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The Ninjas of Food

As you know, Bob, ninjas make every story better.

Cartoon musical intermission flagging? Add ninjas.

Fast-paced metaphysical trans-dimensional thriller hitting a slow spot? Add ninjas1

Historical sino-phillic mystery novel hitting one of those idiotic tonal moments from The Mikado? Ninjas for the win.

Which brings me to Bacon, the Ninja of Food. I have been informed that there are some people who have not yet discovered Good Mythical Morning. You know what those people need to do?

Good mythical morning is here: https://www.youtube.com/rhettandlink

For those same people, the yard ape recommends Stampy Longnose's Broken Age We Play videos:

1. There are actually no slow spots in this book.

TIAT continues

As ever there's a new Tempest in a Teardrop every, MW&F here

And yes, it's not the most current comic, but it's the one I like best from last week's run. I think I did a decent job on the "Cantina."

And why it won't show up in LJ, I don't know. I've tweaked the "img src" html six ways to Sunday and I still get the stupid little black "X". Sorry! So I linked to the thumbnail. Whatever it takes...

#Sex Wins

The Constitution of the United States of America loses.

Proving once again, that these adolescents care more about their sexy-fun-games than they do any consequences to the wider society they live in.

On the bright side, O my brothers and sisters: Welcome to our side! The Left hates marriage, and unless you agree to join them in destroying the thing you think you've won, they're going to hate you.

Ça ira.

Speaking Truth

They have other tropes now, the intersectional race and gender theorists. It's all about privilege and ranking whose identity contains the most historically institutionalized suffering, and whose identity has the most inbred oppressing guilt. It's like the social sciences version of entropy or original sin, sans science or rationality. One could pull up the manifesto of any religious cult, whether Wahabi Islam or Westboro Baptist Christianity, and sub in cis-normative white guy for "Jew" or "Gay" and replace ordinary words like "fight" or "question" with "struggle" and "interrogate" and you'd be hard pressed to tell who wrote what.

But in the late '60 and early '70s when the barbarians first began to systematically storm the halls of academe the cry was "relevance!" In the '80s and '90s they moved on to "Old Dead White Guys"? Remember that? The Evil Pale Penis People had nothing useful to say to any living, brown women; or any living white women for that matter. Away with them! And yet...

I was required to write an essay, when I applied to library school, explaining why I wanted to be a librarian.

I wrote that I was fen (though not in so many words) and the librarian is the only lawful necromancer, who may summon the shades of men long dead to speak to modern ears.

Cedar Sanderson proves my point:

"ARE WOMEN HUMAN Indubitably so. I am, sitting here with fingers flying over the keyboard, no less human than my male counterpart sitting behind me enjoying music with his headphones on. What was one of my enduring favorites driving at? Caught by the curiosity, I clicked the button and thought no more of it until my copy arrived. At first, I was struck by the slenderness of the little book. I paid for this? I wondered. But then I flipped it open to the beginning of the essay, and she reached through the ages to speak to me, now, as vividly as when she first penned the words in 1938.

I was not sure I wanted to “Identify myself,” as the phrase goes, with feminism, and that the time for feminism, in the old-fashioned sense of the word, had gone past… an aggressive feminism might do more harm than good.

Of all the narrow-minded bigotries people use to furnish their minds, I find temporal parochialism the most ludicrous. Consider the indigenes and the wars they lost, and lost, and lost again against the conquering nations of Europe. If they had been able to keep a record of what they learned, and trade (or steal) the records with those of other tribes, do you think they would have dismissed them scornfully as the words of "Old Dead Red Men"?

Read the rest of Ms Sanderson's excellent commentary on Dorothy Sayer's Are Women Human?

And consider: speaking truth is valuable whether it's "to power" (or what you're fondly calling "power" this week) or just to one woman, writing at her keyboard, across an ocean of years.

How It Really Works

Laura Mixon shows how progressive intersectional race and gender theorists have managed to have such broad appeal to the science fiction community. Most of us would whole heartedly agree with her pronouncements:

If your support for the targets of abuse is determined by whether or not you approve of their other supporters, this conflates the individual targets with the sum total of everyone who has commented on a current event. This is cruel and unfair to the actual victims. It’s erasing real people for the sake of old feuds they weren’t even involved in.

Unless you're a conservative (or suspected conservative) of course. Then all bets are off. Just ask any Sad Puppy campaign supporter speaking out against abuse directed toward them.

This added weight that lies on the shoulders of people in a power-down social position calls all of us in any power-up community to take an extra moment to consider the impact of our words, when we’re in a dispute.

Unless, again, you're a white man (Mike Glyer, file 770) arguing with an immigrant woman of color (Sarah Hoyt) Because she's a conservative and and he's a progressive. Nice try, Sarah Hoyt! No critical race theory for you!

And then you get to thinking about the idea that
It is happening along other social power axes, as well—for instance, for Requires Hate’s targets such as Rachel Manija Brown, Athena Andreadis, Liz Williams, Colum Paget, and Tricia Sullivan, among others. They are all feeling the added burden and stress, I’m certain, of having to contend with the more influential, high-profile people in our community dissecting and opining on how much the targets’ experiences matter.

And you wonder about how those same "influential, high-profile people in [the science fiction and fantasy] community" dissect and opine about how much the target of the neo-Marxists, and their Requires Hate-like acolytes "experiences matter."

And you know the answer: Not one whit. Because, as Ms. Mixon explains:
Requires Hate’s attacks, [like the the Nielsen-Hayden's and their allies] on the other hand, occur more insidiously, mostly out of sight. The hurt she has caused spreads more slowly like a poison, through streams, soil, and tap root, to kill the forest’s heart.

It destroys trust, when people [like Sarah Hoyt, Larry Correia, Peter Grant, and Jagi Wright, and many, many others] know there is no true fairness in the accusations and threats being leveled against them, but that those around them, those who have the ability to defend them, either think the attacks are justified strictly on the basis of identity, or that they somehow don’t matter. And this damage also degrades our community’s health. It makes us all the more vulnerable to the flames.

So the important thing to do is to punish these people, especially if they speak out, by "sending a message to them by voting No Award on all the SP/RP works"

After all,
... social-justice rhetoric should not—must not—be put to cynical and self-serving ends. These concepts were developed to eliminate injustice—not to create new unjust acts! I believe this down to my very bones.

Unless those acts are directed towards people who are white, people who are straight or people who are men, or anyone who is conservative.

That's quite all right. Because no progressive or lesbian or woman of color could possibly have dear friends, family members or children who are male, white, straight or conservative. Who would not respond with furious outrage to Ms. Mixon's arguments that these loved ones must be, in effect, second-class citizens in SF&F in order to pay for the crimes, real or imagined, of people who sorta look like they do.

So yes, there's a reason why a significant portion of the SF community originally embraced the social justice warriors as they first appeared in 2005 or so.

And there's a reason why a decade's worth of experience contrasting what they say with what they do has created a volcanic revulsion toward them within the SF community.

Until the Laura Mixons of this world can put Justice Justice ahead of social justice, and stop victim-blaming, I do not see the breach in fandom ending well for anyone.

Fiction Fridays: Veggie Comix

Poor J-man. He really is a big baby.

Yes, there are a few adorable veggies that the Little Girl will happily munch on. French Basil in home-made pesto is one of them. And of course, any kind of tomato-sauce (soup, pizza, spaghetti) which is why the poor tomato is so nervy. She's one oven roast and stew pot away from dinner...

One Bright Star to Guide Them

If you haven't read John C. Wright's novella, "One Bright Star to Guide Them" you're in luck.

Because you have a golden opportunity to read it the way it was meant to be read. In response to the muse, sometimes we draw the pictures in our head (or write them down) without referent to the market-place, and ideas about how accessible they should be. If we get it right, even people who haven't done the same reading, or have the same background, should be able to get something out of the picture or the story.

I think my drawing "There in the Utter West" (a Christmas card from a few years ago: the one with the ship) still works for most people, because most people know the song "I saw three ships come sailing in," butterflies are a common symbol of resurrection, and I stuck a "Gaude" in the lilies at the bottom of the scene. You don't have to know that it's a response to an idea I had that perhaps King Caspians great-grandson made a voyage to the Westernmost edge of the world, and what I imagined he found there.

But you could go very badly wrong if you made assumptions that, for example, because most of my friends online are Catholic, that the whole thing is Catholic religious symbology, and therefore felt free to upbraid me for the muddle I made of the same. And it would be your problem, and your ignorance to miss the clue from the title.

So, if you haven't read the Wright novella, take a minute and refresh your memory of classic British children's fiction. Re-read Time Cat, one of the short stories from Grimbold's Other World, anything by Alan Gardner or Joy Chant, and Puss in Boots. Done?

Now read the novella.

You'll get it.

Nearly everyone has read the Narnia books, and if they haven't they've caught a re-run of the movies on the television or picked up a DVD from Redbox. So they can still appreciate the bones of the tale. Because Narnia is part of the conversation that British children's fantasists were having: stories like At the Back of the North Wind and Five Children and It coming down the years to Narnia and past it to The Wierdstone of Brisingamen and Red Moon, Black Mountain. But it is one thread in the girdle, and not the most important one.

If you soaked in these fantastic stories when you were younger, and still love them today, Wright's novella strikes to the heart of the mythic ideal behind the story: the masculine version of maiden, mother and crone.

If you didn't and you hated that kind of thing (because it wasn't "relevant" or "useful" like books about teen pregnancy, menstruation and the civil rights movement) give it a pass. You'll hate it even more now and you won't understand it, either.

And do try to remember: sometimes a fairy tale cat is just a fairy tale cat.

New Tempest in a Teardrop

As ever you can view Tempest in a Teardrop here

Updates are MWF with the occasional Tuesday or Thursday bonus post.

Such as a review of Monster Hunter Nation. I hope to have reviews up at least once a month.

When White Men Get Their Nickers in a Twist

But White Non-Neurotypical Women get to be Justifiably Outraged. Go us! Because fairness!

Elsewhere, someone who I know knows better, wrote something to the effect1 that it was just so very mockable when White Men got all a-tizzy because women and Colored People2 are OMG! destroying civilization.

Now my first thought was to provide a helpful contact point to one of my female relatives who would be more than willing to explain just how Lula's incompetent socialist protegé (who unlike da Silva actually believes the krazy SJW kool-aid) is destroying her civilization. And since she's a Young Colored Person of Vaginatude rather than an Old White Dude, it leaves us at an impasse, rather. Which Latina voice are you going to silence, now? Hmm?

But I found someone who wrote it better than I could:
Wait, I am AT LEAST as diverse as Fabio Fernandes and WAY more diverse than Natalie Lurid. So — where is my attention for my “diversity”? Oh, yeah, I know. Wrongthink invalidates all of that. Also, I have two middle fingers and they may gaze upon them.

Same for Kate Paulk, next year’s standard bearer who is so non-neuro-typical she refers to herself as chemically sane. (Mostly complications of narcolepsy meds, which cause their own problems.) BUT she doesn’t kiss the ring, so she’s … a Mormon neurotypical white male, like the rest of us. Mormon males with great racks for the win. (The church is tolerant about this type of thing, I hope, Brad? I mean, I don’t want to be kicked out since I don’t remember getting in.)

Do I need to say it? They’re frass-nuts. They are so devoid of ideas; ideals and interests, that they can only judge literary works by the amount those might advance marxist causes combined with the “oppressed class” of the writer. These are barbarians or children, unable to appreciate aesthetics. They deserve nothing from us but our horse laughter and middle fingers, as we leave in the dust and CREATE stuff they aren’t even able to comprehend. Engaging in aesthetic/literary argument with them is like discussing Shakespeare with a kindergarten class.

Oh, and yeah, the golden age ended way before I was born. I’m 52 and I’m almost the doyenne of the SP who are ALL crazy kids. The other side, though? Finalement, finalement, ils ont beaucoup de talent pour être vieux sans être adultes3

It doesn't matter what you're doing with your private parts, or even what your private parts are or how much melanin they contain, you can build up or tear down the instutitions, the culture and community you're a part of.

It's a fair question to ask: Is this subversive? Or superversive? Is it for the greater good? And how is that good defined? Do the people who are at the pointy end of the "greater good" you're working toward get a say?

Or do they just have to take it as read that everything you do or say is "inclusive" all about "rights and liberties" or creates more "freedom" or "safety" or mom, apple-pie and ++goodthink. And therefore have to meekly submit to your claims that the only possible reason anyone could ask you to slow down, take a moment, and reconsider what you're doing (sometimes albeit in the form of : OMG! No! Stop! It's going to explode! because you're messing with the containment system of a nuclear reactor for LOLZ, self-promotion, and um... equality? justice? transgressive transactional political change. Yeah! That's the ticket.), the only possible reason is some kind of idenity-politics hatin'?

Nope. You don't just get to assume the conclusion, that your righteousnes goes without saying and that your work is above criticism. You don't get to substitute bumper sticker slogans for thought.

1. No, I'm not going to quote it directly: Who hasn't said something foolish in a fit of snark? It's in the water folks: reasonable people are marinating in this mindset and it's doing no-one any good. Call out the ideas you despise, not the people, if you can.

2. Yeah, there's a reason a lot of us cringe inside when we hear or read "P.O.C." and it's not because we are unfamiliar with the history of institutionalized oppression of black American citizens.

3. Differently-abled colored ladies unite! They'll find another way to disqualify your wrong opinions any day now!
This week We have bonus Tuesday & Thursday comics at TIAT as well as a book review up in The Reading Room.

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August 2015


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