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Once upon a time, there was a ship captain.

His father was a ship captain, and so was he.

His father had trained for many years as an apprentice, learning the ways of a ship and the ways of the sea, and and on the day he became a captain, he was given a hat so that all would see it and know he was the captain of a ship, and when his son was grown, he gave that hat to him, and that was that, he was a ship captain, just like his father had been.

So the son went out into the world with his hat, and he found a ship in need of a captain, and he said, “I am just what you need,” and because he was a ship captain and the son of a ship captain, the ship’s owners agreed. The young ship captain set out directly towards the open waters, spinning the wheel of the ship as he went, because he had seen ship captains at the wheel before and he felt quite keenly that the main thing was to turn the wheel decisively. The ship’s crew, not being captains, began yelling and waving their arms, trying to shake his resolve. The captain showed character and discipline in the face of adversity, and instead spun the wheel even harder. When the hull of the boat crunched up against some rocks jutting out of the water, the captain remained calm in the face of this adversity, shrewdly filling his pockets from the ship’s cargo before sensibly leaving the doomed vessel.

He made his way back to shore where he told everyone he could meet how only his supreme skill and instincts for seasmanship had allowed him to not only survive such an unholy wreck, but profit by it. “If you let me pilot your vessel,” he said, “you might profit by it as I assuredly will.”

And so he was given command of a second ship, and on the day it departed the harbor, he ordered full sails. Every sail unfurled, every sail gloriously billowing in the wind. The crew protested; it was a crowded harbor and the wind was not right, and full sails were not only unnecessary, they were dangerous. But they were not ship captains, nor the son of a ship’s captain, and what did they know? He had a reputation to maintain, and full sails were impressive. This was a triple-mastered schooner, not some dinky little rowboat. It was huge.

In fact, he gave orders for a fourth mast to be assembled on the spot so they could fly even more sails, and while his crew scrambled to obey, the ship collided with another one just inside the mouth of the harbor and the two became hopelessly entangled and sank.

The ship’s captain did not stop to fill his pockets from his ship’s cargo, because he now had the skill and experience to know it would be necessary to do so, and so had made a point to loot the hold before the ship had cast off from the dock. This was the kind of acumen that he brought to the job. He left the sinking ship by means of boarding the other ship, where he filled a small sack from their cargo, which he claimed as salvage under the rights of maritime law.

“It’s a perfectly valid business strategy,” he said as he left the other sinking ship.

Back on shore in a tavern, the ship captain loudly boasted of his prowess in keeping a clear head amidst the danger, that he had, while others were cursing him and trying to untangle the ships or bail out the flooding holds, calmly done the only sensible thing and got out, that he had walked away while the other ship’s captain had stayed behind trying to right his vessel, only being saved from the waters by the intervention of his crew.

“What a loser,” the ship captain said. “If they hadn’t pulled him out, he probably would have gone down with his ship!”

While the young ship captain was making a name for himself as the son of a ship captain and the man who had survived the wrecks of two vessels and come out ahead, other captains were sailing their ships out of the harbor and over the seas, carrying cargo and conducting commerce, but none of them had pockets as full as the young ship captain and none of them were in the tavern every night, telling all who would listen of their prowess and instincts as a sailor. The son of the ship captain was making quite a name for himself, and so he decided that a man of his stature deserved more than piloting a ship that belonged to another. He would build his own. It was going to be huge.

Five masts; no, six! And every railing and knob  would be painted gold; no, solid gold! And the sails would be of the finest silk, and the decks tiled in granite; no, marble!

Such a ship would be quite expensive. The money he had inherited from his father and what he had pocketed along the way might have been enough, but a man has certain expenses. Certainly there was no need for a captain of his experience to front his own money for such a venture.

So he went to his friends in the tavern, and he said, “You have all heard the stories of my brilliant seasmanship, and now it is your chance to get in on the action. It is your chance to become a part of the lesson. It is your chance to touch the greatness that is my name. If you build this ship, and you put my name on it, and you give it to me to pilot, then I promise I will use the same golden touch I have used on every ship I have piloted. I will profit by it, and you will be my partners.”

So his friends raised the money and they built him the ship, and they send him off in it with all the pomp fitting the circumstance and more, because there had never been a grander ship and he had convinced them that making it a magnificent occasion would make their business venture all the more successful, didn’t they know they had to spend money for him to make money? It was the party to end all parties, and at the end of it, the ship sailed away, and at the end of the day, the ship captain was back at the tavern, trading a piece of the ship’s ornament for a meal.

“Well?” his friends-turned-eager-investors said.

“Look, it’s not my fault you didn’t do your due diligence before getting into bed with me,” the ship captain said. “This is entirely your fault.”

“Where is our fabulous ship?”

“I ran it aground somewhere,”the ship captain said. “But! You’re welcome to it if you can find it. I hereby dissolve the partnership. You own it outright. Just see that someone scrubs my name off the side of it. I have a certain reputation to uphold, see? I can’t have my name on a foundered ship.”

The investors were unhappy, of course, but many people had seen the fine ship setting out with such extravagant celebration, and had read the name of the ship captain on its side, and so many people were eager to meet such a celebrated person who could afford such finery and command such a ship, and many of those people were eager to do business with him, to trust their cargos and their ships and their bankrolls to him, to apprentice with him and learn all he knew of the art of seasmanship, and before too terribly long the young ship captain—no longer quite so young—had grown his reputation and his image of himself to the point where he was no longer content to be captaining mere ships.

No, ship would do for him but the ship of state itself. He would run for president.

“Folks, you vote for me and I will do for this nation exactly what I have done for the many ships I have sailed,” he said. “Who else has my experience? Who else is a better captain than I am? All of my opponents are losers. They say they are the best captains, but how many shipwrecks have they survived?”

He waited for the applause that came on cue, and then he finished,

“I’m Donald Trump, and I approve this message.”

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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giving treeTHE GIVING TREE

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

The so-called Social Justice Warriors always say they want strong female characters and realistic role models for women but they once again prove that SJWs always lie by ignoring this book, which provides the most complex, intricate, and yet startlingly true-to-life depictions of females of any book I have read or will ever read.

The Giving Tree is the story of a real man, a red pill-downing alpha male who knows the importance of maintaining frame and consistently demonstrating value to any tree he wants to fuck by being confident and taking what he wants, then leaving her alone so that she knows his time is valuable and that he is not to be trifled with. This pleases her because as a female tree it is her biological imperative to find a male with a high sexual value. It is so refreshing to finally see a believable depiction of a woman like this.

The tree supports her man through all his endeavors. Whether he is working hard to sell apples, harvest lumber, building a house, or cutting down the tree to make a boat to get away from the shrew of a wife and the children she no doubt conceived to entrap him into marriage, she leaves him alone to get on with the hard work and the sacrifices he makes to achieve his dreams.

As vivid a portrait of the female psyche as the tree paints, though, it is the man’s wife who steals the show. She is first deftly foreshadowed when the man shows up at the tree explaining to her his plans to build a house. Why does he need a house? So he can have a wife and a family. This is the moment when we know our hero has slipped into blue pill thinking. When he was a child, before our female-dominated society had filled him with its propaganda, he was happy doing nothing more than going from tree to tree and having his fun with each one, keeping many plates spinning in the air, but when he grew up he drank the Kool-Aid and believed he had to settle down with any woman wily enough to steal his sperm.

And the wife. The story brings her to life in nightmarish detail. Overbearing, emasculating, controlling, frigid, and ugly but with an inflated sense of her own value given to her by feminism and its lies. The book almost spends too much time and detail making you picture her, and his life with her. You can’t get away from her.

Or can you?

Because our hero turns it around. He realizes he’s had enough, and he goes his own way. He takes the red pill. With nothing but his own two hands and the sweat of his brow, he makes a boat out of the tree and he sails away and we never have to see his wife disgrace the page again.

As satisfying as his escape from the clutches of her tyranny is, it’s almost too little, too late to save the book. She had too much of a presence in the book to begin with. The story is not about her, it’s about him. Why did they have to interrupt the fascinating story of this man in order to focus on her?

The ending of the book is a complete letdown, when the man who had gone his own way before comes back and settles down with the used-up old stump of a tree. Why? A man of his proven sexual value should never have to settle for a woman his own age unless he wants to, at which point there’s no reason for him to not keep a dozen or more plates spinning because men of his value become even more rare with age. This is the point where the book goes from grounded, realistic depictions of female existence into a flight of pure fairy tale fantasy, and it is the point where I check out.

Using strong, fully-developed female characters with personalities deeper and realer than I assume most actual women have and a classic tale of red pill redemption to sucker the reader in and then deliver this ending is such a classic example of SJW-style entryism that Saul Alinsky himself might have penned it.

Two stars.


Note from Alexandra: If you enjoy my coverage of the Sad Puppies and related nonsense, satirical and otherwise, please help me get to WorldCon 74 in Kansas City. For every $150 I collect towards my goal of $1,800, I will write another piece similar to this one.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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cat in the hatTHE CAT IN THE HAT

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

This book is the classic tale of David vs. Goliath as in the modern gaming industry where nature’s greatest underdog, the multinational video game company, is forever at the mercy of powerful and ruthless game journalists who might at any moment decide to rate a game as low as 8.8 or even 8.7 for reasons that can only be described as “subjective”.

The protagonist of the book is a cat who develops games, games that are fun (like all games should be), and who wants nothing but to share them with children who are bored. Not so fast, cat! There is a game critic in the house, a fish who is clearly used to thinking of himself as a big fish in a small pond.

I almost threw this book across the room at one point, because the cat is playing a game and he is clearly having a lot of fun, but the fish says, “NO! THIS ISN’T FUN!” Imagine hating fun so much that you lie about what’s fun in order to ruin a game for everyone else. This is why we need Gamergate. Game critics like the fish have too much power and they’re willing to lie about games to uphold a social justice agenda that has nothing to do with what’s fun, which is the only thing that games should be about.

Throughout the book the fish acts as a literal gatekeeper trying to keep the cat out of the house and constantly trying to stop him and the children from having any fun. The boy, the main child, sadly succumbs to the propaganda onslaught. After forty-some pages of passively taking in the conflict between the game critic fish and the game developer cat, the boy starts parroting the fish’s party line, turning the house into an echo chamber. But notice how the fish needs the boy to do his dirty work? He can’t get his hands dirty.

This is the secret weakness of SJWs. They have no power except the “feelbads”. He convinced the boy that fun games were bad and wrong, so in order to signal his virtue the boy felt the need to join the fish’s hate mob against the cat and his friends who had done literally nothing wrong except try to relax and play games.

Unfortunately, Goliath wins this time. The cat’s friends are rounded up just like the social justice commissars want to round up everyone who disagrees with them, and he is forced to leave. Then, the fish, having basically established the house as his own tin-plated dictatorship, is not prepared to take responsibility for the state of the house, so complains and throws a tantrum until the cat comes back and fixes everything. Isn’t that typical? The ultrapowerful game media that the fish represents colludes to libel and defame gamers at every turn, then when their advertisers desert them in droves and their revenue drives up and their mom is coming home, they look up at gamers and say, “Save us!”

In a just world, this book would end with the cat looking down and whispering, “No.” but that book would never have been published. It’s not politically correct. Instead, in a twist that even Saul Alinsky would have found a ham-fisted bit of propaganda, the gamer cat cheerfully comes back and cleans up the mess that the fish made in order to disrupt his games.

I knew this book was bad news from the opening pages when the boy, the main child, wasn’t even given a name but his sister Sally, who never does anything, had her name. This is a sexist double standard. Most female characters are barely even characters and they still get more respect than the actual people in a story. And liberals say you can’t be sexist against men!

Two stars.


Editor’s Note: Mr. Upjohn will be attending WisCon in Madison, WI over Memorial Day Weekend and livetweeting what he finds there on behalf of his publisher, Hymenaeus House. Follow them on Twitter to watch the fireworks unfold. Mr. Upjohn has pledged to attend WorldCon and do the same if I somehow am allowed to attend, as he feels the need to balance my presence out. You can help both of us get there by throwing money in my WorldCon travel fund. For every $150 I get, I will publish another of Mr. Upjohn’s piece, or something of similar value and tone.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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(With mumbled apologies to Charlie Daniels.)

The Devil Signed Onto Twitter

Well, the Devil signed onto Twitter,
he was looking for some grist to mill.
He was in a bind ’cause he had a deadline,
he was willing to make a deal.

When he came across this blogger
jawing on a topic and playing it hot,
and the Devil slid into her mentions all slick
and said, “Girl, let me tell you what…

I guess you didn’t know it
But I’m an aggregator, too
and if you care to let me share
your content, I’ll boost you.

Now you write a pretty mean blog post,
but give the Devil his due.
I’ve got exposure online like you’d never find.
My platform’s perfect for you.”

The blogger said, “My name’s Nonny,
and this might just be me,
but I’m gonna take a pass, you can kiss my ass,
’cause I never write for free.”

Nonny polish up your work and shop your pieces hard
’cause all hell’s broke loose on the web and the Devil holds the cards.
He promises you a byline and a credit to your name,
but if you pass, you’ll get paid just the same…

The Devil opened up his site
and he said, “Oh, gimme a break,”
and words flew from his fingertips
as he fired his hot take.

And then he slid his hands across the keys
and they made an evil click.
A cap of Nonny’s post appeared
in the Devil’s piece, the dick!

When the Devil published,
Nonny said, “Well, that’s pretty nice, you know,
but you just take down that work of mine,
or else you can pay me what you owe.”

Flame war in the comments, run boys, run. 
Devil’s in the Post of the Huffington. 
Digging in your mentions, picking out quotes. 
Mister, does your blog pay? No, lawlz, no. 

Well that ol’ Devil bowed his head,
because he’d been DMCA’d,
and he took that borrowed blog post
down for which he hadn’t paid.

Nonny said, “Devil, you can put it back
if you ever wanna meet my fee.
I done told you once, you quote-mining dick,
I never write for free.”

Flame war in the comments, run boys, run. 
Devil’s in the Post of the Huffington. 
Digging in your mentions, picking out quotes. 
Mister, does your blog pay? No, lawlz, no. 

 


 

Author’s Note: do make the decision to give a lot of my work away for free, but I do so on my own site and my own terms rather than generating traffic and revenue for others who gain more “exposure” from the content donated to their sites than they give to the paid works of their content creators.

If you enjoy and/or benefit from my presence on this blog or elsewhere on the web, please consider paying for it through PayPal or Patreon.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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YERTLE THE TURTLE

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

This book is the all-too-plausible story of one evil turtle and his tyrannical desire to enslave all other turtles to his bidding.

If when you read this book it seems to echo eerily close to something you have heard before, that is probably not a coincidence. This is no mere children’s story like the ones you’d find in Aesop’s fables. This is a story with an important moral lesson to teach us and it relates to real life.

The villain of the piece is a turtle named Mack who is so dissatisfied with his place in the world that rather than climbing the ladder and making something of himself, he instead blames society for such petty things as the pain in his back and his lack of food. Not content to merely complain, he uses his extraordinary power and privilege to impose his will upon all other turtles. Lacking the gumption and will to raise himself up, he instead only tears down, and will not be satisfied until all other turtles have been brought down to his level.

Set against Mack is the tragic hero of the piece, a Randian super-turtle named Yertle who, though born to lowly circumstances on top of a rock only a little bit higher than the station of any other turtle in the pond, raises himself up to be the self-made king of everything up to forty miles away. Because a rising tide lifts all boats, in the process he raises every other turtle in the pond up with him.

Even Mack—the greedy, grasping, ungrateful, Mack—is elevated to the very same position Yertle was when the story began, sitting atop the very same rock. If he really wanted to be where Yertle is, there was absolutely nothing stopping him from doing as Yertle did. He was given the exact same opportunity Yertle had. Yertle’s very success proves the existence of upward mobility in the pond. Every single one of the turtles under Yertle only has to look up to find something to aspire to.

But when Mack’s  incessant complaints and whiny demands do not give Mack any greater reward than he has earned, he brings the whole thing crashing down in the most vulgar way imaginable: he burps.

In this one burp, he becomes worse than the Soviets who condemned the Kulaks during holodomor, worse than the people on the street who mouthed the Nazi lies about Jews during WWII.  Why worse?  Because those people lived in fear of their lives.  They had to say what they did because they feared being next on the kill list.

But Mack? Mack drags everyone down into the mud and dashes every turtle’s dream of attaining a higher place in society of his own free will. Does he care about the wishes of the turtles above him? No, he does not. Mack imposes his will upon all. In his pond, all turtles are slaves shackled to the ground, doomed to swim about the pond without the benefit of direction or purpose.

And in the end, the turtle who had the vision to build a society where any turtle could climb so high as to see forty miles in every direction, where any turtle could through nothing save their own hard work and determination could become king of a house and a cow and a mule, he is down with the rest, only able to see mud.

The burping vulgarians of the world cannot tolerate men or turtles of Yertle’s grand vision, and so cannot rest until they are destroyed. Saul Alinsky would be proud.

Two stars.


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Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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Millennials, either you are closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge or you are not aware of the caliber of the disaster indicated by your demographic cohort’s entry into adulthood. Now, I admire and adore the Millennials. I consider the time I spent coming of age on or around the turn of the 21st century is golden. That doesn’t mean Millennials haven’t got trouble. Below is a pledge that’ll help you cultivate horse sense, a cool head, and a keen eye.

THE MILLENNIAL PLEDGE

  • I will not sip medicinal wine from a spoon.
  • I will not then sip beer from a bottle.
  • I will not play for money in a pinch-back suit.
  • I will not listen to some big out-of-town Jasper talking about gambling on horse racing.
    • Not a wholesome trotting race, no sir!
    • But a race where they sit right down on the horse.
  • I will not fritter away my:
    • Noontime
    • Suppertime
    • Choretime, too.
  • I will get the dandelions pulled.
  • I will get the screen door mended.
  • I will get the beafsteak pounded.
  • I will pump water so my parents don’t get caught with the cistern empty on a Saturday night.
  • I will not try out Bevo.
  • I will not try out cubebs.
  • I will not try out Tailor Mades, like a cigarette fiend.
  • I will not brag about how I’ll cover up tale-tell breath with Sen-Sen.
  • I will not leave the pool hall heading for the Armoury Dance.
  • I will not re-buckle my knickerbockers below the knee the moment I leave the house.
  • I will not have a nicotine stain on my index finger.
  • I will not hide a dime novel in the corn crib.
  • I will not memorize jokes from Captain Billy’s Whiz-Bang.
  • I will not let certain words creep into my vocabulary, words like:
    • “Swell”
    • “So’s your old man.”

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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The first time I meet him, I’m in an almost-empty laundromat. It’s the height of the August heatwave. I’m folding my towels when he comes in. His hair is tousled. He wears a rumpled, button-up shirt with a ten-year-old blazer that was already ten years old when he bought it from a Salvation Army.

I know this, because he tells me it. I haven’t asked. He tells me he’ll forgive me for not having asked, this once.

He has a laundry basket full of damp clothes he’s brought with him. He makes no move to unload it.

“Oh, these are already clean,” he says. “Insofar as anything can be that has been touched by the detritus of a human life. I wash them by hand, one sinkful at a time. I could pay someone to do it, and it would probably be better. The first sinkful, I thought went pretty well. The second one, I enjoyed. From the third onwards, it was torture. Sheer torture. I dry them on the line afterwards. There’s something almost painfully authentic about a shirt that has breathed the same air as the city, don’t you think?”

“I have literally never thought that,” I say.

He gives a nearby front-loading washer an apologetic look.

“That was a quotation from James Joyce,” he says.

“No, it wasn’t,” I say.

“I’m a little embarrassed for you that you didn’t spot it.”

“It wasn’t Joyce,” I say.

“It was Joyce,” he says. “Joyce Carol Oates.”

“No.”

“Jonathan Franzen,” he says. “Just now. When I said it, just now. Hi, I’m Jonathan Franzen. You might well ask, what is Jonathan Franzen doing in a mid-town laundromat with a load of already-washed, partially-dried laundry?”

“I’m really just here to…”

“I admire the fact that you feel you can do better with your half of the conversation on your own,” he says. “Most people would be too intimidated.”

“Fine,” I say. “What are you…”

“What is Jonathan Franzen…”

“What is Jonathan Franzen doing in a mid-town laundromat with a load of… of already-washed, partially-dried laundry?”

“I like the experience of freshly-dried laundry,” he says.

“Have at it,” I say, waving at the row of empty dryers.

“Of course, I feel a wave of crushing guilt and despair every time I fire up one of the dryers,” he says. “That’s what we’re all supposed to do, right?”

“I think I missed that memo,” I say.

“Because of the carbon emissions. So why should I feed that machine?” he says. “I don’t believe in paying for something to do what I could do myself. It’s how I maintain my essential connection to the struggle of poverty that defines America in the middle class teetering on the fulcrum of extinction.”

“Aren’t you an actual millionaire?”

“Only in a literal sense. You are burdened with a rather pedestrian and limited view of poverty,” he says. He gives a helpless look to a nearby empty cart. “Most people do, in my experience. I have had the humbling advantage of having explored what it is to be poor at a multitude of tax brackets.”

“That’s the opposite of being poor,” I say. “The exact opposite.”

“Sometimes you can only understand something for the first time when you see it from the outside,” he says.

“And sometimes the only way to understand something is to see it from the inside,” I say. “Being poor is like that.”

“Ah, I thought as much,” he says.

“What?”

“I knew you were going to find something to hate in what I said no matter what happened, so I made sure to give you something to latch onto,” he says. “What’s the point in fighting? I can’t take who I am and mash it down into a package you’ll find palatable, so I might as well just say what I mean. I cannot live an artificial life, and that is why the world hates me.”

He delivers this last line to the glass door of a nearby dryer, as if he’s speaking to his reflection, or possibly believes a camera is hidden there.

“So…” I say, trying to find the actual thread of the conversation again. “You bring your clothes into the laundromat for a while because you like the experience, but you don’t actually put them in the washer or dryer because you also want to experience poverty?”

“No, that would be silly. Don’t be ridiculous,” he says. “What I do is I wait for someone to take his or her clothes out of a dryer with time left on it, and then I put mine in.”

“So you’re going to sit here until I’m done with my laundry and hope I don’t run the dryer out?”

“I can count on it,” he says. “You have no book with you, nothing to distract you from the insufferable, oppressive reality of this place. You will be checking your garments every ten minutes.”

I hold up my phone.

“Got my books right here,” I say.

“Ah,” he says, giving a skeptical sidelong glance to the detergent vendor.

“What?”

“One of those.”

“What?”

“I shall take my leave of you,” he says, hefting his laundry basket. “Good day.”

And that was the first time I met Jonathan Franzen.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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…and who benefits when they do, is this groundbreaking new book from Hymenaeus House by Theophilus Pratt:

John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity LevelsJohn Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity LevelsBoasting an impressive 50% more chapter fives than the next leading competitor, this is the only book about the lies of SJW you need to buy this year.

Get it for Kindle today!

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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So, Theophilus Pratt has hired me to do some research on a book he believes may infringe on a work he’s been putting together for some time now. The book is called SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down The Thought Police. He feels that it might be treading a little too close to his forthcoming magnum opus, John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularities.

I have to say, my first reaction was to be incredibly skeptical. Actually, my first reaction was to wonder “Why does Theophilus Pratt keep contacting me?” It later transpired that I am quite possibly the only person on the planet who still answers him. My second reaction was to wonder why I still do so. My third reaction, however, was to be incredibly skeptical. That, more than anything, engaged my curiosity enough for me to agree to do a little opposition research.

So I spent a good 35 minutes today reviewing the little tract to which he had referred me, and I have to admit, he has a surprisingly good point. For a book that is supposed to be dedicated to spotting and overcoming Social Justice Warrior Thought Police, SJWs Always Lie devotes a remarkable proportion of its focus to things like John Scalzi’s web traffic. Even the chapter that would seem to be the centerpiece of the author’s premise—the one that lays out the three laws of how SJWs always lie—offers no other example for any of the lies except the author’s belief that Mr. Scalzi has been falsifying his web traffic statistics for years, a claim which is dealt with in exhaustive yet incoherent detail, as if the author were the protagonist of a complicated political thriller.

At one point—I swear to God I’m not making this up, though I sort of feel like I am—the author details how he phoned in an industry favor to have the phone company pull data for him.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and you remember the scene where the title character convenes a community meeting in to address his bike theft, that is what the central thesis chapter of SJWs Always Lie resembles more than anything else.

So, while my final verdict to Mr. Pratt is that, yes, the books are surprisingly similar in subject matter despite the misleading title of the competing project, I don’t think he has much to worry about in terms of an actual competition. His own effort in the area could hardly be worse.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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Recently, a self-described egalitarian tried to school me on his school of thought, which he thought I’d been unfairly impugning. He described egalitarianism this way:

“To use an analogy like you it would be more like one person has a vegetable garden and another person has apple trees. Egalitarians would say give them each a loaf of bread to have a nice lunch.”

He summed up what he saw my approach thusly:

“But, say the vegetable person got upset because they think it’s unfair that the other person gets both apples and bread. So they start a group to support other vegetable people. They petition you to not only give them extra food (like cheese) but also to stop giving the apple people their bread. You tell them they could just grow apples too but that offends them and they demand you still give them bread and cheese and they actually want bacon now too. They even demand you confiscate some of their apples to make it more fair.”

And summed up his defense of egalitarianism with:

“To say that the only way you can have equality is to be shown unfair advantages, goes against the very idea of equality.”

I have to confess, I found this very charming. Egalitarianism as a political philosophy defined as “Give everybody bread, and they can make a nice lunch out of whatever they have.” It’s such a great capsule description of… well… everything that’s wrong with it as an approach, and why exactly we need the more nuanced solutions that are inevitably reduced by their detractors to “showing some groups unfair advantages and calling it fair”.

It is in that spirit that I present:


THE EGALITARIAN IN THE LUNCHROOM (A Parable)

Once upon a time, an egalitarian was given charge over a school cafeteria and tasked with making sure that every child within it had a nutritious meal. This was a very important job, and the egalitarian was pleased to have a chance to show his dedication to equality by carrying it out in the fairest form possible.

“I shall give each child,” he said, “a SANDWICH. Each sandwich shall be exactly the same, consisting of delicious, fluffy, lightly toasted bread, a modest amount of mayonnaise, a slice of American cheese, nutritious lettuce and tomato, and a standard serving size of ham. All children shall receive this sandwich, and a carton of milk. All needs shall be equally met.”

When lunchtime came, the egalitarian went to the lunchroom to observe his ingenious system of lunchroom equality in action. The children were all lined up, and the sandwiches were all ready for them, one for each child, as the uniformity of the menu had resulted in a marvel of efficiency.

He watched as the first few children filed through the line.

Then one got to the front of the line and stopped.

“Is that real mayo?” she said. “I’m allergic to eggs. Could you make me one without mayo?”

The server looked at the egalitarian, who shook his head no. Didn’t this child understand equality? She was holding up the lines with her demands for special treatment.

“Every child gets the same sandwich,” the server said, giving her one. “That’s how you know it’s fair.”

But the special snowflake demands didn’t stop there. One child with sensitive gums had the gall to demand that the bread be untoasted. Several said they were lactose intolerant and could not digest the cheese, nor the milk that was served as a drink.

The egalitarian thought this one was a particularly transparent ploy to get special attention, as—though he did not see color—he couldn’t help but notice that most of the children who pulled it were racial minorities. Though he believed all races should be treated equally and he held not a single prejudiced thought in his head, it was his experience that some of those people did not believe this, and would use any excuse they could think of to demand special treatment.

“Everybody gets a sandwich,” the egalitarian said. “That’s a nice lunch for everybody. Look at all the kids who already have their sandwich and are happily eating it. This could be you, but you’re not happy to have the same thing everybody else has. You have to be special, so you’re holding up the line demanding we make something special just for you.”

Then one child claimed something called “coeliac disease” and asked for a sandwich with no bread at all. That ignored not only the definition of equality, but the definition of sandwich! One person said they couldn’t eat pork, because of a cultural tradition they were trying to keep alive.

“That’s your choice,” the egalitarian said. “I’m giving you the same opportunity to eat as everyone else.”

When an anemic student asked if there could not be a meal option that had some red meat, or at least some spinach, the egalitarian snapped. He’d tried to make everything equal, but if it would stop the grumbling for one minute…

“Fine!” he said. “Starting tomorrow we’ll put spinach on the sandwiches instead of lettuce! Will that make you happy?”

“Excuse me,” said another student. “I have a thyroid condition, and I’m not supposed to eat dark green vegetables.”

“Aaah!” screamed the egalitarian. “You see? I tried being nice, and do I even get any credit for compromising? This is what happens when you kowtow to special interest groups? There’s no way to win with you people! No way! If I take the bread off the sandwich, somebody will say they need the carbs! If I take away all the dairy to please the ‘lactose intolerants’ someone will tell me that they need calcium and potassium! The demands never stop with you people, which is why it was a mistake to bother trying at all! EVERYBODY GETS THE SAME SANDWICH! THAT IS WHAT EQUALITY MEANS!”

For reasons that are unclear, the egalitarian did not keep this job much longer, and soon after the school cafeteria went to a buffet model where children could select from several dishes, including things such as salads they assembled themselves and sandwiches assembled to order.

The egalitarian still visits the cafeteria from time to time and watches the children moving from station to station—not even the same stations—picking out their lunch. He watches the coeliacs taking unbreaded chicken and making salads from underneath signs reminding students how to avoid cross contaminating them, and mutters, “No one else gets signs just for them.” He watches the lactose intolerant students getting their orange juice and sneers, “I bet they feel really special with their yellow milk.” He watches a student peering at labels for kosher certification. “This isn’t equal food, it’s special food.”

He watches them all: the vegetarians and vegans, the anemics, the kosher-keepers and the halal-observers, and he says, “This isn’t equality. This isn’t what equality looks like.  I gave them equal. I gave them fair. It was so simple, so beautiful. But the fools, the fools didn’t want to listen…”

He breaks down sobbing.

“Everybody got a sandwich.”

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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So, today and most of late yesterday have been pretty hellacious on a personal level, but one slightly bright spot today: I got a message through to John Z. Upjohn, who may or may not have lost a book deal due to my interview with his publisher yesterday.

Mr. Upjohn was in better spirits than I would have expected, and seemed particularly reluctant to say a bad word about his boss/mentor, despite what some might see as an extreme setback. He seemed particularly flattered that I was interested in his book, and he sent along to me the first few pages for my perusal.

I prefer to leave the reviews to the professionals, so I won’t say much about it. Since it seems unlikely that The Freedom of Liberty will see the light of day anytime soon, he asked me if I would share it, so at least part of it might find an audience.


The Freedom of Liberty (Prologue)

 

Jon Prescott Johnson shouldered his rifle as he stood up. Kneeling, he peered through the rifle’s scope and surveyed the land all around him, carefully scouting as he reconnoitered.

He had a pair of military grade polyspectrum binocs in on his belt, but he preferred the honesty of the rifle.

While he swept the countryside with body’s eyes, his mind’s eye reflected on how he looked. Tall, six foot four, and built. He was not a vain man, but simple biology dictated that all women liked their men to be built, so built he was. Looking at him, you knew that he lifted. His face was stubbled so you could tell he took care of himself but he wasn’t fussy about it.

He wouldn’t brag about it, but there was definitely something in his face that made ladies swoon. Was it confidence, or was it arrogance? Trick question. It was both. At the same time something in his eyes said, “Gay guys, back off.” just so there wasn’t any confusion.

It was a fair warning, and the only warning they would get.

Jon P. Johnson was not a hateful man. There was no room for hate in heart, not with all the love of freedom crammed in there. But he was a man, all man, and he had the same natural reaction to homosexuals as every other man.

The comforting weight of the rifle in his hands was comforting to his hands. It was a custom made version of the latest model the finest weaponsmiths on Ceanndana could turn out: the Garand Turismo Mark III with the double extended clip and a polycarbonite stock with a gunmetal gray finish expertly covered over in stained walnut.

Not satisfied with the machine results, he had insisted on rifling the barrel by hand himself. He’d been shooting since before he could walk. What machine knew more about rifles than he did? His bold and unconventional and boldly unconventional choice had resulted in a weapon that was accurate to a range of approximately seven meters, but he was quite sure that no other weapon was quite as accurate at that range.

He wasn’t so vainglorious as to feel the need to put that hypothesis to the test, though. He believed results should speak for themselves.

The hills of the Ceanndanan countryside rolled out all around him. It was a harsh landscape. Ceanndana was a harsh planet. Humanity’s sons had touched their feet down on its dirt at the tail end of a deceptively mild period in its natural climate variation: the temperatures had been pleasant, precipitation mild but dependably regular, and the hills and plains covered in vegetation that housed a wide variety of animal life.

It had seemed like a paradise, a new Eden filled with inexhaustible resources. So the first colonists had begin clear-cutting forests to build factories, burning out grasslands to most efficiently provide farmlands for the new world. Rivers were dammed for power. Animals were hunted for sport. This new Eden had been provided for their benefit and no tyrannical pencil-pushing bureaucrats were going to stop them from using its bounty to the fullest degree possible.

But it hadn’t lasted. The greatest climate explainers Ceanndana recognized had theorized that the planet had a complex, long-term global season system. The colonists had touched down at the end of global spring. Now the planet was entering had enter moved into global summer. The atmosphere had grown hot and dry and poisonous, the rain sporadic and acidic. The remaining wildlands had turned barren. Once-plentiful animal life was now in short supply. The polar ice was melting. The seas were turning toxic and barren of life.

Maybe the United Nations had known about the cycle and tried to stick the rebellious upstarts with what they believed would be a deathtrap. If so, they would be disappointed. The Ceanndanans persevered and even took pride in their increasingly inhospitable adopted home. Their planet was untamable, just like them. Just as no man could impede the progress of the seasons, so no government could affect the progress of true men, free men.

Ceanndana. Literally: the Boar’s Head. The last bastion of true freedom in the galaxy.

As Jon thought about this, Jon reflected on the motto he followed. Stand tall. Dream big. Know your 20.

Jon stood tall. Six foot four, broadly muscled with a chiseled jaw and a far-off look in his eyes because he dreamed big. He knew his 20. He knew where he stood. This was what it was to be a man. This was what it was to be a Ceanndanan.

The familiar harsh environment today was tinged with unfamliarity. On the horizon there was a tinge of smoke, tinging upwards with a smoky coil. There were no factories out in that direction yet, he knew, and nothing there to burn. It would be worth checking out.

With practiced, easy gait, Jon stalked across the barren wilderness towards the hill from behind which the smoke emanated. Cresting the hill—he always kept the high ground when approaching unknown situations—he saw the wreckage of a small shuttlecraft. It was definitely not local, but he recognized the design. He stood tall, shouldering his rifle.

The United Nations had come to Ceanndana.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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Since John Z. Upjohn put away his reviewer’s hat, many readers have been asking what he’s been up to. It turns out he is hard at work on a new novel, The Freedom of Liberty. I invited him back to the blog to answer a few questions about it, as well as his background and his, ah, unique world view.

The contact information I have for Mr. Upjohn goes through his publisher, Hymenaeus House. Apparently all the email there is read and replied to directly by the editor-in-chief, internet gadfly and firebrand Theophilus Pratt. Mr. Pratt kindly intercepted my request and just as kindly insisted on fielding my questions himself.

We conducted a chat via instant messenger, as he’s had some bad experiences with video interviews. The interview didn’t go quite as I expected, but what does? I’ve decided to post it anyway.

Here is Mr. Pratt, in his own words.

Q: What motivated you to start your own publishing house?

A: It certainly wasn’t because I had a hard time finding people to publish my work! Traditional publishing is so hidebound and moribund, it would be sad if it wasn’t amusing. The dinosaurs who run it are as sluggish, slow-witted dimwits who understand nothing of the internet, 4GW, or cyberspace. They do not understand the ways in which the world around them is changing and so they cannot capitalize on it as I do. I move in every direction, seize every advantage, while they remain mired in a pre-digital reality which long ago faded to fantasy. This is why my hated nemesis John Scalzi is doomed forever to mid-list obscurity. His latest novel’s sales figures are a source of constant disappointment and embarrassment to his corporate masters at Tor and I have the data to prove it.

Q: Interesting. What’s your source for that data, by the way?

A: BookScan.

Q: Despite your frequent claims about Scalzi’s lack of success, several of his projects have recently been optioned for screen adaptations. 

A: Yes. How amusing! It reeks of desperation, doesn’t it? Pathetic. Notice that he only sold ONE pilot for Lock In. Only ONE network is adapting Redshirts.  Instructive, no?

Q: Isn’t that usually how it works?

A: Perhaps if you lack ambition. Where I come from, making one sale is not something an author brags about.

Q: You mentioned 4GW, or “Fourth Generation Warfare”. You talk about this quite a bit on your blog, no matter what the subject is. Can you elaborate a bit for those unfamiliar with the term?

A: Those who do not understand 4GW will be victims of 4GW, which is I am a master of Fourth Generation Warfare. I refuse to abide by tame conventions such as declarations of war, rules of engagement, or any similar limp-wristed pronouncements of what is and isn’t done. No matter what the topic is, no matter what the battlefield is, I am ready. I’m not concerned with pansy liberal concepts such as “fairness” or “tolerance” or “loyalty”. I cannot be taken by surprise because I am the surprise. When my enemy thinks I am surrounded, it is then that I surround them. When they think me trapped, it is then that I will spring my trap on them. Even when you fight me on your home turf, you will find I have already prepared the field to my own advantage. Considering the years I have spent playing miniature wargames in my basement, is it any wonder that my tactical genius allows me to flourish even when conventional thinking says the odds should be against me?

Q: This calls to mind a memorable interview you did on YouTube where you were observed to flounder and sputter when asked to clarify your views on things like race and sexual consent. You didn’t seem well-prepared, tactically speaking. What happened there?

A: He said he was talking to me because of Gamergate, but he didn’t ask me the questions I wanted him to ask. I wasn’t ready. It wasn’t fair.

Q: This same interviewer had conducted similar interviews with other figures connected with Gamergate. Surely you had to be familiar with his tactics and know that he would delve into any controversies lurking in your background.

A: Of course I’d seen him tear into the tawdry past of the shakedown artists and professional victims who oppose me. That’s why I thought he would be on my team! He blindsided me, otherwise he would never have been able to take me by surprise. It is impossible for anyone to do so otherwise. I cannot be taken by surprise by anyone who comes at me straight-forwardly.

Q: You attribute your particular level of tactical thinking—

A: My tactical genius.

Q: You attribute what you call your tactical genius to your love of wargames. Forgive my ignorance, but how exactly does playing Warhammer make you an expert on 4GW? Don’t the rules only model conventional warfare?

A: That’s your problem exactly. The “rules”. Who wrote those precious rules? Who told you that you have to follow them? The use of Fourth Generation Warfare transcends the tabletop as it transcends all battlefields. 4GW is psychological. It changes from situation to situation. It adapts.

Q: How does it adapt to tabletop gaming?

A: Sometimes it means licking your opponent’s miniatures so he will not want to touch them.

Q: You lick their pieces?

A: If that’s what it takes. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes 4GW victory means holding eye contact uncomfortably long while standing too close and breathing loudly. Propriety is not your concern. Social niceties are not your concern. The enemy’s comfort is not your concern. Your only concern is victory.

Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty. You can break or hide your opponent’s units when he’s out of the room, and then say that you don’t know anything about it when he returns. What can he do, bound by the rules and strictures of polite society? What can he do, bound by the rules of law? He has no evidence, no recourse. His only power is to try to make you feel bad for doing it, but that’s a power he only exercises by your consent.

Q: Isn’t it obvious that you did it, though?

A: It is amusing how often Social Justice Warriors say things are “obvious”. It’s a sign that your logical thinking centers are atrophied. You have no logic to rely on, which is why you say things are “obvious”. If it’s so obvious that I did it, why can no one provide me with any evidence? When I challenge my opponents to provide a step-by-step formal proof that I interfered with their miniatures, invariably they give up. They pack up their things and leave. Cowards!

Q: So your mastery of wargames is that you act like a jerk so no one will actually play you?

A: The syllogism is simple enough that even you should be able to follow it. if you are undefeated, you are a champion. If no one will play with you, you cannot be defeated. This is why I am a champion in any arena that I enter. I have been such a champion all my life.

Q: Returning to the subject of 4GW in real life, you speak often about the use of proxies in fighting.

A: Yes. It is a wise move for a state or individual engaging in 4GW to find local partisans, “useful idiots” you might say, who zealously believe in an ideological cause and put them to use by arming them, stirring them up, keeping them focused on perceived enemies and imagined threats. You make them feel important, you let them believe they are fighting the good fight for a real cause, when all they are really doing is keeping your enemies busy at little or no risk to you. It’s such a basic tactic that I’d be surprised anyone falls for it, if I didn’t know the world is full of credulous gamma boobs just waiting for a real alpha to tell them what to do. You just find any loser with a wounded ego and an imagined grievance and do to them what the rear echelon has done with conventional forces from time immemorial.

Q: This brings me to the topic of your involvement as a bit of a thought leader in the Gamergate movement.  Do you have anything to say about that?

A: Every single member of Gamergate is a hero fighting the good fight for a very real cause. What they do is so important. God speed to them all.

Q: Okay. Moving along. Your blog is noted for its incendiary content, and the comment section in particular is full of what can only be called outright hate speech. 

A: My blog, unlike those run by totalitarian SJWs, is a bastion of free speech. Because I do not moderate comments, I do not endorse them in any way. Free speech means that anyone may say anything they wish on it. It does not mean that I agree, or even the majority of commenters agree. The advantage of truly free speech is that if someone says something that is egregiously wrong, it is swiftly shouted down by cold, reasoned corrections. Nothing that is less than 100% factually correct can stand up for long in such an environment. It is amusing that SJWs, who believe in the fairy tale of evolution by natural selection, cannot grasp the effects of a truly competitive environment.

Q: I’m sorry, but you’ve both said that you don’t endorse the comments and that nothing that’s not 100% factually true can survive for long in your comment section.

A: Yes.

Q: It seems like you’re endorsing any position that remains unchallenged as true.

A: I’m not endorsing. I am observing. You do not understand the behavior of free-thinking men in a free environment. It is a simple syllogistic fact that in an environment where anything untrue will be challenged and the truth must be backed by reason and logic that the strongest ideas will rise to the top.

Q: On one recent post, I saw somebody saying that the Holocaust was an example of “blood libel against Germans”. No one was arguing with him.

A: So? I’m not his keeper! Take it up with him if you disagree!

Q: But by the same logic you’ve been spouting, doesn’t that make this declaration true?

A: You said it. I didn’t. I wouldn’t like to be in your shoes when I make a blog post saying that you said it’s factually true that the Holocaust is blood libel against Germans.

Q: I didn’t say it, though. I asked if you believed that only the truth can stand unchallenged in your blog, wouldn’t you have to believe this claim is also true?

A: Well obviously free-thinking men are under no obligation to engage with trolls, nor argue every point that someone spouts off. They don’t have to perform for your entertainment or engage in the kabuki theater of denouncing people just because they said something that’s not politically correct. We care about factual accuracy only, not what SJW dogma says is right or wrong.

Q: And factual accuracy has nothing to say about the question of whether or not the Holocaust happened?

A: Didn’t I just tell you that free-thinking men can’t be made to dance for your amusement?

Q: I’m just trying to work out an apparent inconsistency in what you’ve said about your comment section. 

A: You know, I’ve noticed that as soon as I say something that is even a little bit contradictory, false, or made-up, SJWs seize on it as if I’ve said something wrong. It is instructive as well as amusing.

Q: Okay. Well. Let’s talk about the book.

A: What book?

Q: The one you’re publishing. The Freedom of Liberty. 

A: Yes. I have no doubt it will prove to be an instructive little tome for those who have the eyes to read it.

Q: Tell us about it.

A: Why, what have you heard?

Q: That John Z. Upjohn is writing it for Hymenaeus House.

A: And I bet you’d like to know more.

Q: That’s why I sent the interview request, yes.

A: Very well. It may be instructive for you to note how much forbearance I am showing you. The Freedom of Liberty is book one of a planned trilogy, the Liberty’s Freedom Cycle.

Q: What’s it about?

A: You’d like me to answer that, wouldn’t you?

Q: What?

A: Aha! This is it, isn’t it? The trap? This is the part of the interview where you ask me a bunch of questions designed to lead me into saying something against the gospel of Social Justice that you and your toadying friends can use against me. Well, I’m too smart for that. I’m not going to fall for it. If anything, you’re going to fall for my trap. In fact, you’ve already fallen for it! There is no book called The Freedom of Liberty and no plan to publish it! Ha! What’s your next move, SJW?

Q: …well, since I asked you here to talk about the book, it looks like there’s nothing more to ask you, then. Interview over, I guess?

A: Ha! Another amusing victory for the tactical genius with the +3 SD intellect! Take note, my faceless vile minions: even forewarned about the grueling realities of 4GW, the SJWs are caught utterly unprepared the moment you do something to upset the gameboard.

Q: You really licked my piece, I guess.

A: Damn straight I did.


 

And that’s the interview. My… thanks… to Mr. Theophilus Pratt, and I suppose my apologies to Mr. Upjohn. I’ll keep trying to get back in touch with him, as I feel like I should be apologizing directly.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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Editor’s Note: Some wags (no pun intended) have claimed that our normal Sad Puppy reviewer of books, Mr. John Z. Upjohn, is not actually representative of the diverse opinions, tastes, and political ideologies of the Sad Puppies as a whole. Some have even suggested that he is little more than a ridiculous, over the top caricature. So in the interest of fairness, I have brought in another Sad Puppy for today’s review, to give this webpage generally and the SPRB feature in particular a more balanced perspective.


 

poky little puppy

THE POKY LITTLE PUPPY

Reviewed by Special Guest Reviewer James May

We are already aware you are blind to your own activism. You support a bizarre race-gender cult obsessed with patriarchy. It is anti-white, anti-male, anti-Western and even anti-Anglophone it is so steeped in racial hate, misandry and heterophobia. I regard it as nothing more than a hate movement, and that’s using your own paper-thin standards. How you get around that is by claiming the “marginalized” are never racists, sexists, misandrists, etc. I reject that.

Here’s the dividing line and the crucial issue: I don’t care what you do. I don’t care about any of your initiatives. What I care about is it is never expressed without dehumanizing men and whites as racist, women-hating, homophobes who have conspired and continue to conspire to keep everyone but the straight white male out of SFF. That is a lie we have proved with facts over and over again. The history of SFF as portrayed by SJWs is a hoax. It has never been any more exclusionary than Field & Stream.

We have also proved with facts over and over again that SJWs do exactly what they claim we do: namely advocate for and discriminate against people based on their race and sex.

You claim you are against Vox Day and John Wright but in fact you were throwing us under the bus in swaths of no less than 100 million people before you ever heard of them. You are a protected and privileged class of goofball feminists who will never pie-chart a military cemetery as long as you live because intersectional gender feminists are liars.

The idea we as an entire sex and racial group oppose women, gays and non-whites entering any arena whatsoever is laughable. Pretending we are all conservatives is Bigotry 101: paint an ethnic or sexual group as an ideology. Boom! Done. Let the Anita Sarkeesian “critiques” begin. We are aware of what your so-called “allies” have to do to escape the shame of being straight white men and so escape their “ideology” by showing their bona fides. We are aware of how quickly you turned on “ally” GRRM. Crime? Oops! He reverted to a straight white male and forgot to only torture men in his books. Concern for the in-group while ignoring the out-group is just more classic bigotry. Either you’re against violence or you’re not.

And notice how I myself have gone out of my way to show you are not liberals or Marxists and nor do I light up entire demographic groups. Although your cult laughingly pretends to represent all women, gays and non-whites – with radical feminist shit-titles like “Women Destroy SF” – you don’t. Gays are not the problem – gays who are bigoted supremacists are. Women are not a problem – female bigots are. Non-whites are not a problem – non-white racists are. If you claim to be human, then claim those human failings, since it is so self-evidently true of your cult. Whites are not a problem – white supremacists are. And that is a principle any race or sex can embrace. Wake up to that. My pushing back against this cult is no more pushing back against women, gays and non-whites than pushing back against the KKK makes me anti-white.

SJWs continually use random demographic spikes as if they are Jim Crow – but only if they benefit you. Otherwise random demographic spikes are fine as long as they aren’t straight white men. Boxing, Arab film, Samba, the NBA – no prob.

Say this over and over again: demography is not ideology.

Say this too: group defamation is always wrong – ALWAYS.

Stop lying and pretending you critique anything but our race and sex. No matter what we say, no matter the facts, you move the goalposts so straight white men remain in the crosshairs. Go look at Nebula Awards Weekend. It is a disgrace. Literature? LOL

I am not interested in your stupid con game or your hateful brand of feminism which pretends to be the successor to equal rights feminism, a thing I do support.

We cannot even converse until we agree on rules that work for all, not just some. This is called a “principle.” We have rightly portrayed your cult as one which rejects principle in favor of identity.

I reject everything your cult stands for.

3.5/5

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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strega nonaSTREGA NONA

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

If you want chilling proof of the radical feminist lesbian witch cult (also known as “Social Justice”) that has infiltrated all ranks of society, look no further than this book which blatantly glorifies witchcraft, matriarchy, and the creation of a loyal slave nation of emasculated beta male cucks.

Exactly as foretold in a literal straightforward reading of the Book of Revelation, this book portrays a near-future world where even the Catholic Church itself is in thrall of a woman. The church is no longer the Bride of Christ but the scarlet woman of Babylon.

“Although all the people in the town talked about her in whispers, they all went to see her if they had troubles. Even the priests and the sisters in the convent went, for Strega Nona had a magic touch.” If that isn’t straight out of the Bible then I don’t even know what the Bible says. I do know that it says to not suffer a witch to live, not to treat her as a valued civic leader.

I think we can all agree that this is an example of the kind of ideological, agenda-driven “message fiction” that has replaced real God-fearing SF/F that embraces and centers Christianity in the best traditions of classic science fiction.

This story shows a town that turns their back on God and then is almost crushed under a “flying spaghetti monster” of its own making. In their last moments they remember who made the heavens and the earth and cry out for Him to save them, and He, as was foretold in the holy book, looks down and whispers “no”. It is exactly what will happen in the end times, only in this fictitious example the witch returns at the last minute and spares them. When it really happens, though, she will find herself as powerless as the rest and the tide of pasta will roll over her with the sheep she led astray for Satan is the real “spaghetti monster” and like Saul Alinsky he is a great deceiver.

In the world that the SJWs seek to create, men don’t woo and win women as God intended but instead women go to a matriarchal elder and have a husband assigned to them and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Strega Nona decides she is too busy and important to keep a house, do the gardening, wash dishes, or do any of the things that women do for free. Instead she humiliates and browbeats a man who is denied any other employment opportunities because he is living in an upside-down society, forcing him to do a housewife’s work for no other compensation except security, food, shelter, and money.

As you might expect from a work of pure propaganda, the conflict in the book comes when her beta cuck housepet “Big Anthony” has had enough and decides to go his own way, daring to take for himself the power and prestige that Strega Nona decided only belonged to the approved feminist elite like herself. In a proper rollicking adventure story, his bravery would have been celebrated and duly rewarded. Because this is “message fiction” though he gets only bitter comeuppance for daring to seize power.

If this book is true to life in any way it exactly captures the nature of the backlash the SJW Hugo elite has had to the whole Sad Puppy campaign. I’m sorry, were we not supposed to touch your special pasta pot? Was it not polite to ram through a slate of nominees based on the fact that one of us said they were pretty good? Is that not how it’s done?

Well, I’m sorry if I’m not willing to “blow kisses” at the “sacred feminine cooking pot” in order to get anywhere, as this story suggests we all must do. Is it any surprise that the treasonous miscreants at the Caldecott Medal chose this book for an honor?

Two stars.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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alexanderALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

There are some days when it seems like fighting the causes of puppy-related sadness. When the whole world is arrayed against us due to the vile calumnies of a tiny insignificant clique, when hit piece after hit piece is slipped into liberal rags such as The Atlantic and Popular Science, when no one who attempts to refute us bothers to keep track from day to day what our motivation is, I start to wonder, “John, what is even the point of it all?”

Then I read a book like this, and I remember. I remember why we fight.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is the tale of a young man persecuted past the point of all reason. Only in the sick world of so-called Social Justice would he be held up as a comic figure rather a tragic one to be rescued or, failing that, avenged.

Our story begins when the main character wakes up with gum in his hair. Yet when he went to sleep, it was safely and responsibly in his mouth, where gum belongs. I am sure the SJWs would say that it is his fault for chewing gum in the first place, that he was somehow “asking for it”. They hate victim blaming until the victim is a white straight “CIS-MALE” and then suddenly everything is the victim’s fault. I ask you, is this morality where a person is always wrong 100% based on the gender and race?

If you say it is Alexander’s fault that the gum wound up in his hair, then you are saying he shouldn’t have had it in his mouth. If you are saying that he shouldn’t have had it in his mouth, you are saying he shouldn’t be allowed to chew gum. Who are you to say that he shouldn’t chew gum just because he is a straight white male, or as normal people who don’t notice sex or race would say, a normal person?

The rest of the book chronicles the world’s attempts to punish a young normal person for being normal. His brothers—doubtless good little sheeple who baa along to the SJW line—are given toys in their cereal while he has none. He is cruelly and arbitrarily denied a window seat. He is blamed for doing things that he clearly intended no negative consequences to come from.

When he loses his marbles down the bathtub drain, what is the lesson supposed to be? That it’s his fault? That he shouldn’t have taken his marbles into the bathtub? What man could live like that? What man would want to?

Even his beta cuck of a father—a man who has so little self-respect he allows his wife to drive him to and from work so she can have the car to gallivant around town from children’s shoe store to pediatric dentist office to wherever her little heart desires while he’s out earning a living to support her carefree lifestyle—chides Alexander for what is essentially his own failure to impose discipline.

The part that really struck home with me is the moment when his teacher chooses to praise—or “award” we might say—another student’s piece of artwork over his, just because the picture of a sailboat conforms more to her narrow-minded ideas about what art should be than his picture of an invisible castle.

Why should one person be put in charge of judging what is and isn’t art? Why should one person have to submit to a socialist public school teacher’s decision about whose art is allowed to go up on the board? This is exactly the attitude we of the Sad Puppies campaign took a stand against when we decided to nominate the books chosen by Brad Torgersen in order to make sure that science fiction stays exactly the one way we think it should be forever.

If at times during the book it seems that the victimization of the young white male protagonist is so blatant that it almost reads as a subversion of the Alinksy-approved SJW narrative, the end erases all doubt. They’re simply that open in their racist misandry these days. The book ends with the character’s mother writing off his troubles, minimizing them. So much for “listen and believe”!

She tells him that some days are just “like that”, as if it was all just a coincidence, as if she and the teacher and the carpool driver (all women!) hadn’t conspired together to make it happen.

But then, this is the same crew that wants us to believe that it’s somehow not a massive conspiracy when multiple news outlets cover the same story within a day of each other, isn’t it?

They must think we were born yesterday.

Two stars.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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goodnight moonGOODNIGHT MOON

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (aspired)

I suppose this book is supposed to be clever in that literary way that SJWs are so fond of, but I found it to be a confusing and unholy mess. It was very hard to follow. The prose was far too clunky and the signaling was all wrong. Good stories use signaling to tell you what kind of story they are, so you will know how the story goes and not be thrown out of it when something happens that you do not expect.

If a story opens in a tavern, you know somebody is going to go off on a sword-swinging fantasy adventure. If a story opens in a detective’s office, you know that a dame is going to walk in and she is going to be trouble. These stories are good stories.

The initial worldbuilding signals in Goodnight Moon were all for a story set backstage at a televised talk show. Right away in the first sentence we are told that it takes place in a green room, in “the great green room” so you know it’s not just a talk show but a good one. Then there’s a telephone, which is very sensible. The SJWs would never let me be on a talk show because they suppress my message at every turn, but I could believe there would be a telephone in the green room.

The next sentence is where they start to lose me. A red balloon? What does that have to do with being backstage at a television show? I had to go back to re-read the opening of the story a few times to make sure I had read it correctly, which is never a good sign. It turns out I had read it right after all, which meant the book was wrong. The red balloon was an unimportant and doubtlessly incorrect detail that could be ignored.

The next line breaks across the page, which just seems like bad editing to me especially since there was a picture on the facing page so you have to skip a whole page to find out how it ends. The picture included a young rabbit in bed staring at me in what I will characterize as an uncomfortable fashion. Between that and the unfinished sentence, I was in no hurry to study it further.

The next couple of pages simply describe the artwork on the walls of the green room. I began to form a picture of the main character, sitting idly in the waiting room of a talk show, waiting for his turn to be called out and interviewed by the host. What does he do? He looks around at the art that has been hung on the walls. The art is good, simple art. It shows cows and bears, not abstract concepts and feelings. This is going to be a conservative talk show, I decided. You can just tell.

Sadly this early promise is one the book promptly breaks, as the following pages reveal that the nonsensical addition of the red balloon was not a one-off mistake. The objects introduced include toy houses and mittens and random bowls full of mush, things I feel confident in saying would not be found in a green room.

About halfway through there is a major shift in tone. Before this the book had been concerned with introducing elements to set the stage. Right when I was sure the author must be done with all this world-building and build up, though, the book simply starts over, going back through the list of objects and saying goodnight to each of them.

Young writers, take note: this is not something you should do. The opening lines of your book forms a contract with your readers which you must not break. If you are clearly signaling in the first four pages that you are going to give them a story set around a conservative talk show, do not give them a mere bedtime story. This was so confusing I had to read back through the book several times to make sure I understood what had happened.

The mark of a good book in any genre is that you should be able to read it once, be satisfied that it did exactly what was promised, and then never read it again. You should almost not need to read it the first time. From the opening lines of Goodnight Moon I knew it was going to be about a man backstage at a conservative talk show, as surely as I know when I meet a liberal that he will start quoting Saul Alinksy chapter and verse at me.

This book was not up to the high standards I associate with storytime.

Two stars.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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Author’s Note: Inspired by a conversation in the comments on File 770, I’ve decided to re-post my story “The Redundant Man Who Was Redundant”. This and six other short stories are available in my collection The Lands of Passing Through, for Kindle, Nook, or as a mult-format bundle (Kindle, Epub, HTML, and PDF) direct from me. All versions are are DRM free. Enjoy!


The Redundant Man Who Was Redundant

By Alexandra Erin


 

“According to a CNN news network story, the selling of the MTV music television station could result in…”

In his office in the Department of Redundant Acronyms, Steven Stevenson II groaned and turned off the television. Every day… all day… the hits just kept coming. He looked back at his computer monitor, at the message he’d been typing to the third largest bank in the country. The first and second largest had already served him with cease-and-desist orders for “pestering” them with his “prank messages”.

It all seemed so pointless, sometimes… especially when he glanced at the letterhead at the top of the screen and saw the words “DORA Department”. That hadn’t been his idea, to be sure… and now he was getting memos from the BSA suggesting it be shortened to “DORAD”.

He needed to get out.

“Hold my calls, Dora,” he said to his secretary on the way out the door. “I’m going to lunch.”

“Don’t forget the man from the central CAO office is coming by this afternoon!” Dora reminded him.

Steven Stevenson II sighed heavily and rolled his eyes.


The part about lunch had been a damnable and odious lie, of course. He had, in fact, gone to a bar. It wasn’t the sort of bar that served food, beyond the pickled and salted variety. It wasn’t a dive, either… it was simply a dedicated outlet for serious drinking. Stevenson wasn’t always a serious drinker, but he refused to confront the CAO man on an empty liver.

“You look like a man who’s coming to realize the crushing weight of futility that is your life,” the obnoxious stranger intoned pompously as he grabbed the stretch of bar adjacent to Stevenson.

“What makes you say that?” Stevenson asked without much interest.

The man had the look of a man who was losing his hair. He wasn’t, though. He just had that look. Probably he was, Stevenson decided, but could afford to have it all regrown. The man had a face like a putrescent walrus, but he’d paid good money to have his hair loss reversed.

“There are only three reasons for a man to be in a place like this around lunch time,” the man said. “Either he’s celebrating, he’s coming to realize the crushing weight of futility that is his life, or he’s having a meeting. You’re not having a meeting, and you don’t look like you’re celebrating… ergo, you’re coming to realize, et cetera, and so forth.”

“Congratulations, you’ve figured me out,” Stevenson said, raising his glass in a mock toast. “Is that what you’re celebrating? The defeat and misery of others?”

The man chuckled.

“Oh, in a roundabout way, I suppose, in a roundabout way,” he said. “But, I didn’t mean to inflict my personal joviality upon you, no… I just wanted to give you my card.”

“Are you some kind of psychiatrist?” Stevenson said, looking at the edge of the cream colored bit of parchment disdainfully.

“No, nothing like that, nothing like that at all. I deal in more permanent solutions,” the man said. He held out the card more forcefully. “Go ahead and take it… it won’t bite,” he said, chuckling again.

Stevenson did, and actually looked at it. The gold-embossed logo declared that the man worked for the TastyFlesh Human Resources Company, and that his name was Orville Smith.

“Thank you, but I have a job,” Stevenson said.

“Good job?” Smith asked. “Satisfying work?”

“It’s a job I believe in,” Stevenson said testily, because it hadn’t been all that satisfying as of late.

“What do you do?” Smith asked.

“I head up the Department of Redundant Acronyms,” Stevenson said.

“Oh, the DORA department,” Smith said, nodding sagely. Stevenson winced. “Not exactly the, uh. largest or most prestigious branch of the federal bureaucracy, is it?”

“I didn’t pick it for the prestige,” Stevenson said, and Smith snorted.

“No, I’d guess not,” he said. “Anyway, I’m not offering a job, per se… more of an opportunity.”

Great, Stevenson thought, here comes the pitch.

“The earth is overcrowded,” Smith began. “You know that. Everybody knows that. The price of everything is going up, especially food. Well, no… especially fuel, but food’s got to come from somewhere, right? You can’t really grow it in the cities…”

“Actually, I read an interesting article about the new hydroponics pilot program in Chicago, and then there’s rooftop gardens,” Stevenson interjected. “And the new synthetic meat cultures can be grown anywhere there’s proper facilities. They’re doing interesting work in Nairobi with…”

“Will you quit interrupting me, man?” Smith said. “You can’t grow food in the cities and the bottom line is it’s getting harder and harder to find any arable land that isn’t covered by a city. Past generations supposed we could solve this problem with space travel, colonizing the moon and Mars, but we now know the whole idea of space exploration is a bust. So, what’s left?”

“Tell me,” Stevenson said.

“In a word, sir: cannibalism.”

“Cannibalism?” Stevenson echoed.

“That’s right, cannibalism,” Smith said. “We predict it’s going to be the biggest growth industry of the coming decade, and TastyFlesh is going to be at the forefront of it.”

“That’s… illegal,” Stevenson said. It was also immoral, amoral, unethical, and several other things, but he had a feeling that none of those would really bother Orville Smith.

“For the time being, yes,” Smith said. “But, we’re in this for the long haul. See, we draw up contracts… life-long, ironclad contracts… and our employees get a nice competitive wage paid out every other week, full insurance, vacation, all the usual benefits… ”

“Wages for what?” Stevenson asked.

“Just for being available,” Smith said. “Our employees come into our facility every day—barring those vacation days—and just sort of lounge around. They can bring books, magazines, portables… we don’t expect them to actually do anything. Actually, we discourage it. Just enough exercise to stay healthy, not enough for them to get all stringy.”

“But, how do you make any money?” Stevenson asked.

“We’ve got some of the best lobbyists in Washington working 24/7 on this whole ‘cannibalism’ thing, and when it’s inevitably legalized… that’s when it’ll all pay off,” Smith said.

“You really think it’s inevitable?” Stevenson asked.

“Absolutely inevitable,” Smith said. “Say, man, don’t you read? Malthus. Swift. It’s all there in black and white, ready to be discovered.”

“I think you’ll find that Swift’s A Modest Proposal was, in fact, a work of satire,” Stevenson said.

“His what?”

“The work you’re referring to,” Stevenson said. “A Modest Proposal. He wasn’t actually advocating cannibalism as a means of alleviating the burdens of the poor, he was using that idea as a satirical vehicle. As for Thomas Malthus, he failed to take into account technological advances that would increase the rate of food production until it exceeded that of population growth.”

“Ah, well, whatever you say,” the man said. “Haven’t read any of that myself. It’s just some names that crop up in the corporate literature. Anyway, look at it this way: supply and demand. If there’s a shortage of food, then anything which increases the food supply while decreasing the demand has got to be good.”

“But, the actual problem of overpopulation derives from a scarcity of resources,” Stevenson said.

“Right,” Smith agreed. “And legalizing cannibalism would add resources to the pool.”

“It actually wouldn’t, though,” Stevenson said. “Not in the long term. All those people you ’employ’ have to be fed the same as any other person…”

“Well, that’s why we pay them a good wage, obviously,” Smith interjected.

“Yes, but don’t you see, they’re still consuming their share of resources,” Stevenson argued. “For eighteen years… I assume you’re only signing up adults?”

“Of course, man, what do you take us for?” Smith said.

“So, for a minimum of eighteen years, they’ve been consuming just like any person. And because human being are not in fact cattle, a good portion of the food they’ve taken in will never be recouped,” Stevenson said. “The human brain is a marvel of evolution, but it’s a woefully inefficient source of sustenance.”

“Well, who wants to eat a brain?” Smith retorted.

“Yes, but, you see, a great deal of the nutrition that we consume goes to support our brain,” Stevenson said. “This is just one reason why big, dumb animals are preferable as a food source over smart, shrimpy ones.”

“That may all be true,” Smith said, in a tone of voice which suggested he suspected otherwise. “But… we aren’t feeding them for eighteen years. Just from the time they sign up with us until we get the legislation pushed through.”

“It doesn’t matter who’s feeding them,” Stevenson said. “The point is that they’re still taking the same share of resources for those years.”

“So, what’s your point?” Smith asked.

“That if the idea is to reduce demand for scarce resources, then raising human beings for slaughter is a woefully inadequate way of going about it,” Stevenson said.

“Well, that’s the larger idea, yes,” Smith said. “But we’re a private company. All we really need to do is turn a profit.”

“But the cost of supplying a human being with the necessities of life even for, say, a year… including not just food, but housing, clothes, transportation, and modest entertainment all add up… putting together a wage and benefits package that’ll seem competitive to any other job… has got to be higher than that of bringing to market an animal that’s been raised in a box and doesn’t need anything but nutrition and medicine,” Stevenson said. “How can you possibly hope to break even if you have to invest that kind of money into a single one of your—I can’t believe I’m saying this—feed animals?”

“Well, I’m not an accountant, am I?” the man replied, sounding offended. “Damn it, man, I’d hate to see that kind of talk getting to our investors. We’ve got experts looking over all our numbers at all times, and they assure us it’s a sound principle.”

“Just assuming for a moment that you ever do manage to get this thing legalized, how exactly do you intend to stay in business?” Stevenson asked. “Don’t you think your pool of volunteers will dry up once people realize it’s not just a cushy job that pays them money to lounge around?”

“Of course,” Smith said. “But that’s the beauty part… once it’s legal, that frees up our paid lobbyists to start pushing for, shall we say… broader channels of acquisition.”

“Disgusting,” Stevenson said.

“Hey, just because your job’s a joke is no reason to go raining on my parade!” Smith said.


“Now to begin: you’re the Secretary of the DORA department, are you not?” Clark Whizenby, the CAO man, asked Stevenson at the outset of their meeting.

“It’s just DORA, actually,” Stevenson said.

“Do you mean to tell me that it’s not a department?” Whizenby asked.

“It is,” Stevenson said as patiently as he could, “but that’s what the ‘D’ stands for. When you say ‘the DORA department’, you’re actually saying ‘the Department of Redundant Acronyms department.'”

“Well, I think what I’m saying is, ‘the department that’s called DORA’,” Whizenby countered. “That ‘redundant’ word, as you call it, conveys meaningful information about the agency’s organization.”

“In that case, why not just say ‘Department ORA’, or ‘the ORA department’?”

“Well, because ‘ORA’ is not the BSA bureau’s standard acronym,” Whizenby said. “In fact, that brings me to why I’m here.”

“Of course,” Stevenson said. “The BSA chief has petitioned to have DORA moved underneath him again.”

“Not quite,” Whizenby said. “He’s proposed liquidating the entire department and absorbing its functions.”

“Is there a difference?” Stevenson asked.

“Only to people who are currently employed by this department,” Whizenby said. “Which, if I’m not mistaken, is not many people at all.”

“No, you’ve cut our budget several times,” Stevenson said. “It’s… actually just me, and my secretary, Dora.”

“Right,” Whizenby said. “Well, in situations like this, I like to begin by telling a little story. Twenty years ago, before the central CAO office really came into its own, there used to be a national administration called NASA.”

“I think I’ve heard of it,” Stevenson replied sardonically.

“National Aeronautics and Space Administration,” Whizenby said. “Annual budget of tens of billions of dollars every year. Why, we could have paid for three months of war on the money NASA was getting every year. At the same time, we had another administration called the FAA… the Federal Aviation Administration. Their annual budget was only half of the NASA administration’s, but that’s still, as they say, quite a chunk of change. Then, some bright young egg at the fledgling central CAO office pulled out a dictionary and realized that ‘aeronautics’ and ‘aviation’ were practically the same damn thing!”

“And the rest, I suppose, was history,” Stevenson said.

“Damn straight it was,” Whizenby said. “We took a look at both administrations’ books and realized that the FAA was overseeing thousands of flights on the same budget which NASA used for a handful of flights. So, we folded NASA into the FAA… I don’t need to tell you, there was a lot of controversy at the time, but history has vindicated the decision: in the intervening two decades, there’s been no meaningful scientific exploration of space… no lunar colonies, no domes on Mars, nothing.”

“Maybe not in this country, but India and China have both established…”

“Third-world countries!” Whizenby said.

“Excuse me, but China is the world’s largest…”

“Are you going to let me finish a thought or not?” Whizenby said. “China and India are nothing. We’re the world leader in space exploration, and what do we have to show for it? It’s all commercial… space tourists and communications satellites. The American people should pay billions for a separate organization to oversee that?”

“By that ‘logic’,” Stevenson said, smiling pleasantly and keeping as much sarcasm out of his voice as he could, “wouldn’t it make sense to fold the BSA’s functions into DORA? After all, we make do with a shoestring budget.”

“It’s not just that the FAA had the smaller budget,” Whizenby said. “They produced more with that budget. They were efficient. You, on the other hand… well… we’ve never been quite sure what the point of the DORA department was in the first place. What exactly do you do here?”

“I help to maintain the integrity of the English language in an age of increasing abbreviation,” Stevenson said.

“That’s what the BSA does,” Whizenby said.

“Not quite,” Stevenson said. “Their only concern is that everybody uses the same set of acronyms.”

“How’s that different from what you do?” Whizenby asked.

“It’s completely different,” Stevenson said. “We… that is to say, I… work to insure that… well, let me give you an illustrative example. Let’s say you’re going to the ATMM to take out some money. You put in your card. What does it do?”

“The card?”

“The machine, Whizenby. What does the machine do when it has your card?”

“Well, I suppose it asks me for my PINNN number, doesn’t it?” Whizenby asked.

“Right,” Stevenson said. “Except, you don’t actually need to say ‘number’ because that’s what the ‘n’ stands for in PINNN.”

“Which one?”

“All of them,” Stevenson said. “See, when the system was devised, in the late 20th century, the code was simply referred to as a ‘PIN’, which stood for ‘Personal Identification Number.’ Almost immediately, though, people… as well as the institutions which utilized such things… began referring to it as a ‘PIN number.'”

“And that was bad because…?”

“Because it wasn’t long before some bright egg decided to shorten it to ‘PINN’ with an extra ‘N’, and the whole thing started again,” Stevenson said. “Look, Whizenby, I know what mainly concerns you is efficiency. Think about how often the word ‘PINNN’ or the phrase ‘PINNN number’ are written, printed out, or saved into a database somewhere. Imagine if we could save all the ink, toner, space, and other associated resources being used up by those extra trailing letters and the redundant word? Wouldn’t that be a good thing?”

“It would, but we have to consider usefulness, too,” Whizenby said. “For instance, if you’re dialing into one of those automated AMS menu systems, and the voice just asked you to key in your PINNN, you can’t see how it’s spelled or capitalized, so there’s no way of knowing it’s not asking for an ink ‘pen’ to write with, or a stick ‘pin’, or your numerical ‘PINNN’… though by tacking that one extra word onto it, the meaning is made clear. It may be redundant, but it’s not superfluous.”

“Well, that as may be, yes,” Stevenson said. “But wouldn’t the meaning be made clear by context? Of the things you mentioned, only one of them can possibly be keyed in or otherwise offered over a phone, and certainly only one makes sense in any situation where an AMS attendant is asking for something.”

“A well-worded communication doesn’t require the listener to figure out what they are being told, because it tells them that outright.”

“Well, even if there is some slight advantage to making the numerical nature of the PINNN explicit over the phone,” Stevenson said, “then there’s still no reason to include the redundant appendage it in written matters, is there?”

“Separate standards for written and verbal communications? That’s too complicated… it’d never fly,” Whizenby said. “Plus, whatever tiny gains we’d realize from not printing the extra letters would probably be eaten up by all the clarifications and memoranda and such that would need to be issued to explain the discrepancy. Anyway, it hardly seems like it’s the end of the world if an ATMM machine asks me for my PINNN number.”

“Look, I don’t ask for much,” Stevenson implored. “Cut my budget again, if you have to. I don’t need a secretary. Just let me keep doing this, if for no other reason, then so that twenty years from now you’re not leaving the CCAOOO office and putting your P-I-N-N-N-N-N number in a damned ATMMMM machine.”

“Do you really think it’s likely to go that far?” Whizenby asked.

“There are three Ns in ‘PINNN’ already,” Stevenson countered.

“Right, and I think most people would agree that’s plenty,” Whizenby said.

“More than plenty,” Stevenson said.

“Then we’re agreed,” Whizenby said. “Look, normally, we either eliminate or merge… one or the other, never both… but… the odds are there’s at least one opening in the BSA at your pay level. Actually, I take that back; they don’t have any positions that pay so little. The point is, if your work is so important to you, then it wouldn’t take much shuffling to get you a job over there.”

“But what they do is antithetical to my work,” Stevenson said.

“That being the case, one might very well ask why the citizens of this country are paying two arms of the government to work towards opposite goals in the first place,” Whizenby said. “I think a reasonable person would agree that the ultimate goal of all is to make sure the language is easy to use and easy to understand… and that being the case, the real redundancy is having two separate agencies going about it in differing ways.”

“But…”

“I think I have everything I need from you, Mr. Stevenson,” Whizenby said. “You will receive an official notice of the central CAO office’s decision within three days… followed swiftly by an order to vacate the premises.”


 

“Bad news, sir?” Dora asked Stevenson.

“The worst,” he said. “They’re shutting us down in three days.”

“Well, it’s not much, but at least I’ll have a chance to use the new letterhead before we go,” Dora said.

“What new letterhead?” Stevenson asked.

“This,” Dora said, holding up a sheet of paper with the word “TEST printed on it. “It just arrived from the BSA bureau.”

Stevenson gritted his teeth. The logo at the top of the paper read now read “DORAD”.

“I suppose I can take some small comfort in the fact that I won’t have to see that become ‘DORAD Department’,” Stevenson said.

“What?” Dora asked.

“Nothing,” Stevenson said. “Well, I suppose we’d better start looking for new jobs, anyway.”

“Oh, I’ve got that covered,” Dora said. She rummaged in the papers on her desk and found a pamphlet. “This new company’s hiring loads of people… no qualifications needed, just a medical exam, and you don’t even have to do any work. It’s called TastyFlesh HR. Have you ever heard of them?”

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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make way for ducklingsMake Way For Ducklings

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

If you want evidence of the deep rot that has infested the once-great Caldecott Medal, look no further than this book, which is a putrid example of ham-handed message fiction given an award by Feminazi SJWs basically as a participation prize for having a “strong female protagonist who doesn’t need a man”.

This story is set in the liberal heaven of Boston, Taxachusetts and the action—what action there is—centers around what I am sure is a taxpayer-funded boondoggle called the Public Garden Lagoon. Where in the enumerated powers of the Constitution does it say that the government has the power to fund a garden, I ask you? If the people of Boston want a park so badly they should come together and pay for one, but taxation is armed robbery at gunpoint.

The characters in this book are a family of immigratory birds who come to America and immediately have eight babies. The woman duck is no lady and has no respect for her husband’s position as head of the duck household. She finds fault with everything he does, when he tries to make a home for her nothing will do but the finest castle apparently.

Even when they are given a handout of free peanuts (they aren’t free, though, because somebody paid for them. TANSTAAFL!) at the taxpayer-supported park, they have to leave because Mrs. Mallard thinks the world revolves around her and doesn’t think she should have to watch where she’s going when there are bicycles around. Pay attention because this is going to be a running theme. If Mr. Mallard has put her in his place the first time this foolishness arose, the worst excess of this book would have been avoided. But then if he knew how to be a proper alpha duck this book would have been a lot shorter.

So the ducks leave the city and they have their eight babies on an island in the river, but Mr. Mallard has had enough of his wife’s bullshit and decides to go his own way, swimming up the river. The shrew of a duck extorts a promise from him to meet her at the park (remember, the one she decided was bullshit?) in a week. If Mr. Mallard was me, he would have said, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” and never looked back. Take the red pill wake up, Mr. Mallard. A better title for this book would be “Make Way For Cucklings” because Mr. Mallard is clearly a beta male cuck of the lowest degree.

The book makes a big deal out of the fact that Mrs. Mallard teaches the ducklings how to swim and stuff by herself, like this isn’t her job. Well, if single motherhood is so great, why did she need a policeMAN to stop her kids from being ran over by cars when she tried to lead them across the highway? Or was it misogyny to notice that?

This book goes from bad to worse as this deadbeat duck wants to go back to the public park to suckle peanuts at the hand of the public teat, but she decided to molt and have babies so oh no she can’t fly anymore, a police officer—that’s a public servant whose salary is paid by taxes—actually STOPS TRAFFIC on a busy highway.

He even calls for backup! Apparently, it’s not enough that one jackass is being paid to stop people with jobs from getting to and from work! Mrs. Mallard is such a special snowflake that they have to send out a cruiser to escort her! Are we supposed to believe that there’s no crime in Boston? Or maybe the police just aren’t allowed to bother with that anymore. We must interfere with anyone’s ~*civil rights*~ after all.

Who pays Mr. Police Man’s salary, I ask you? Is it ducks? Do ducks pay his salary? No! We do! So why is he doing their bidding? In any rational society he would have stood back and let natural selection do its work but we are far past the point of rationality here. Mrs. Unfit Mother and her brood have a goddamn pride parade up and down the streets of Boston where all the slack-jawed liberal idiots can admire what a special snowflake she is and congratulate her on having so many children she needs a police escort to control them!

Why doesn’t she just open a Patreon account while she’s at it? She could tell the sob story about how she was almost hit by a bicycle and the victim bucks would come pouring in, let me tell you. They all have Patreons for some reason even though they produce nothing of value to anyone. It’s nothing but welfare for hipsters. It should be illegal.

And when she gets to the park, Mr. Mallard is waiting for her. Of course he is. She has him so whipped. I threw the book across the room when I got to that part. The story was clearly set up to lead in one direction, where the precious little snowflake figures out that in the real world no one has to put up with her bullshit and the price she pays for whining and crying victim all the time is winding up alone, but the author caved to the SJW bullies and totally undid everything he had been building up to in order to shoehorn in their approved message. It broke the immersion completely. I knew it was coming, but until I saw it on the page I didn’t want to believe it.

But blue pill beta cuck or not, notice that Mr. Mallard didn’t need any police escort to find his way there. He didn’t need any recognition from the town. He just did what he said he would do, quietly and without demanding any special treatment or a parade. And yet we’re supposed to think the mother is the hero of the story? This is some SJW bullshit of the first degree.

This book is the biggest piece of crap I have ever read, and the Caldecott Medal on the cover of it shows that this once prestigious award has been degraded to little more than a shiny piece of toilet paper.

It should come as no surprise that the people of Boston love this book so much they literally built a statue to it. It’s like something out of the Bible story with the golden calf. Do you think the Boston SJWs would have cared about this book if it had been set in some place like Salt Lake City or Wasilla? Hell no! But it’s like I always say: they only care about demographics. The Caldecott Medal is supposed to be an award for children’s picture books, not illustrated love-letters to liberal bastions, which is what this is.

The fact that this book was lavished with so much praise just because it kissed Boston’s ass seriously calls into question the legitimacy of any award it was given. If we can’t know for sure it wasn’t affirmative action and favoritism, we have no reason to believe it wasn’t, and that’s the same thing as proof.

Did you know that only fifteen people in all the world choose the winner of the Caldecott every year? How are the opinions of fifteen people supposed to determine “most distinguished American picture book for children”, I ask you? The fifteen people are appointed by the so-called Association for Library Services for Children, or ALSC. What do you want to bet that some or all of those appointees come from Boston or similarly liberal cities? The ALSC is a division of the notoriously pro-liberal American Library Association, or ALA. If you want to know who they answer to, just spot the pattern: ALSC, ALA, Alinsky.

Follow the money. I guarantee it.

Two stars.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

alexandraerin: (Default)

The Barker and the Big Tent
By Alexandra Erin


With gratitude to my muse in this matter, Mr. Brad R. Torgersen.


“Welcome to the Big Tent,” the barker said, showing his teeth in a friendly smile. “Everyone’s welcome in the Big Tent!”

“Hey, mister,” Jake said. “Is this a circus, or something?”

“Oh, it’s a circus, yeah,” the barker said. “It’s a circus and more. It’s whatever you want it to be! The Big Tent has room for everyone! You go in and you can watch a show, or you put on one of your own. Any kind of act you can imagine can be found in the Big Tent. You keep your stage as long as you keep an audience, so anything goes as long as it’s entertaining.”

Anything?”

“Well, of course we mustn’t break any laws,” the barker said. “The point of the Big Tent isn’t to do anything bad, but only good things, things that are fun for everyone. Everyone’s welcome in the Big Tent.”

“Yeah? What’s going on there?” Jake asked, jerking his head towards the turnstiles at the entrance.

A pair of burly roustabouts flanked each of the gates. As Jake watched, a couple of people were roughly turned away from one. The bouncers’ faces were murderous, while the people they sent packing just looked scared. All the lines got shorter as people saw this and left in apparent disgust or, in some cases, fear.

“Well, lad, that’s where we let everyone in,” the barker said, then repeated, “Everyone is welcome in the Big Tent.” He cupped his hands over his mouth and shouted, “Come one, come all, to the Big Tent! If you believe that any show is a good show as long as it’s entertaining, this is the place for you!”

“So, who were those people, then?” Jake asked.

“Gatekeepers,” the barker said.

“No, I mean the people your gatekeepers turned away.”

Our gatekeepers?” the barker said. He let out a loud, raucous laugh, slapping his knee. “We don’t have gatekeepers, son! This is the Big Tent you’re talking about, and everyone’s welcome in the Big Tent! No, those nice gentlemen are there to keep the gatekeepers out.

“But you said everyone is welcome,” Jake said.

“Right,” the barker said. “You’re a clever lad and you catch on quick. We want to keep the Big Tent big, don’t we? We want to make sure it welcomes everybody, don’t we? Well, we can’t very well do that if we let in a bunch of gatekeepers.”

“How are they gatekeepers?”

“Well, I told you our set-up: anyone can try their hand at filling a stage, and as long as they can keep an audience entertained they can keep doing their thing, right?”

“Right.”

“So the good acts keep going and the bad ones get weeded out. It’s the free market in action, understand?”

“Yeah.”

“Well… some people, they like to pretend that good acts are bad and bad acts are good,” the barker said. “No one knows why they do it, just that it happens that they do. They try to sneak in, act like they belong, and one of them gets up on a stage and the rest stand around pretending to be entertained. All the way they’re taking up a stage that could be used by people who would put on a show that a real audience wants to see.”

“How do you know they’re pretending?” Jake asked.

“Well, first, I know what’s a good act and what’s not. Don’t you? I mean, rollicking good fun. You know it, right? So when someone gets up and starts reciting poetry that doesn’t even rhyme, or putting on a one-woman show, or whatever, you know people are faking it when they say they like it.”

“Don’t you think maybe some people like that kind of stuff? I mean, people like different things.”

“Right! And the Big Tent caters to all tastes, but that doesn’t mean we have to stand for people lying about what’s good.”

“But how do you know they’re lying?” Jake asked.

“Because they talk about it,” the barker said. “You listen to them, you’ll hear it. Hey, one will say, you’ve got to come see this act. No mention of it being good, just ‘you’ve got to see it’. Like they’re commanding their little minions! Or they’ll say, it’s like nothing you’ve seen before. Like nothing you’ve ever seen! Well, if it was any good, they would have seen it before, wouldn’t they have? Or they’ll even be more blatant and say, you know that thing you’ve been looking for? Someone’s doing it over here!”

“What’s wrong with that?” Jake asked.

“The only thing people should be looking for in the Big Tent is a rollicking good show!” the barker said. “It’s not fair for people to come in looking for a specific thing! All acts should be judged purely on their own merit. Anyone who can’t do that is cheating.”

“So, you never… you never go in looking for music, or whatever?”

“Well, sure, but that’s different,” the barker said. “That’s something normal. You expect to find music under the Big Tent.”

“Wasn’t the point of the Big Tent that you can find anything under it?”

“Of course! All people welcome! All tastes welcome! All ideas welcome!” the barker said. “We especially love ideas! Some people think that ideas are dangerous, but not us! Bring us your ideas, the more dangerous the better!” He pointed to a woman being ejected from the front of the queue. “You see that woman who just got turned back?”

“Yeah?” Jake said.

He’d noticed by now that a lot of people were turned away, and that every time it happened, more people left the line. In fact, the more the barker spoke to him, the more people drifted out of the queues and towards them to listen in disturbed fascination.

“Well, she’s a known feminist,” the barker said. “That’s why we can’t give her a stage. If feminism gets a toehold, we’re through.”

“But you said no ideas were too dangerous,” Jake said.

“Right! That’s why we can’t allow any feminism,” the barker said. “As soon as we allow feminism, free speech is over.”

“What about her free speech?”

“What about it?” the barker said. He cupped his hands around his mouth again and yelled, “Come one, come all! Come to the Big Tent, where you can enjoy any show you want without having to put up with any feminist bull!”

A good twenty, thirty people stomped out of the line at this pronouncement, while maybe a half dozen people, mostly men, drifted over with interest.

“See?” the barker said. “We get more and more people all the time. So, what do you say, lad? You want to see the Big Tent?”

“Yeah… I’m not sure it’s for me.”

“The Big Tent is for everyone!”

“If feminism isn’t allowed, what else isn’t allowed?”

“I told you, everything is allowed, as long as it’s legal,” the barker said. “And as long as you’re not lying. We can’t allow people to lie about what they like, or what’s a good show. We can’t allow people to pander to PC nonsense, either. That’s just not fair to anyone.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, no one likes to be called racist, right?” the barker said. “So if you go in and put on a show that makes a big point of being not racist, that gives you an unfair advantage over any show that doesn’t. Because people will have to pretend to like your show in order to not appear racist.”

“Are there a lot of racist shows in the Big Tent?”

“We believe in freedom of expression.”

“Could I ask which shows are racist?”

“Oh, no, see, that would infringe on their freedom of expression,” the barker said. “Because then you’d avoid them, see? Instead of giving them a fair chance.”

“So because you believe in freedom of expression, no one can say that anything is racist?”

“Obviously,” the barker said. “Look, no one is saying that every show has to be racist. You just can’t… pander.”

“Well, what’s pandering?”

“Making a big deal out of not being racist, so it’s obvious you’re only doing it for political correctness points,” the barker said. Most of the crowd that had surrounded the two had drifted away, leaving the fairgrounds entirely. The barker cupped his mouth and shouted, “Come to the Big Tent, where you don’t have to deal with a lot of pandering politically correct bull!”

Most of the people left in the line whooped and hollered at this exclamation. Of those in earshot and not already in line, about half of them gave a sign of approval while the rest shook their heads in disgust.

“You see?” the barker said, gesturing towards the people remaining in line. “We just… we know what the people want, and we give it to them. Is that so bad?”

“So, the people you turn away, do they not count?” Jake asked.

“You’re saying it’s bad to give the people what they want,” the barker said.

“No, no, man,” Jake said. “Look, it’s obvious you’re catering to a specific set of tastes here, okay? That’s cool. It’s your tent.”

“Young man, it’s everybody’s tent.”

“It’s your tent, and you can do what you want with it,” Jake said. “I just wish you were more honest about it, you know? It’s rude to say that everyone’s invited and then turn people away. It’s weird to say that all ideas are welcome when you’re going to be screening certain ideas out. It’s just… the whole thing is kind of dishonest, you know?”

For the first time, the barker’s smile faltered.

“What did you call me?” he asked.

“I just… not you, but the, you know, the enterprise,” Jake said. “It seems a bit dishonest, you know? Disingenuous.”

“So you think that just because we don’t allow people to lie, somehow we’re the dishonest ones?” the barker asked. “Everybody, listen! This guy here thinks it’s dishonest to not allow people to lie! Can you believe that?”

“Dude,” Jake said, throwing up his hands as several heads swiveled to glare daggers at him. “That’s not what I…”

He wants to ruin your good time!” the barker said. “He wants to pack the stages with boring acts featuring feminists and people who will call you racist and scold you for having fun!”

“Dude, I was just asking…”

“You know what? I think you were right, buddy,” the barker said. “Maybe the Big Tent isn’t for you.”

“Okay, man, I’ll shove off, then!” Jake said. “Later!”

He turned and walked away.

“Heh, his loss,” the barker said to a stunned-looking woman who had caught the end of the exchange. “He wouldn’t be so high-and-mighty if he knew what he was missing out on. Our tent is the biggest of the kind.”

“Is it really that big?” the woman asked him.

“Oh, I know, it doesn’t look all that big from here, does it?” the barker said. “But you’ve got to see the inside. There’s so much empty space!”

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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scarryRichard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)
With gratitude to my brother in Christ,
Mr. John C. Wright, for his gift of words.

 

Dear Mr. Scarry,

I admire your creative effort tremendously. I read your books, watched your shows, and supported and lauded you. I made your work a part of my imagination and a part of my life, and introduced your books to my children.

And this is how you repay loyalty and affection?

A children’s book, of all places, is where you decided to place an ad for a sexual aberration; you pervert your story telling skills to the cause of propaganda and political correctness.

You sold your integrity out to the liberal establishment. In a craven fashion you deflect criticism by slandering and condemning any who object to your treason.

You were not content to leave the matter ambiguous, no, but had publicly to announce that you hate your audience, our way of life, our virtues, values, and religion.

From all the fans everywhere worldwide let me say what we are all feeling:

Mr. Scarry: You are a disgusting, limp, soulless sack of filth. You have earned the contempt and hatred of all decent human beings forever, and we will do all we can to smash the filthy phallic idol of sodomy you bow and serve and worship. Contempt, because you struck from behind, cravenly; and hatred, because you serve a cloud of morally-deficient mental smog called Political Correctness, which is another word for hating everything good and bright and decent and sane in life.

I have no hatred in my heart for any man’s politics, policies, or faith, any more than I have hatred for termites; but once they start undermining my house where I live, it is time to exterminate them.

Sincerely,

A lifelong fan.

 

Two stars.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

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