David Hogg recently claimed owning 22,000 rounds of ammunition should “put you on a list or something.” As with all such claims, one wonders what the threshold of being on “a list” might be. Can you own 100 rounds without being on a list? 1,000? In reality, of course, the Left generally wants to track ammunition the way guns themselves are tracked. Read the Giffords.org position for more on that. Whether you have 22,000 rounds, or just a handful of .22lr, the Left wants to know and track.
In some ways it reminds me of helicopter parenting writ large.
So many Leftist arguments boil down to the fact that they want to be your parents. They want to divvy up everything fairly. They want to monitor what you say on the Internet. They want to know how much of this or that you have, and regulate where you are permitted to go, and the method by which you travel. Of late, I have seen a number of liberal acquaintances mentioning that masks should become a permanent feature of society, because flus and other sicknesses can kill old folks, too, and how greedy and selfish is it to not wear a mask (even if you are vaccinated) and put others at risk of catching a cold?
Wear your mask, little Jimmy, and put on your helmet when you ride your bike!
I am old enough to remember when it was the Right who wanted to censor things – Harry Potter was Satanic or something. Now, Harry Potter’s author is transphobic, so out with that, I suppose. Your Leftist “parents” have determined that it is not good for you.
So many liberal causes have, at their root, a desire to control everyone else. Climate change implies that we must be told how much energy we are permitted to use, what we may drive, where we can go, and what we can purchase. Gun control implies that we cannot be trusted to defend ourselves. Knife regulation in the UK is particularly hilarious to me. Put that butter knife down, Jimmy, only grownups can have those! And by grownups, we mean agents of the government, of course. Extensions of political will. We might trust a soldier with an M-16 in battle, but when he leaves the military, he clearly cannot be trusted with an AR-15 in private life. Mommy government decrees it.
This video shows the child-like manner laid bare.
When you look at Social Justice language and style, it has a profoundly childlike spin to it. You have Safe Spaces, and everybody’s feelings are paramount. If you are having difficulty with college, there are spaces full of teddy bears and positive reinforcement to help you manage. There are Trigger Warnings to be had – like everything rated PG and above needs to come with a disclaimer. We must have warning labels on everything. It is not enough, even, to say that smoking may cause cancer. We must put giant bold language on every pack: SMOKING KILLS! Sugary drinks should be regulated, but remember, fat is beautiful (body positivity!), and everyone is special.
It’s as if life in a Left-leaning society is an adult-centered parody of Kindergarten. If you’re rich, the question is always “did you bring enough for everyone?” If not, of course, your wealth is illegitimate and immoral. One mass shooter, probably on a cornucopia of meds or just plain crazy, goes in and shoots up a place, and suddenly nobody can have guns, because there are a couple of insane loons. Get your universal healthcare, too, because Mommy Government will fix all the boo-boos. Censorship is important, because Mommy Government says nobody can say anything mean on the Internet!
It’s as if we aren’t adults, and aren’t allowed to decide if we want to smoke – knowing the risks. It’s as if we are incapable of separating words from actions, or brushing off a mean comment like a functional adult. We’re clearly all children who can’t go to college without stuffed animal infused Safe Spaces to keep you safe from all the icky mean things in the world. You can’t be trusted to drive a car, own a firearm, earn your own money, or choose your own doctor. And all the children must strive to save the Earth from the evil automobiles and air conditioners that are destroying it. Perhaps the Left will offer some construction paper and plastic scissors (the metal ones are too dangerous, of course) so we can all make little Kindergarten posters about saving the poor creatures of… wherever.
In the Liberal mind, nobody is an adult. Everyone is a perpetual child, and must be treated as such. If one argument doesn’t work on you, they will try another. And another. And another. If gun control doesn’t do it, then censorship, maybe. Or Climate Change. Or righting the historical wrongs committed against people long dead, by people long dead. Maybe it’s universal healthcare, or maybe it’s ending homelessness. If one cause doesn’t guilt you into becoming a Ward of the State, some other one will. It’s like throwing spaghetti against the wall until one sticks.
And if you disagree despite all this, go into timeout, little Jimmy. You’re clearly a meany poopyhead white supremacist.
Leftist moral supremacy is a Kindergarten kind of taunt, too. It’s “I’m better than you, neener-neener!” If you prefer private retirement plans to government ones, you clearly want to push granny off a cliff, therefore the Liberal (who does not want to push granny off a cliff – unless she’s a Republican) is morally superior! Wheel out the bat signal of ultimate virtue! Little Jimmy is not a Democrat! Na-na-na-na-na-naaaaaa.
I wonder what percentage of Leftists had severe Daddy issues growing up? Either way, I suppose there’s a reason we call it the Nanny State.
And Hell, maybe there are people out there who need a perpetual Mommy Government to do everything for them. But for the love of all that is holy, can they not drag the rest of us back down to Kindergarten with them? Some of us actually like being functional adults.
Some of my readers may already know that I’ve been banned from Twitter. You may not know the reason, however. Some folks were arguing that the word “retarded” should be banned from Twitter discourse. Naturally, I replied that this was retarded. Twitter has apparently sided with those demanding censorship, so let it be known that the social media platform has banned use of this word. Using it results in account suspension.
That’s pretty retarded.
Leftists, and especially journalists, have a propensity for deliberately misunderstanding language. Words have meanings, which can be gleaned partly from the commonly-accepted definitions, and partly from the context in which they were used. Or, put another way, intent matters in communication. Calling something retarded is not an affront to people with Down syndrome, because of the context in which it was used (i.e. not in the presence of, or having anything to do with, people with Down syndrome). To interpret the use of “retarded” this way requires deliberate intent to misunderstand the speaker.
In other words, Leftists who do this are defying the very purpose of language in the first place, which is to communicate. Now, using the word may very well be construed as extremely rude (and, in fact, it was intended to be), but since when is rudeness an offense which requires censorship?
This is where something very interesting happens. You see, to a Leftist, rudeness is an unpardonable sin. If I were, for instance, to refer to a gay man as a “fag” (despite the fact that many use the word to describe themselves), I am being rude. The rudeness must be censored. Leftists presume to be my mother, and to explain to me what words I am, and am not, allowed to use.
Now in the case of my suspension, it can be argued that Twitter is a private entity, and has every right to censor me for whatever reason they wish. And while this is true in a legal and technical sense, it omits the greater point that any nation which does not really believe in freedom of speech in a cultural sense is soon to lose its legal rights to the same. Or, in other words, de facto censorship can easily become de jure censorship. But even if it didn’t, note that North Korea enshrines freedom of speech in its legal documentation. Nobody there is stupid enough to actually try to use it. Nonetheless, Leftists would love to ban the use of words they don’t like at a legal level. Indeed, they salivate over hate speech laws, and the Orwellian policing we see today in (formerly) Great Britain.
It gets much worse than that, though. Take a look at this video created in opposition to the Second Amendment:
The fascinating thing about this video is just how childish and patronizing it truly is. Note the bright colors, the cartoon figures, the sing-a-long verses and Mr. Rogers vibe of the host. This whole thing looks like it was designed for six year olds. This is what the Left thinks of people.
Ana Gasteyer’s argument is, essentially, that if one person does something stupid with a gun, that person has effectively ruined it for the rest of us, and all the guns must be rounded up and taken away, because clearly Americans are unable to handle them. She appoints herself Mom-in-Chief, under which the rest of us are supposed to obey like good little six year olds.
This argument falls flat on its face, for we could easily make the same kind of delusional argument about alcohol and automobiles. Some people drink too much, and then drive their cars, and hurt people. Clearly they have ruined it for the rest of us, ban automobiles and alcohol. Remember the temperance movement? This shares a number of similarities to it. Indeed, it’s a very matriarchal approach to problem solving.
Some people are rude on the internet, ban mean words! Some people commit sex crimes, well… we they’ve clearly ruined sex for everybody, if you want to have sex, please obtain signed consent to continue every 2 minutes. Yet somehow this motherly attitude, this “omg somebody save our kids from the NRA” attitude vanishes the moment somebody coat hangers their child at the local Planned Parenthood abort-o-mat.
Temperance movement mothers would have been horrified by that, at least.
Some time ago, Sarah Hoyt wrote about the matriarchy that she encountered when she first immigrated to the United States. The experience was jolting for her. Feminists presume that we live in a patriarchy, and that men have all the power. Men know better. We possess a great deal of hypothetical power, rather like the Queen of England. But if we actually try to use any of it, it is quickly revealed as meaningless.
After all, if you can’t even call somebody retarded on the Internet, how much power do you really possess?
Leftists want government to be your mother. To put you in time out if you say a mean word to somebody, to take a thing away from everyone if even one person misuses it. To enforce Socialist notions of fairness through a sort of scaled up version of “oh, did you bring enough to share with everyone? No? Then I’m going to take it away!”
Affirmative action is a sort of scaled up participation trophy concept. Oh, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t practice, work out, or any of that. You’re just as good as the people who did! Here, have a trophy! Take a look at medical school admission rates for how this works in the real world:
Note that the lowest tier of black applicant is roughly comparable in acceptance rate to the highest tier of white acceptance. Note, also, that whites aren’t even the worst off here – Asians are. The Asian stereotype of “you be doctor now” has some truth to it. They are likely to have intact families, to work hard, to study hard, and to be dedicated to their work. But sure, affirmative action someone with lower grades and scores, right? Yeah, I’ve never heard anyone say “can I please have the affirmative action doctor?”
But the mother might say “it’s not fair!” And we should hold the phone, drop everything, and move medicine back to accommodate somebody’s feelings about fairness, right? That sounds pretty retarded to me.
No guns for you, share and share alike, don’t say mean words, and go have a time out if you voted for Donald Trump. Or, hell, if you just didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. After all, she’s a mother too, right? Otherwise you are an internet bully or something.
Thing of it is, even if we accepted the premise that human beings are all little children who need constant supervision, who have no agency of their own, and who must obey their betters in all things… who are the betters? Who constitutes someone worthy of being the mother who knows best? Naturally, Ana Gasteyer clearly thinks of herself this way. And pretty much every teenage SJW or college feminist considers his, her, or xis self qualified for the role, despite having a tendency to abort away their actual children.
They have agency, you see. We do not. We, as in productive adults, must obey college SJWs in all things. They are our mothers, and mother knows best, right? I have no doubt Hillary Clinton saw herself in this light. Certainly some of her emasculated male followers thought of themselves as slobbering man-children.
As far as I’m concerned, they are all retarded. And unlike folks who actually have Down syndrome (some of whom are wonderful, humble, caring people), these people are viciously arrogant about their retardation.
The thing is, mothering is an important part of humanity, but it is not the sole part, nor is it supposed to be done excessively. Otherwise you end up with wussified children who are completely unable to take care of themselves when they grow up. And if you think about it, that does sound like the 47% Mitt Romney lamented about in the 2012 election, people who would never vote for him because the government was, in effect, their mother, taking care of everything for them.
Eating is a good and proper activity. Gluttony is a sin. Having a glass of wine a day is supposedly a benefit to your overall health. Getting plastered every night is likely to destroy your body and send you to the hospital. Today, we have an excess of mothering, both from actual mothers (see: helicopter parents) and from Leftists and the government assuming a motherly role. In effect, Leftists are helicopter parents who, in lieu of actual children, have assumed the role of some kind of global parents over the supposedly-childish hoi polloi. That many of these Leftists are themselves barely removed from childhood might be regarded as a colossal irony.
I’ve long suspected that this motherly activity is actually one of the primary motivators behind the very school shootings lamented about in the video above. I remember several times as a child being disciplined by the school for defending myself against a bully. The policy, you see, was that violence was bad. Therefore, when two kids were seen fighting, both were disciplined the same. No effort was made to determine who was the aggressor. Both were at fault. Leftists view self defense in a similar matter. They are suspicious of it. They don’t actually like it. In their minds, someone who shoots an intruder is as bad as the intruder himself. Perhaps worse, even, because excuses can be made for the bad behavior of the intruder.
Likewise, excuses are made for the bullies. Oh, he’s having problems at home. Oh, he’s black and you’re white, and quite honestly you probably deserve it because your great-great-great grandfather might have owned a slave. You must accept it. No outlet is given for boys, girls are held up as the gold standard, something Christina Hoff Sommers has commented on many times. Add to this a toxic stew of single motherhood, absent fathers, a tendency to over-medicate, and a general cultural malaise… and you have a recipe for boys snapping and going apeshit at school. Not to mention the media gives a twisted sort of fame to the school shooters.
But no, like the helicopter mother who wants to stop her kid from spitting out gum everywhere, as cited in the video above, we should just ban everything for everybody. Forget the reasons why the bad behavior was occurring, just ban the word, or ban the physical object. It’s like the Rotherham rape epidemic. Forget actually protecting the victims and going after the perps, ban talking about it, ban the words.
This has given us a culture of childishness, of never actually growing up. Nothing is ever your fault, because you are seen as a child.
If I was of some protected class, and a recipient of affirmative action largess, I’d be angry. It’s patronizing, it’s saying “oh here, because you can’t win the game on your own, we won’t keep score, and we’ll give you a participation trophy.” No, screw you, I want to win, and losing the game is motivation to do better next time.
Participation trophy culture is retarded. The government is not your mother, and the fact that Leftists of various stripes think they are qualified to be my parents is profoundly insulting. In this case, ‘mother’ definitely doesn’t know best.
Ever since the Great Schism in Science Fiction, as important and divisive in that community as the separation of the Catholic and Orthodox churches in 1054, I’ve watched with incredulity as the Leftist Puppy Kickers have bandied about the most gross of accusations against the Sad Puppies. Tad Williams compares Right-wingers to Nazis. GRRM spews his special brand of stupidity. Chuck Wendig decides that people didn’t like his book because they are homophobes, not because his writing stunk to high heaven. Steve Davidson makes sure to declare his superior intelligence to those dumb Conservatives with their “stupid ideas.”
And then you find comments on File770 automatically dismissing anything said by a Sad Puppy, because anyone who supports the Puppies is probably a GamerGater. As if that has anything to do with whether or not the charges laid by the Sad Puppies are true. Puppy Kickers love the concept of guilt by association. Whatever.
But today’s delicious dose of irony and inspiration for a good fisking comes to us from an article written at The Establishment,telling us that authors who come from “marginalized” backgrounds are often better Science Fiction writers. I’m presuming they mean in relation to those evil oppressors, straight white Christian males.
Already the title tells us a great deal of the conclusion the author wants us to make. Marginalized writers, that is to say Progressive-sanctioned “victim” groups (i.e. anyone who is not a straight white man), are superior to those stodgy old white guys who oppress and marginalize the others, probably because they are secretly envious of the superior talents of “people of color” and women.
Science fiction is about the gadgets. To be on the cutting edge of science fiction, therefore, you need to know your doohickeys from your gizmos, and be able to determine which will catapult you out past Uranus. Space flight, nanotechnology, virtual reality, and all the things you can do with AI—the serious science-fiction writer has all of those terms on Google alert, so as to know exactly what the future will look like five minutes from right . . . now.
One paragraph in, and we have already made acquaintance with a steaming pile of horseshit. Francis Porretto over at Liberty’s Torch, once explained to me, when helping me with some of my early fiction work, that stories are about people, and how the essence of the story is change. Insofar as gadgetry and doodads set the stage and the setting of good Science Fiction, they are still incidental to the characters. It is the journey of the characters that interests the reader and captivates an audience.
A simple analogy is possible. Imagine Star Wars without its focus on Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, and with a long-winded exposition about the technical details of Death Star design and construction. Would anybody want to watch that garbage?
“Great science fiction explores the philosophical possibilities of science’s impact on reality,” sci-fi writer James Wallace Harris declares at SF Signal. You take real science, you add brilliant philosophy, and you’ve got sci-fi. Right?
Actually, no. Harris’ article has been widely pilloried on social media because, in his tour of “cutting-edge science fiction,” he managed to make a list without citing a single piece of work by a woman or person of color. But what’s been less discussed is that his omissions are tied closely to the fact that his definition of cutting-edge science fiction is ludicrously limited.
At first, I thought there was some hope here for Noah Berlatsky, but instead of focusing on the story and the characters, he focuses on whether or not Harris inserted a sufficient number of citations from favored Leftist victim groups. It’s almost like there is a checklist someplace that you benchmark an article against. If there is, for instance, an insufficient number of obese genderqueer black lesbian lionkins, then demerits are handed out for perceived racism-sexism-homophobia-otherkinphobia. Only nobody seems to know what the required percentages are.
Compare to Chuck Wendig, who was angry at the original Star Wars trilogy for having an insufficient number of black characters, even though the black cast percentage was a near-perfect match for the demographics of America at the time of filming. Of course, the NBA receives a diversity award for being mostly black. So as long as you check the required percentages for “marginalized” people, you don’t have to worry about those pesky white folks.
For Harris, good science fiction focuses on real, possible science, extrapolated. “The trouble is the fans often prefer the beliefs they were raised with, and not those belonging to the cutting edge,” he huffs plaintively, bemoaning the fact that sci-fi fans still like time travel and space opera. If only fans, not to mention literary critics, were out there on the cutting edge, they’d know that H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine is no longer relevant. It’s just science fantasy; pfft. Progress has overtaken it; consign it (via time machine) to the dustbin of history.
Here’s another moment where I had some hope for our intrepid Progressive. But don’t worry, he’s about to sink his own ship shortly. Nonetheless, this is a good time to point out that one of Science Fiction’s appeals, as opposed to other types of fiction, is that it challenges the reader to consider concepts and ideas they might not otherwise imagine. One of the great appeals of Time Machine is that, at the time, it was an eye-opener for readers. Here was a world-breaking technology, and a character who had to deal with the implications of using it. You connected with the protagonist and wondered how you might use such a machine, if you had it. And then you watched how someone else dealt with it, the mistakes and victories he had.
But remember, this is also relative to the world it was set in. Cutting edge technology is not necessary, because for today’s readers, you can wonder how a Victorian-age character would deal with the implications of time travel, how he would see it. So long as your characters are interesting, and your story engaging, it can essentially live forever, even if technology has long moved ahead of it.
Similarly, old science fiction isn’t superseded just because we now know about relativity. Cutting edge in science fiction shouldn’t mean: “I’ve included the latest, hippest equation.” It should include science fiction that is beautiful, startling, or challenging in form or content. Sci-fi writers are creating literature, not blueprints. Cutting-edge sci-fi isn’t sci-fi that uses the latest gadget. It’s sci-fi that dares you to think differently.
So far so good. But I have a bad feeling surrounding what this man means when he says “think differently.” Is it like Apple, with their slogan “think different” when you are all buying products that are exactly the same, so that you can look exactly the same as everyone else?
What Progressives generally mean when they say “think different.” Think exactly the same as everyone else.
And since cutting-edge sci-fi demands you look at the world from a new perspective, it’s no wonder that much of it has been written by folks whose relationship to the mainstream is difficult and marginal. That is, by women and people of color. Science fiction as we know it, in fact, arguably begins with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Victor’s experiments aren’t based on the best technological knowledge of our time, or even of Shelley’s, but that doesn’t mean the book is backwards or irrelevant. On the contrary, it remains what it’s always been: a parable about a man who is obsessed with, and even enraged by, his inability to control reproduction. Victor wants to create life, like women do, and in his attempts to control the process of birth, he destroys both his wife and his outsized, monstrous child. Power, reproduction, love, hate, control, gendered panic; Shelley’s skeptical nightmare about male ambition still resonates with the latest headlines some 200 years later.
Oh boy. Well, there are two separate and distinct fallacies here, so let’s address them in order. First, Noah tells us that Science Fiction is often written by folks whose relationship to the mainstream is difficult. There is some truth to this. I converse regularly with a number of Sad Puppy and Rabid Puppy authors, some of whom I regard as personal friends. If there is anything they all have in common (for they are not a monolithic group of people — Progressive accusations non-withstanding), it is that they are not what you would think of as mainstream people. Mainly, this is a function of high intelligence and strong personalities. Creativity is a paramount value for them. So they are not the sort of folks who live what you would call “normal” lives. Some are geeks or nerds not far off from the stereotype of such. Others are artists, military men, dreamers, and in the case of Sarah Hoyt, just plain weird sometimes (it’s a big part of her appeal, mind you). I mean, anyone who thinks I’m mainstream is a lunatic.
But they aren’t “normies.”
However, Noah describes the non-mainstream as women and people of color. He tells us that authors are not their personalities, not their life-experiences, their knowledge and their unique creative ideas. No. They are merely a set of genitals and a skin color. To him that is what makes a person non-mainstream. If you took the most boring white guy in the world, the parody of idiotic, balding, middle aged white men on TV, and gave them a magic potion that turned their skin black, they would suddenly become special oppressed snowflakes by virtue of their skin color alone. Noah would celebrate them instead of denigrating them, because it’s not about substance, it’s not about the product, it’s not even about the person. Rather, it is about where that person falls on the Progressive Stack, a very specific political ideology.
Forget the uniqueness they bring (or don’t bring) to the world.
Then this guy decides to spin Frankenstein as some sort of parable on women’s reproductive rights, and how jealous the protagonist is that he doesn’t have a set of female genitals, so that he might create life (never mind that men are a required component in creating life anyway). He’s “attempting to control the process of birth” according to Noah. You get the idea from him that Mary Shelley was writing about Republicans who are opposed to Planned Parenthood, not a man obsessed with conquering death, with pushing technology beyond his capacity to handle it, and the moral implications thereof.
Maybe the time traveler sent his machine to Mary Shelley so that she could come forward to 2016 and denounce Republicans in her book.
In the Frankenstein tradition, the two most ambitious and acclaimed living sci-fi writers are probably Ursula K. Le Guin and Samuel Delany. Both Le Guin and Delany are explicitly feminist writers, who have used science fiction not to play with the latest gadgets, but to critique, and undermine, preconceptions about gender, self, sex, and governance.
Huxley touched upon a lot of these topics a long time ago. But Progressives don’t like to talk about that, because it paints them in a somewhat unfavorable light. I have not read anything written by Samuel Delany, and so I will pass on him. But I find Le Guin to be patronizing, boring, and a very poor storyteller overall. If I needed a lecture on proper feminist belief systems, I would attend the Orwellian events put together by Anita Sarkeesian. Listen and Belieeeeeve!
I wonder if Noah read Orwell or Huxley?
Anyway, if you want to talk about gender and sexuality in Science Fiction, allow me to recommend both Sarah Hoyt’s Darkship books, and David Weber’s Safehold series. Or, if you want to go back a ways, read pretty much anything by Heinlein. All three deal believably with these matters without the preachy, lecturing aspect (well, Weber still sometimes infodumps, but he’s gotten better over the years). Again, I don’t want to read a technical manual on genital politics, I want to read about characters.
Delany’s 1975 novel Triton, for example, can be read as a prescient and devastating critique of Harris’ all-men, all-tech science fiction. Bron, the protagonist of the tale, is a typical strapping sci-fi male hero—he is big, blonde, swaggering, and works in an (ahem) cutting-edge complex technical field.
But Triton is a libertarian, egalitarian society with little formal hierarchy, and as a result, all those cutting-edge qualities that would make Bron a hero in another novel do him no good. He’s nothing special, and his self-centered certainty that he should be special ends up alienating him from workmates, friends, romantic partners, and certainly from the reader. In an effort to reconcile himself to Triton, Bron undergoes a sex change operation: a wry commentary by Delany on exactly how “cutting edge” white male sci-fi is. The future belongs to different folks, Delany insists. Find other protagonists, or end up as an anachronism.
Again, I didn’t read this particular book, so I will pass on commenting on it. But something that already strikes me as odd is how Noah tells us to find other protagonists. No more white male heroes, please (can they be villains, I wonder?).
Over the last few years, there’s been a vocal campaign by some science-fiction fans to push against the nomination of progressive works at sci-fi’s prestigious Hugo Awards. An awards voting block dubbed the Sad Puppies called for honors to go to “unabashed pulp action that isn’t heavy handed message fic,” in the words of sci-fi writer and Sad Puppy Larry Correia. For the Sad Puppies, “message fic” is an illegitimate innovation. They live in an odd, alternate universe in which Mary Shelley, Samuel Delany, Ursula Le Guin, and Octavia Butler never lived or wrote. Having ignored the past, they have no access to the future, or even to the present. Like Bron, they wander around being helplessly unpleasant, trapped in a community that long ago passed them by.
Noah’s mistake here is to project his own failings upon us. He claims that we see message fiction as illegitimate and campaign against it, but that’s not accurate. We see it as superfluous and boring, like reading the Chilton’s manual for a sex change operation. Vagina goes here, you may dispense with the penis in the properly-marked RadFem biohazard rape-bucket. Give the ratchet a quarter turn, tighten up the pink dress, until it clicks into place and the voice changes to the feminine. Be sure to paint your character something other than white before test-driving.
It isn’t that is illegitimate or that we care if you write this or not. It’s that you, Noah, are telling us not to write the stories we want to read. If you want to read Progressive message fiction, that is your prerogative. If you want to vote for it in Sci-Fi’s not-very-prestigious and ultimately farcical Hugo Awards (can we just call them the Torlock Awards for political GoodThink?), that is your business, also. What irritates us is that you are sitting here telling us that our stories are illegitimate. They are “unpleasant” and the community “long ago passed them by.” Larry Correia writes pulpy action. That’s fine. Some people like that, a lot, in fact, if his sales numbers are indicative of anything. Others, like John C. Wright, write very cerebral, philosophical books that really challenge the mind. I loved City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis.
And seriously, Noah, stop trying to appropriate Mary Shelley into this. Your attempt to play historical revisionism with her work is despicable. I don’t know of even one Sad Puppy who has ever had anything unkind to say about Frankenstein, and many of us reference it in our work.
Harris isn’t a fan of pulp—but he’s similarly disconnected from the tradition of feminist and progressive science fiction. As a result, his canon (heavy on the Heinlein) doesn’t look so different from the Sad Puppies’, and his cutting-edge proscriptions for sci-fi look unconsciously retrograde.
See, this is where I have to throw my hands up in the air and wonder what planet Noah lives on, because it’s clearly not the same ball of dirt I grew up on. Heinlein explored the ragged edge of cultural acceptability with regards to sex and gender, and did so in an entertaining sort of way. Your beef with him cannot be that he was some kind of closet sexist or homophobe. He did exactly as you demanded. Your beef is entirely political. He wasn’t explicitly feminist. He wasn’t progressive.
This is the chief complaint the Sad Puppies have against you and your kind. You require all fiction to conform to your political worldview explicitly.
“[S]cience fiction writers wanting to be on the far horizon of the known science-fictional universe must read widely,” Harris says. That’s advice he’d do well to take himself. He might start with Nnedi Okorofor’s recent novella Binti, in which the titular protagonist explains to her alien captors, “There are different kinds of humans.” You need different perspectives and different voices if you want to imagine differently. In a world where everyone is the same, the future is going to be bland and monochrome, no matter how up-to-the-minute you are on your science.
Noah has just finished explaining to us that Harris isn’t feminist or progressive enough, and then tells us that we need “different perspectives.” What a wonderful contradiction. He wants our perspective to go away, consigned to the dustbin of history. He wants to replace our work with Progressive message fiction, with feminist work. We should omit white male characters from our books, unless as he described earlier, we are cutting them down to size. And then he sanctimoniously tells us that he doesn’t want a world where everyone is the same.
Diversity is your central, defining principle, and yet your answer to us is to get rid of our “bland and monochrome” world view. Is Science Fiction more or less diverse if it presents multiple worldviews, instead of solely presenting an explicitly Progressive-Feminist one?
Noah edits the online comics-and-culture website The Hooded Utilitarian and is the author of the book Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-1948.
Bondage and Feminism in 1940s Wonder Woman Comics… that’s worth a laugh. Who buys this shit, anyway?
Twitter was attempting to steer the narrative in subtle ways, by removing specific hashtags from the autocomplete menu, and then furthermore instituting shadowbans. This, naturally, was insufficient. Those not inclined to be politically correct resolved themselves to stay on Twitter anyway, at least until they were banned.
So Twitter decided to begin more direct purges and give up plausible deniability.
This is fascinating because it is an example of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals played in reverse. Twitter is losing the battle for political correctness. It isn’t winning it, as some may think. Consider the rule in question:
RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.
Banning and censoring is the closest approximation to violence that the Internet has. Sympathy will come to our side because “The Man” is Twitter, not us. We don’t have the power. They do. And they are using that power to deliberately censor us. Somebody fumbled the play from Alinsky’s book. Or maybe they were tired of slow, creeping progress and went for an all-out assault on the walls.
Either way, their impatience has exposed them for the monsters and abusers of power that they are. Their traffic has likewise suffered irreversible damage:
Twitter is done. It has entered a death spiral by deliberately suppressing its own traffic in an effort to purge the politically incorrect. They do not understand the old saying: “don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”
It is imperative to learn from Twitter’s demise. Do not allow SJWs into your organization. They are agents of subversion. Their only purpose is to destroy. Whatever value you think they may provide will be outweighed by the fact that they will remove you from power, and then burn down whatever it is you have made.
In the aftermath of Milo’s war against Twitter, it’s important to note that other major Social Media outlets have caved to the craven, perpetually-offended SJWs. Remember that SJWs can actively call for the death of Right-wingers, and it is not considered a violation of policy. Right-wingers, on the other hand, need only state their views in a polite and professional manner to be struck down by the paladins of Social Justice.
Do you think I’m exaggerating? A friend of mine was suspended from Facebook for this comment:
Merely saying a person is misinformed is a violation of community standards, and requires a 30-day suspension.
You might be thinking “well, Dystopic, I’m sure they apply the same standards to Leftists, right?” If so, you’d be wrong. In a debate about the merits of the Sad Puppies affair, Kate Johnston wanted it to be known that Brad Torgersen is a racist, even though he is married to a black woman and has a child by her. She demonstrated this with the following hateful, blatantly offensive post:
This is considered perfectly acceptable to Facebook’s community standards.
These two posts happened within a relatively short window of time, so Facebook’s terms of service have not appreciably changed during the interval. So what does this mean? It means that if you post anything critical of a Leftist, you could be suspended, banned, unverified, or have your profile deleted, depending on the Social Media platform in question.
It created two nearly identical pages filled with hate-filled rants and blatant incitement to violence. One page was called “Stop Israelis”; the other, “Stop Palestinians.” Then it reported both pages to Facebook.
According to the group’s YouTube video, Facebook soon agreed that “Stop Palestinians” contained “credible threats of violence” that “violated our community standards” — and pulled the page. But Facebook said the mirror “Stop Israelis” page was “not in violation of Facebook’s rules.”
The double standard is clearly evident here, also. One page is wrongthink, and the other is goodthink. Facebook is Big Brother. Orwell was right. Before you think I’m cherry-picking this, consider that both of the screenshots above were sourced from people I know personally. This means that censorship and double-standards aren’t some far away, theoretical discussion. They are very real, and present in my own Social Media world.
Well, C.J. Pearson has had his Facebook account locked for his criticism. He isn’t the first. Rumors that Facebook routinely suspends conservative groups’ and individuals’ pages have persisted for some time now. Just recently, yet another account created by the pro-veteran website “Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children” was suspended by Facebook because the owner shared a meme critical of Muslims.
You cannot be critical of Obama or Muslims on the platform, else you risk suspension, banning, or other unpleasantness. Meanwhile it is acceptable to use Facebook to message threats of religious violence, so long as that violence is Muslim:
Poe’s Law may be in force here. Nonetheless, why wasn’t this garbage removed?
Mark Zuckerberg has made his view on this matter very clear. He stands up immediately for Muslims after the Paris Attacks. He called it a “safe space” for Muslims. One wonders if he watches South Park. Not long thereafter, messages like this began to pop up on Facebook:
An Examiner article critical of Islam is “unsafe.”
Facebook has a clear Left-wing bias. In the normal course of human affairs, this might not be so terrible. People have natural biases, and there’s no getting around that. But Facebook has, like Twitter, declared itself to be on the side of the SJWs. It is willing to enforce political opinion by silencing those individuals who do not toe the line. It outright bans articles and links critical of “sacred victim groups.”
And it proves equally unwilling to take down offensive, violent, and disgusting material, so long as it originates from a Leftist source.
I can’t tell you to stop using Facebook. And there are corners of it that have not yet been invaded by SJWs — mostly closed, private groups. But you should understand that like Twitter’s removal of the #Gamergate hashtag from the easy-hint menu on your Tweets, there is a subtle, yet omnipresent attempt to change the narrative. This isn’t a conspiracy theory. This isn’t tinfoilism. It’s real, it’s pervasive, and well-documented.
I was a latecomer to the #GamerGate affair. Oh, as an interested party, I had been aware of it since the beginning, but it took a long time for me to comment on the issue. The reason, of course, is that I am not as hardcore about my gaming as many who are involved.
That isn’t to say I am a casual gamer either. Recently, I built an arcade cabinet out of plywood. That isn’t for the “casual” hobbyist, I can assure you. I play the same sort of games “hardcore” gamers play, I just play them less often. My time is much more limited. I have a family, a job that consumes a great deal of time and I am also a DJ. It’s a balancing act.
Not for the faint of gaming heart, I assure you.
Yet, this is also why #GamerGate is also so important to me. In the old days, if I accidentally played a terrible game, what of it? I had the time to burn. Today, I rely on the community, on reviews, journalists and ratings to help me decide which game to invest my time in. I have to trust that these people are being truthful in their assessments.
The Zoe Quinn affair proves that they are untrustworthy. Oh, Depression Quest isn’t the sort of “game” I would have been interested in anyway. But if journalists could be seduced into covering something that bad favorably, then how much of what I’m reading is complete bullshit?
But that was only the beginning of #GamerGate. Once the Social Justice Warrior crowd got involved, accusations of sexism, racism, transphobia and pretty much any other SJW buzzword were lobbed into the fray. This revealed a far greater threat to the gaming community than journalistic ethics.
Another SJW using their preferred battle tactic: censorship. This guy is basically saying “I won’t talk to you until you agree with me.” Because THAT is mature.
Gamers are some of the most diverse people I’ve ever known. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of the content of your character. Well, that’s pretty much all gamers are judged on. We don’t see each other, most of the time. I don’t know if the other person I’m fighting in Starcraft II is a man, a woman, trans, Black, White, Asian, etc… And I also don’t care. I care about winning the game, which is rare for me since I don’t have the time to invest in order to become a Starcraft God. That, and somebody decreed it to be the national sport of South Korea (gamers are diverse, remember?).
Gamers are also used to being insulted, teased and trolled. Many of them were bullied as children. As adults… well let’s just say they don’t censor their opinions. Join a CoD game and listen in. A friend of mine once referred to gamers as “the only people more offensive than you.” There’s a lot of truth to that statement. Yet it is a general offensiveness. It is not targeted at your race or gender. It is targeted at YOU, personally. Believe me, I know. In the days of Quake 3, I was a hardcore camper, and very, very good at it. Everybody knows a camper is going to attract some serious hate. Should I start a support group for campers? Camper prejudice!
Yeah… I’ve heard this plenty of times. Campers get more hate than anyone in gaming. Period.
So trying to censor gamers is an exercise in futility. Furthermore, calling gamers names isn’t going to work on most of them. We’re too used to that, at this point.
But the issue is still huge. SJWs wanted to extend censorship to the games themselves.
One of the common accusations of the anti-#GamerGate crowd is that everyone is a bunch of Right wingers. That’s patently false. In fact, Libertarianism seems to be much more common than Conservatism among gamers (I certainly lean that way myself). And many #GamerGate supporters are Moderates or even Liberals, just not SJW Liberals. Ironically, in crying for censorship in games, and “diversity panels” the SJWs are acting more like Conservatives than #GamerGate supporters are. Hard-Right Conservatives aren’t terribly fond of violent video games, after all.
They want more women in certain roles, more trans people in other roles, more “people of color” here or there. They have a hard time understanding that gamers don’t care about these things. If gamers see a Black man or a Transwoman as a lead in a game, wonderful. Does the game suck? If it does, they won’t play it. If it doesn’t, they will. But I don’t want the creative freedom of developers hamstrung by a bunch of SJWs on a personal crusade.
I mean, would the Grand Theft Auto series of games even exist if SJWs were at the helm? Absolutely not. That would have been torpedoed on day one. But we all know they are fun. And that’s what matters. The SJWs attempted to use this incident as evidence of our prejudice, of our hate, in order to advance THEIR agenda. We are the defenders here, NOT the attackers, as they portray us.
This game would not exist if SJWs had their way.
Consider the lunacy of the SJW position. They are angry because people are being oppressed in video game portrayals. They are angry because a “game developer” who made a terrible game got called out for doing so. They are angry because a woman who did terrible things to her boyfriend got criticized for her behavior. They are mad because we don’t like the idea of people sleeping with journalists for favorable coverage.
If Zoe Quinn had been a man sleeping with female journalists, what would the SJWs have said then, eh?
If we judge people on the content of their character then Zoe Quinn is a terrible person who made a terrible game. The journalists who took her “bribes” are similarly terrible people. And the SJWs trying to use this incident as cover for their censorship campaign are going to ensure that more terrible games, made by more terrible people, reviewed by more corrupt people, come to dominate our hobby. This cannot be allowed.
To that, I can only say: Fuck off.
To all my #GamerGate compatriots, whatever gender, race, creed and political persuasion, I can only say: Stay the course and we will win.
Lavos must die. Er… Anita and Zoe must be defeated.