suffering ill on Earth in the certainty that Himself will life one up after. The amount of certainty in the afterlife even among people in my village dwarfed my most faith-filled moments. They spoke of it incidentally and casually, as one plans a holiday or a trip abroad. I think that most of those days from which the stories of true martyrs come to us were more like that, and in face of the great reward promised, a passage through brief victimhood was acceptable.

It was perhaps predictable the tradition would get perverted by the romantics.

But it in itself, it wouldn’t matter much, hadn’t Marx got his foot in the intellectual door of the West. (Like a bad salesman. A little bearded ink blot, selling hatred and divisiveness.)
It was Marx who allotted victimhood out by classes and classes in a later evolution of his theory came to be apportioned by such weird characteristics as sex, race or sexual attraction.

According to the neo-Marxists what you are determines your victimhood. You can neither escape nor change it.

Take me, for instance, as a Latina (and fairly dark if I spent any time in the sun, which I don’t), an immigrant, a woman, I am by definition downtrodden and a victim. My days are filled with endless struggle and humiliation. There is no way to change that… unless of course, I declare non-Marxist opinions when the other side will immediately define me as white and call me names. They have to define me as white before they call me names, otherwise they just would add to my victimhood points. (No, I don’t know what you get if you win. Perhaps a set of matched shot glasses.)

But don’t despair, if you’re born lilly white, and even – gasp – male, you can be a victim by proxy so long as your opinions are red. You become a champion of the downtrodden and from then on you can attribute everything that goes wrong in your life to political discrimination.

 

Sorry, I rolled my eyes so hard I dropped them. Will someone please retrieve them for me and dust off the cat hair. Right.

Do I need to tell you this is nonsense?

Yes, of course, some people are victims. In fact, I will pretty confidently state we’re all victims sometime. Sometimes it’s when we’re too young to know better. And sometimes it is because we love someone and allow him or her to take advantage of us. And sometimes it’s even because of our sex, color, or sexual orientation.

Most of the time, though we’re only victims for some time.

Even the people I know who grew up in the hardest circumstances imaginable, usually turned their lives around when they became adults/moved away.

In fact to remain a victim seems to take either mental illness or extraordinary effort not to improve one’s circumstances.

And no, of course, victimhood doesn’t always follow the lines that people tell you should be victims. Say you grew up in a middle class community as a black person, in America. You might think you’re a victim – only because the SJW’s tell you that night and day – but the truth is that you’re nowhere near victimhood. The poor black baby born to a crack addicted mother in Detroit is. As is a white baby in similar circumstances. Notwithstanding which, they might both turn out all right and have a good life.

Because here’s the thing: this is America. We don’t have a caste system. As study after study shows, people move all over the map, not just physically but economically.

America is a country where you can reinvent yourself. Unless, of course, you’re wedded to your victimhood and think it confers something special upon you.

I’m here to tell you it doesn’t. If you’re a victim, it doesn’t make you special, or good or full of human kindness. It is in fact likely to make you the opposite – human nature being what it is. But mostly, you’ll be the same human you were before you were victimized. And being victimized doesn’t excuse your acting horribly. Self-defense is not the same as hurting those who never did any harm to you.

Your “class of victimhood” doesn’t count in anyone’s mind but Marxists, and come on, those people are crazy cultists. It doesn’t make you better or worse than anyone else.

And if you experienced a little pang at reading that, it’s time you came out of the dank darkness of Marxism and into the light.

You see, while being a certain color or orientation or sex might cause crazy people who follow a long-dead white-man (failed) prophet of doom to fawn upon you, refusing to be a victim, taking your lumps and learning from your experiences and battling on, makes you human, and an individual human at that.

And if you are an individual human, not trying to follow any script, the possibilities are limitless, and you decide where you go and – depending on how much effort you’re willing to put in – how far you go.

And that – that – is far more fun and more interesting than being a perpetual victim.

Stand tall. You’re a free man/woman. Despite what the Social Justice Warriors Whiners would have you believe, your future is not dictated by your skin color, sex, orientation, or even (within limits) your handicap.

Your future is yours, and only you can script it.

 

UPDATE: Today being Wednesday, I have a post up at Mad Genius Club.