In Vicarious Defense of R. Scott Bakker

For a while, a few years back, I thought I might have an evil twin.

I kept running into people at cons who’d met him: Man, he coulda been your clone, they’d say. He’s tall and gangly and kinda sardonic — smaller in the nose, maybe — he’s writing this book about the neurological impossibility of free will, and he’s worried that it might get used to justify serial sex killers or something…

Turns out his name was Scott Bakker (R. Scott Bakker, actually — I never bothered to find out what the R stood for), and while I remain mystified that anyone would mistake him for me, he turned out to be quite an interesting guy. We hung out a few times at cons, debated the finer points of pop neuro over beers, got along way better than you might expect from our orthogonal backgrounds (his formal training is in philosophy, for chrissake). He was popular at such events; always shooting the shit with someone, always going point-counterpoint around a table of writers and readers, always engaging, always attentive.  Throughout the course of these events, I never saw him treat anyone with anything other than respect; and the belated discovery that Caitlin and Scott had been good friends for years before I’d known either of them came as no surprise whatsoever.

Remember that: it’s central.

When I had the chance to blurb Scott’s novel Neuropath — a book that dealt with many of the same issues as Blindsight, but within the confines of a thriller format that was far more accessible than my own vampires-in-space niche effort had been — I jumped at the chance (although I don’t think Tor ever used the blurb).  Scott wrote Neuropath as an experiment in formula: he ploughed through a bunch of conventional thrillers to get a feel for the form, said Shit, I can do that, and did.

Where he really made his name, though, was in fantasy: firstly with an epic trilogy called The Prince of Nothing.  The first volume is called The Darkness That Comes Before, and despite  fair amount of critical acclaim  (apparently it subverts pretty much every overused trope in the standard fantasy toolbox), there are inevitably people who do not like it.  C’Est la vie.

Also, there is at least one rabid animal who hates it, someone who goes by the monicker “acrackedmoon”.

Notice what I did there: I reduced a fellow human being to the status of a mentally-diseased animal. I thought long and hard about doing that. It surprises me a little that I’m willing to sink so low, so early in the discussion (maybe I won’t; maybe I’ll have second thoughts and edit it out before I post.) (Guess not.) I’d generally show more restraint, but for the fact that acm has beaten me to that particular punch by referring to Scott Bakker as “a self-important little roach”. She calls him a number of other things, too, but I figure that particular shot justifies my own epithet (which at least accords acm the dignity of remaining a mammal).

The post in question was written last August, but it seems to have reignited with the new year and is even now garnering fresh comments both at acrackedmoon’s blog and at Bakker’s (here, here, here). Acrackedmoon has issues with what she sees as rampant misogyny in Bakker’s works. She calls him a “sexist douche” and an “egocentric snowflake”; one of her followers chips in with “misogynistic piece of subhuman garbage”. Apparently The Darkness That Comes Before is one unending Festival-O’rape, and any iteration of the argument that Writing about something is not the same as promoting it is nothing more than nerdy white-boy white-washing.

This might be a good time to point out that by her own admission, acrackedmoon has never read past the first six pages of The Darkness That Comes Before. Neither has she ever actually met Scott Bakker, although she’s “read impressions” of people who’ve met him, and inferred from these that he is “pompous and ridiculous”. Having hung out with the man myself, I can only say I’ve seen no such evidence; but then, I’m a “nerdy white boy”, and acm explicitly dismisses my perspective going in.

Here’s the thing, though: I can’t argue with her about the book, because I’ve read even less of it than she has.

I probably couldn’t argue with her anyway; go to her blog, and see what happens when others have tried. Argument does not seem to be the point over there (what else could you expect of a site entitled “Requires Only That You Hate”?). Acrackedmoon meets virtually every challenge with insult and ridicule. But the thing is, sometimes you can see hints of something like reasoned debate sneaking past the vitriol. Speaking as someone who knows Bakker casually, who knows several folks who know him well, I’m confident that she’s dead wrong about his worth as a human being; that makes her a generally unreliable witness, as far as I’m concerned. Based on her writing, she strikes me as kind of a hateful human being (that blog title again) — But I haven’t read the book. And I am a nerdy white male, so there are some things I probably won’t get even if they’re staring me in the face.

As it happens, though, I know someone who has read The Darkness That Comes Before, and who is not a nerdy male (she is white, but you can’t have everything). I happen to be married to her. Her opinion on this matter is far more informed than mine, and I would ask you all to read her thoughts on the subject.  Because while I’m far from Scott Bakker’s bosom buddy, I know him well enough to know that he’s a smart guy; he’s a good guy; he’s well-respected by those who actually know him.

And the kind of shit that acrackedmoon is throwing around really should not go unchallenged.

 

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Thursday February 16 2012at 01:02 pm , filed under Uncategorized . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

342 Responses to “In Vicarious Defense of R. Scott Bakker”

  1. Oh, boy. As a fan (obviously) of your work, of Bakker’s fantasy, and of acrackedmoon’s brand of incendiary performance-rage analysis, this whole back-and-forth has left me feeling positively disoriented.

    I love Bakker’s engagement with neuroscience and philosophy, and I love many things about Prince of Nothing. I have qualms with some of his handling of gender — not, mind, with his bleakly misogynistic world, because he clearly intends to attack that misogyny and show how pervasive and devastating it is, but with subtler missteps that he agrees are present. I don’t think these missteps make him a bad person, just a human being. I know my work going forward will be subjected to some of the same criticisms, and I’m ready to admit a few of them will probably be valid — nobody’s perfect, and gender gets everywhere. I don’t think Scott is subhuman, I think he’s a good guy.

    I love acrackedmoon’s willingness to slaughter sacred cows and get at the ugly readings in a text. She may be a pessimist, sure, and she may go for readings that would never occur to the rest of us, but it’s always good to have a devil’s advocate. And while she’s merciless in her blog moderation and utterly disinterested in a bilateral exchange, I don’t mind how unapologetic she is. I like to use her blog as a source of parallax, a new angle on works I really liked. Under the performance rage she’s actually very level-headed in her arguments; she just comes from an angle foreign to most of us.

    Just like with Scott, I have qualms with her blog — it’s tuned to draw the ingroup together rather than to appeal to any outgroup, it probably pushes her opponents even further away, and of course she goes really, really far in her personal statements about authors. Maybe she could do a better job of saying what she does if it wasn’t delivered in such an incendiary fashion. Maybe not.

    I hope that people coming into this argument from Scott’s side try to really consider the heart of acrackedmoon’s arguments, and maybe take away things they can use to improve their own writing and reading. (Scott, as open to self-examination as he is, is hopefully going to do this.) And I hope that people coming in from acrackedmoon’s side are willing to give Scott’s writing a chance — even if I have quibbles with the way he handles women sometimes, he doesn’t endorse what he depicts.

    It’d be great if both sides could actually hear each other over all the yelling.

  2. It’s not uncommon, sadly. Sady Doyle had much the same response to George R. R. Martin, to the point where her essay (and her responses to her critics) was explicitly panned by a ThinkProgress writer for being over the top.

  3. ” I reduced a fellow human being to the status of a mentally-diseased animal.”

    …WTF? Mental illness (not “disease”) isn’t a low-status thing, or something to toss off as an insult – you’re insulting a great many people by implying it is, and you ought to know better.

  4. ” It’d be great if both sides could actually hear each other over all the yelling.”

    Seth, look at the respective posts. Where do you ever see Scott “yelling”? (Not that I’d blame him for one second if he started.) All the vitriol is going one way.

  5. You’re right, Mr. Watts, and I shouldn’t have implied otherwise. There’s no question that acrackedmoon’s rhetoric is more incendiary and potentially damaging. Scott’s familiarity with the psychology literature has translated into admirable restraint. He’s even gone on record as saying that he thinks he’s made missteps — a concession that acrackedmoon hasn’t returned and probably never will.

    I think I’m reacting to the accusations I sometimes see that feminist readings in general are worthless and full of false positives. It’s such a charged issue, it sometimes feels like there’s no ground between ‘there’s nothing to see or think about’ (which, mind, Scott has never said — this is a reaction that comes up more often in forum communities or blog commentariats) and ‘you are a sexist subhuman roach’.

  6. Sam: You’re kidding, right? Tell me you’re kidding.

    I invoked rabies. Rabies is a disease. It affects the brain. A victim of rabies is brain-diseased by definition, and the term generally applies to dogs or raccoons.

    If I have offended the human Living-with-Rabies community, I apologize. In truth I didn’t even know such a community existed. Personally, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the problems with “hermaphrodite”.

    Also, it only takes three lousy posts for someone to jack the thread off-topic? That’s almost a record. And for that record, “Rabid Rights” is not really the focus of today’s post.

  7. Mental illness affects at least one in four of us, probably more. Many people don’t realise or won’t get help because they are afraid of the stigma or have been fed this bullshit that they are of a lower status. Supposedly intelligent, educated writers ought not be contributing to this belittling of their fellow human beings. Regardless of who threw the first stone, using mental illness as a stick to beat people with is unacceptable in civilised society.

  8. No, I’m not kidding. You said “mentally diseased”, not “brain diseased”, and I trust you a) have a dictionary handy, and b) are aware of the long, long, long history of (men’s) use of mental illness as a derailing dismissal towards women’s voices.

  9. Yo Peter. This is a tough one for me, because as a straight white guy who only within the past few years became aware of the very real privileges granted therewith, I am increasingly interested in minority views on SF. There are people who infer a lot about you based on the torture and rape that crops up at the end of the Rifters sequence, and while I feel that you weren’t excusing Desjardin’s actions (or secretly being aroused by them, as some suggest), I also don’t want to write off the feelings of people who’ve been through that kind of abuse, or who live in fear of it.

    acrackedmoon does tear into things with zeal, but sometimes she’s on the mark. Her dissection of The Windup Girl really nailed a lot of things that bugged me about it, and her perspective as a woman of color illuminated some wonky stuff I didn’t even notice the first time around. Paolo’s probably not a bad guy either, but that book was problematic.

    Ultimately though, she’s an anonymous blogger. I can’t imagine her going off half-cocked about Bakker is going to hurt anything more than his feelings, and drawing attention to a months-old internet flame fight doesn’t seem likely to affect a happy resolution. If the inevitable shit storm discourages any women from reading your work, I think it’d be a real shame.

  10. Kevmcveigh. What the hell are you talking about!?! Can’t you even read?

  11. Kevin, Sam:

    I find it strangely ironic that when I deliberately insult a human being by reclassifying them as an “animal”, it’s the mental-illness aspect that you find objectionable. Why can’t you see that my insult is so much greater than you are giving me credit for? Why can you not see that I am doing it deliberately, to make a point?

    And why can you not see that regardless of your feelings on the matter of “disease!=illness”, they have nothing to do with the subject of today’s post?

    I don’t like to killfile people except at the utmost end of need, but I don’t want this thread hijacked either so here’s a solution that will hopefully satisfy both sides: one more comment about the inherent offensiveness of describing rabies as a brain disease, and I’ll set up a separate post where those interested can hash it out to your heart’s content.

    Hey Brian,

    I can’t imagine her going off half-cocked about Bakker is going to hurt anything more than his feelings, and drawing attention to a months-old internet flame fight doesn’t seem likely to affect a happy resolution. If the inevitable shit storm discourages any women from reading your work, I think it’d be a real shame.

    Well, speaking as someone whose work has (as you point out) been willfully misinterpreted by people who refuse who draw a distinction between author writes and author advocates, I kinda do feel compelled to defend a colleague suffering the same kinda shit (again, with the caveat that I haven’t read the book in question, which is why I refer all and sundry to Caitlin’s post; maybe you should have your words with her, since she’s more knowledgeable in this realm). And while the post itself (I refuse to call it a flame fight, insofar as I’ve yet to see Scott flaming back) may be months old, it’s still burning as we speak, and is hence current. And while no author relishes the loss of their readership, if anyone — of any gender — decides to toss my books in the trash on the basis of this particular post, I can’t say that I’d consider it much of a loss.

  12. Why does everyone care what some blogger said about a book she disliked on the internet? I am really confused.

  13. There are a great many bloggers who read too much into things. Attempting debate with them is so futile as to be comical.

    It’s really not worth the effort (unless that blog is in fact huge, and can swing opinions against people, but after having skimmed it I doubt it).

    Source of this great wisdom; Years and years spent shouting at my computer.

  14. …WTF? Mental illness (not “disease”) isn’t a low-status thing, or something to toss off as an insult – you’re insulting a great many people by implying it is, and you ought to know better.

    As a mentally ill person, I have to attest that being mentally ill is definitely worse than not being mentally ill. And therefore calling someone mentally ill without justification – like acm did – is kind of rude.

    However, most reasonable people – even if they’re people diagnosed with mental illnesses – can distinguish between the rhetorical use of “rabid” and actual discrimination against the mentally ill. To confuse the former with the latter in an attempt to score points is pretty offensive.

    Personally I enjoy acm’s criticism, but the problem with going full-tilt on the identity politics angle is that you risk misfiring and identifying bias where none exists.

  15. Internets 101: Do not pay attention to the attention whores. Best thing to do in these situations is stick your fingers in your ears and hum very loudly. This clearly very psychotic man/woman/whatever is some sort of crusader and those are best left alone.

  16. Greets Peter, et. al.
    I’ve hung out with R. Scott Bakker- met him at a conference in fall 2011, had a great time talking with him, and read his book Neuropath in one sitting after the conference, on the flight home. I’ve had some lengthy followup emails with him, and owe him a bunch more as he’s sent me substantial chunks of writing that theorize some of the issues he explores fictionally in Neuropath. As per that text, It is dark as hell, and pulls absolutely no punches [or slices, or fMRI brain re-wirings]. The point of Neuropath, as I took it [ and this my take, not R.S.B.'s, who can speak for himself] is to extrapolate out where we could be in an all too likely near future. Not a morality play or cautionary tale, per se, but not entirely removed from those. And when one is theorizing the non-human, or the para-site next to human, or the ‘parliament of things’ which might actually be dangerous, truly hostile, then one has to write about the possibilities. Peter knows this space very well from Starfish, Blindsight, etc. etc.

    I didn’t find Neuropath ‘sexist’, but I found it deeply disturbing. That was the point.
    Does anyone have a problem with Cormac McCarthy writing about savage murder in “Blood Meridian”? The entire point is to expose what bodies can do and have done to them. And in that bleakness some kind of consciousness emerges. I’m a goddam optimist, so I’ll return to Cortazar here: ‘Invention, high challenge of the phoenix…’

    And yes Peter, you guys *are* doppelgangers.

  17. Considering that we’ve hung out at a convention too, I hope you won’t take offence when I offer a piece of my humble opinion, which is that “I drank with him at a con, which was nice, so I cannot conceive that his works would ever [insert outrageous allegations here]” should be outlawed as an argument.

    In the vein of trading anecdotal evidence: I’m acquainted with two popular SF writer (no names, ’cause I’m a gentlewoman like that) who are a pleasure to hang out with at cons, and come across as genuinely nice, kind-hearted people in most cases, but I would never, ever use that knowledge to argue that they aren’t being blatantly misogynistic and/or homophobic dicks in their works. Because I’ve read them, and they are.

    I admit that things are a little different in this case – I’m not familiar with Scott Bakker’s works, and neither side of the argument is doing much to win me over. Arguing one’s point with expressions such as “aaaaaaaaaahahahaha” or “Hahaha, no” is an automatic yellow penalty card bordering on red, but so is the old chestnut “I’m persecuted because of my lack of political correctness”. It’s practically a rule of the thumb – whenever an author brings up political correctness in response to critique, they invariably end up being an obnoxious douchebag.

    Nevertheless, I decided to give Mr. Bakker the benefit of the doubt, went to googlebooks, and read the aforementioned six pages. In my opinion, the infamous rape scene – heavily implied rather than described – leaves no doubt that the author does not condone (ie. fap to) this sort of behaviour. No misogyny has been detected so far, but to find out more, I’d have to get a hold of the whole book, and when I do this thread will have gone cold *sigh*

    Just try not to have too much fun while I’m gone.

  18. I just took a quick glance at her blog and found that I couldn’t even stomach skimming it. I’m not sure how anyone who wants to be taken seriously could even consider using the moronic slang language that she consistently uses. I also can’t even image what kind of detrimental effect that much hate has on a persons life.

    In regards to her assessment of Mr.Bakker though, I disagree. I just don’t see the correlation between a writers work and their personal opinions on the matter. I’m certainly not always writing about what I feel is correct in a moral sense, but more where the piece takes itself.

    Anway, I’ve read all of Scott’s books, and have been eagerly waiting for more from him since. Maybe being a middle aged white male I just don’t have the correct perspective. Anyway, I appreciate you posting about this and I hope it doesn’t hurt Scott’s long term sales.

    Also, on a side note I somehow managed to read all of your works backwards – mostly, I haven’t even managed to read Behemoth yet – starting with Blindsight. Amazing stuff, thank you.

  19. Ben:

    Thank you.

    mnussbaum:

    Considering that we’ve hung out at a convention too, I hope you won’t take offence when I offer a piece of my humble opinion, which is that “I drank with him at a con, which was nice, so I cannot conceive that his works would ever [insert outrageous allegations here]” should be outlawed as an argument.

    I completely agree, which is why — having not read the damn book — I explicitly referred judgment on that subject to someone who had. All I felt qualified to comment on was the unwarranted personal attack from someone who’s never met the dude, in such insanely stark contrast to all the people I know who have.

  20. I first came across R Scott Bakker and the misogynist controversy via Luke Burrage’s podcast (incidentally, it was also one of the sources that led me to Blindsight). I was tempted to counterpoint the somewhat vitriolic arguments, but eventually decided against it. Not only did it seem like a futile endeavour, but the whole debate seemed to assume that the contents of a fictional series should be automatically applied to its author. As gospel.

    Maybe I just don’t know enough about literary criticism, but I think that premise should have stopped the debate in its tracks.

  21. Don’t feed the trolls, someone who admist having read 5 pages of a book before casting aspersions of it does not deserve your or anyone’s time.

    Webcomics attract a lot of this kind of hater, I guess it’s writer’s turn now.

  22. Other than Peter, I don’t know any of the people mentioned here. But I am fully aware that what a person writes about in a piece of fiction doesn’t always mirror the real beliefs of the author. Peter has written about child abuse, sexual abuse, social disfunction and just aboit every deviation immaginable. But from what I remember about Peter, he would never stand by and watch someone else being abused. Shit, he even bought me a beer once. OK, not relevant, but I was hoping for a repeat of history.

    But I also do not like attacks on people that are not supported by overwhelming evidence. Maybe it is the latent scientist in me.

  23. R.Scott Bakker has gained a new reader…

  24. It makes me think of the boy who cried wolf. Well, girl who cried wolf.

    Keep calling sexism and misogyny at authors who depict and the words will wear thin and become nothing when the real thing comes around.

    From what I’ve heard acrackedmoon comes from a priveledged background. Her big hurts are being unable to find make up that matches her skin colour.

    Meanwhile those who run sex slavery, or more sublimely run a media that gnaws at womens confidence (making them want makeup in order to feel human) churn away, not bothered in the least.

  25. I don’t take anyone who accuses anyone of either racism, sexism or misogyny seriously.

    I mean.. remember racefail in SF? Where some black drama queens raised enormous amounts of drama on LJ?

    Christ… talk about people who don’t have enough problems of their own and need to butt into someone elses stuff and be all self-righteous…

  26. I mean.. take James Watson. Dude makes an innocent observation on race and intelligence, and half of the world acts as if he donned an SS uniform and burned a church full of Jews and Gypsies.

    No one really asks whether there is any evidence that breeds of men that are obviously adapted to different enviroments cannot differ in intellectual capabilities.

    Far easier to survive in today’s welfare slums than it was for our ancestors to survive in the wild, with nothing but stone tools, hide clothing, fire and stuff like that.

    Wotan…. I’d really hate not living in a technological civilization, and not just because of the absence of net fmg porn, guns, booze, and stuff like that…

  27. Hmm…

    Read through this post, your wife’s, the one she links to and a large number of comments. The argument seems to be that “he’s a misogynist because we say so and he’s white and male, everyone who defends him is either privileged and nothing they say matters, or if they’re not privileged they haven’t been oppressed enough, or are just acting as mindless tools of the privileged”.

    It’s interesting that based on race and gender they are declaring that someone can’t have an valid opinion on a topic, or insight, or speak for it, nor comment about it, or even simply understand the merest thing about it. There’s a word for that, isn’t there? What was it again… Ah, yes, they call that “bigotry” and/or “racism”. The topic itself being that of race or gender doesn’t somehow exempt the application of what they’re doing. It’s still demanding that someone be placed as a “lower human” or “less a person” than another.

    To be clear, I say this as a “privileged” white male. I suppose by their “logic” my breeding and random chance erases the validity of my previous paragraph. I’m not actually enough of a person for them to dare be allowed to speak. No, having fought against the brutal oppression of apartheid in every way I was capable of from the age of four or five is irrelevant. That I was beaten when I stood in the way of racist attackers and would not move is meaningless. That I got into confrontations with authority figures of various shapes and sizes demanding they accept everyone was deserving of equal treatment is, at best, a footnote. Having quite literally bled for a cause I believed was mine because of the whimsical thought that all of humanity deserves respect and fairness must have just been an application of my “privilege”. When I finally left Africa for Canada, that I was not permitted to have a name for two years because I had an accent, could only have been a dream.

    Except for, hell fucking no that’s utterly ignorant and stupid.

    Gah, damnit Watts, trying to keep calm while responding to this crap you highlight is a freaking trial sometimes…

    But, yeah, we had a word in South Africa for people who tried to “create equality” through bringing down others based on race, gender, etc, or requiring holy vengeance for crimes they did not commit, or might have, or must have because they were the same “group”. We called them, “idiots.” And then we ignored them.

    You erase hatred through reconciliation and forgiveness, you create understanding through mutual respect and open communication, you create harmony by embracing each others differences and appreciating them, you create equality by accepting that beneath those differences we are all one and the same.

    In the end, trying to crush the people you oppose leads to nothing but endless war. Stand against them, but not over them. Show them the balance between the horror that is and the good that can be.

    It sounds like Bakker is showing them the horror and instead of acknowledging the warning, they can’t see past it because of their own picture of what the monster looks like.

    Like any race, gender, or such, has ever had a monopoly on oppression or an exemption from it. These events are just the never absent proof that the monster is within us all and it’s best work is done when anyone denies it exists within them. You can’t overcome what you don’t accept is there.

    Bah.

  28. Hey, Callan S: when was the last time you stopped a sex trafficking ring? When was the last time Peter Watts, or R. Scott Bakker did? Oh, you think Bakker’s books will stop sexual slavery or the cosmetics industry? Do you really?

    Do you see how ridiculous and puerile your comment is? But mostly I’m dropping by to address this:

    From what I’ve heard acrackedmoon comes from a priveledged background. Her big hurts are being unable to find make up that matches her skin colour.

    Now see, perhaps you believe this is very clever. Please consult this and this so you can see that, not only are you unclever, you’re merely regurgitating. Nor is it especially logical. Your approach appears to be “She has privileges! HAHA! She can no longer call out anyone on ANYTHING… ever!” Consider a few facts:

    1) I have never claimed to enjoy no privilege whatsoever; in fact, I likely share some of yours, such as privileges of the able-bodied and the cis-gendered, just to name two… but they are hardly relevant to the point at hand.
    2) The offenses being bandied about have to do with misogyny and, to some extent, racism (your own comment for example, and Watts’ blithe reference to a woman of color as “rabid animal” [Ed. Insert: I didn't refer to "a woman of color", or even "a woman" as a rabid animal: I referred to you as one, and I did it only after you had referred to Scott as a "self-important little roach". I did it consciously, and I explicitly explored my own rationale in the subsequent paragraph. Don't confuse my contempt for you personally with contempt for an entire gender.]), both of which are forms of bigtory you, Bakker, and Watts do not experience, will never experience, nor have any real understanding of.

    That you think “she has privileges too!” is a ready GOTCHA counter is both baffling and more than a little telling–you are not the kind of person interested in stopping injustice, you just want to not be called out on any act of -isms you may have committed or been complicit to. You want to look good, you want to feel good, without having to be good, do good, or even think good. Which neatly summarizes both Watts’ posturing here, and Bakker’s own insistence that he is fighting the good fight against sexism/advancing the cause of feminism, or whatever it is that he’s excreting today and which you all lap up like chocolate.

    @Ben: And therefore calling someone mentally ill without justification – like acm did – is kind of rude.

    I’m not sure where I suggested Bakker was mentally ill. If you could point out where I did this, I’ll edit it out and apologize. My own ableism is something I do have to watch and guard against, both in thought and in words.

  29. Some people just want to watch the world burn. The institution of academic Feminism, which (I think) has groomed such eloquent and dispassionate voices as acrackedmoon and a bunch of Bakker’s other detractors, is a grand attempt to revive the techniques of biblical literalism and apply them to, well, anything. Because nothing roots out social injustice better than witch hunts.

    Having read all of Bakker’s books, I’m always amused when people latch on to just one specific aspect of human barbarity. Really, misogyny? No love for the pedophilia, the ubiquitous keeping of slaves, the caste societies, the absolutely disregard for human life from the point of view of the rulers? There’s so much good shit going around, why settle for just one of them? And I’d like to add that even men are raped in his books. Savagely, sometimes by other men, most times by monsters halfway out of a 4chan hentai marathon.

    But this kind of confirmation bias shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, academic Feminism is championed by individuals like Luce Irigaray, a tenured academic who famously claimed that the pain of childbirth was merely a “social construction” forced upon women by the patriarchy that is the white medical establishment. There’s no arguing with that kind of logic, essentially because it’s not logic but a glorified circlejerk of certain kinds of words.

    Bakker’s true failing here is that he gives those people the time of day.

    (Full disclosure: I read Bakker’s “Neuropath”, then Peter’s “Blindsight”, and those books changed my life and made me drop out of the humanities to pursue biological science. One B.Sc. later and I now finally understand half of the words in “Blindsight”. In any case, these individuals have influenced me to believe that fiction has to be exempt from the standards of real-life discourse, because it may contain avenues of thought that really need thinking through. I am heavily biased against the rape card.)

  30. I used to be a lot like that. I don’t expect I’ll ever live it down.

  31. I used to be a lot like that. Then I took an arrow to the knee.

  32. Watts: [Ed. Insert: I didn't refer to "a woman of color", or even "a woman" as a rabid animal: I referred to you as one, and I did it only after you had referred to Scott as a "self-important little roach". I did it consciously, and I explicitly explored my own rationale in the subsequent paragraph. Don't confuse my contempt for you personally with contempt for an entire gender.]),

    That’s disingenuous, don’t you think? Seeing that you know very well that I’m a woman, and possibly a woman of color too. I doubt you know much about, or care much about, the dynamics of power and privilege… but there are connotations to you, as a white man, calling a woman of color “rabid animal” that are absent from me calling a white man “self-important little roach.” For the same reason that it would be problematic to call me “crazy bitch” or “shrill harpy” and similar. Words have meanings; certain ways of using words have history, and white people calling people of color various variants of “animals” or “rabid animals” or “savages”–well, I don’t need to explain that to you, do I? You seem like a smart boy, or at least you believe yourself a smart boy. A smart, perfect little boy who is never sexist or racist in any way, oh no.

    That you would let through a comment that suggests a woman of color from a developing country’s “biggest hurt” is finding makeup to match her skintone (or letting it through without any commentary) tells volumes about you too, by the way. But by all means, do go on patting each other’s back and stroking each other’s cock. It continues to amuse me that one single post I made six months ago still riles up your lot and bends you all utterly out of shape. Nerdy white boys really are the most fragile, delicate creatures.

  33. @Lanius:
    “I don’t take anyone who accuses anyone of either racism, sexism or misogyny seriously.”

    Right. Because we all know that none of those things exist any more. They all died back in the twentieth century – or maybe never existed at all – and the words only stuck around because self-righteous drama queens keep bringing them up for no good reason. The horrendous pay gap between men and women is a natural result of our different biological adaptation. The escalating racial violence in France has nothing to do with racism, and the massive evictions of gypsies are not an expression of an inherently racist policy. The bomb attacks against the Bangladeshi in London was just the skinheads having some good-natured fun. A restaurant an hour away from me explicitly banning gypsies from entering the premises unless they’re with the band, is not racist. 90 percent of Hollywood blockbusters failing to meet the Bechdel test are not an expression of sexism internalised so deep in our culture that decades of women liberation movement didn’t even make a dent in it. The SF writer Elizabeth “Many Muslims Have All the Virtues of Civilized Persons” Moon is not a racist tool. People who complain about any of this just “don’t have enough problems of their own”.

    You’re really not helping Scott Bakker in this. Drop the universal quantifier, take ten paces backwards and maybe no one will get hurt.

  34. Hey, Callan S: when was the last time you stopped a sex trafficking ring? When was the last time Peter Watts, or R. Scott Bakker did? Oh, you think Bakker’s books will stop sexual slavery or the cosmetics industry? Do you really?

    Dunno. In terms of efficacy at stopping a sex trafficking ring, how many books add up to one blog post?

  35. OMG, I just read the original post and scanned through the comments and this is multifoliate idea-controversy bomb! Lobbed into our midst! I hope I get a break today to go over and check out Acrackedmoon’s rage-blog and the other links so I can at least follow, if not really engage.

    Love ya, Peter, you human incendiary device! heh heh.

    I think the major question is: do we need to read Bakker’s book to really understand the discussion?

  36. Right. Because we all know that none of those things exist any more.

    Things that exist are not necessarily relevant. Like NASCAR.
    Or Disney movies. Or Apple users. Or people who think Dan Brown’s novels are not utter crap.

    Why should I care that some wide-eyed hippy centrist who has never shot, killed and gutted a wild animal gets his panties in a wad about?

    People like that are sad cases who delude themselves about their own nature, the nature of human race, and mostly about everything.
    They’re pathetic. Still, they are human animals like me, and while I tolerate them, I will not stoop to posturing to calm them down.

    I pride in that I constantly try to examine why I believe X. Intellectual honesty is the key to enlightenment!

    There is no thought or emotion of mine that doesn’ deserve to be slowly impaled on the burning stake of merciless self-examination!

  37. Have people just never been on the internet before? Don’t feed the trolls. There’s an entire class of bloggers who drive traffic and ad revenue by making incendiary statements and attempting to rile their targets into long and pervasive, controversy-filled drama bombs.

    Unless they can mount a calm and composed argument without the vitriol, don’t bother to pay them heed. Any response is what they want.

  38. Actually, Jeff, the more I think about this, the more certain I am that you’re right and I’ve been trolled. Thanks for pointing it out — the inevitable “OMG TONE ARGUMENT” response to your comment would’ve probably drawn me further in, otherwise.

  39. @Lanius
    “There is no thought or emotion of mine that doesn’ deserve to be slowly impaled on the burning stake of merciless self-examination!”

    Then you can probably start with your baffling penchance for judging people’s right to speak on the basis of whether they’ve ever shot, killed and gutted anything.

    Normally, I’d be curious about why you try so hard to undermine my very basic right to complain about the racist restaurant who would admit me in, but keep my relatives from my father’s side out unless they bring some fiddles (“I don’t take anyone who accuses anyone of either racism, sexism or misogyny seriously”); unfortunately, you’d probably consider me unfit for this discussion, as I’ve never shot anything in my life. Killed – yes, gutted – yes, shot – no. We have very strict gun control.

  40. @mnussbaum: now you may begin to see why I don’t particularly care to engage these people as though they were adult human beings capable of rational thought. “I am biased against the rape card,” “I don’t take any accusations of racism, misogyny or sexism seriously,” comparisons to continuing institutionized racism and sexism to Apple users and things that are apparently irrelevant, crying about racism and sexism directed at white men. Perhaps you would care to engage with them calmly and politely yourself, but you shouldn’t be surprised why I (among others) would choose not to.

    This is the kind of company Peter Watts, R Scott Bakker and similar choose to keep. I wonder what a rape card is and what it even looks like?

  41. This is the kind of company Peter Watts, R Scott Bakker and similar choose to keep.

    Dunno if you’ve noticed, moon, but I also choose to keep your company here as well. Do you therefore assume that I agree with everything you say? Do you assume that I only allow posts that I agree with?

  42. But Pete darling, when I see comments I strongly object to on my blog, if I do let it through the mod queue… I will reply to it. Harshly. This is how people express their disagreement, you see. And do you think anyone would mistake that mine is a company you welcome after you’ve called me a rabid animal, hmm?

    My pointing out that “rabid animal” is problematic merited an immediate editorial addition whereas “rape card” and things like “I take no accusations of racism/sexism seriously” sit unchallenged. Interesting priorities.

  43. I would actually be interested to see a Requires Only Hate review of Mr. Watts’ work. I’m not as perceptive of these problems as acrackedmoon, but I’ve always felt Mr. Watts did a decent job with race and gender — and with writers like Nalo Hopkinson, who I believe acrackedmoon enjoys, advising him, he’s got some help to cover notional blind spots.

    I was impressed by Watts’ willingness to use women in incidental, background stormtrooper-type roles in Crysis Legion (Requires Only Hate does not sneer at licensed fiction). The usual dual-component-stereotype complex regarding women and violence means that authors rarely allow women to be background soldiers or spear-carriers, so I was impressed that Watts had egalitarian goons.

    Women characters drive the narrative in a lot of Watts’ work. I’m sure there’s room for criticism regarding the Meltdown Madonna archetype in Starfish, but the story included not just an abused, hurt woman but a powerful CEO who did her job effectively. Gay characters got a pretty positive inclusion too. I came away from Starfish feeling pretty good about Peter Watts and gender, and while I had issues with Maelstrom and (particularly) Behemoth, they weren’t issues that drove me to think Watts was a raging misogynist — just a man tackling difficult matter, with varying success but definite good intent.

    I’ve no doubt that a Requires Only Hate review would be less positive than I am, but — perhaps naively — I think that acrackedmoon would probably see at least some worth in Mr. Watts’ work, even while she found other areas to attack. (I’m guessing the sexual torture in Behemoth might be a sticking point, not because I think acrackedmoon will blanket reject all depictions of sexual torture, but because it probably offers readings which I’m blind to.)

  44. Peter, speaking as a “coloured woman” I just want to add that I don’t feel insulted or threatened by your defense of Bakker unlike this required hate woman. What you’ve said seems pretty fair given the cicumstance although ‘rabid’ is obviously a pretty loaded word to use and you’ll get a lot of flack for that.

    This required hate person just seems toxic and really isn’t doing herself or anyone else any favours.

  45. What I guess I’m trying to say is that I think Peter Watts is definitely not blind to issues of race and gender, that I think he has had conversations about privilege with people like Nalo Hopkinson, and that I suspect he has a much better awareness of these issues than some of the commenters on his blog.

  46. No no no no no. The problem here is not that Bakker is a terrible human being.

    It’s that he is a terrible writer.

    Artists have carte blanch to engage with any issue they want. But, if you end up making a complete dogs bollocks in your handling of that issue, you deserve to be severely excoriated, for your arrogance if nothing else.

    But actually I’m being harsh. Bakker isn’t a terrible writer. He’s a profoundly average one. Who happens to be trying to write about issues that are WAAAYYYY beyond his emotional palette. Bakker can string sentences together, do some world building, play with a few high concept ideas. But he has about as much insight in to the human condition as…well, as an adolescent boy. Flat, one might even say Dead-On-Arrival characters, trapped in mechanistic plots that can only contrive tension through violence, rewriting the tired tropes of the fantasy genre with the even tireder tropes of science fiction.

    Which is all fine. I have no problem with second rate fiction all in all. But I do have a problem with second rate writers depicting rape and torture AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN without stopping for a single fucking second to question whether they actually have the chops to do this or not. And if it was just Bakker, I’d ignore it. But there’s a whole fucking cadre of second rate hack writers churning out utterly heinous depictions of rape and violence which have absolutely no insight in to the reality of what they are depicting and, hence, tend to make it pornographic.

    I would not generally support the aggressive reviewing style of the Requires Hate blog. Bad writers don’t deserve to be hated. But if they don’t even have the basic perceptual level to realise that rape and tourture are not issue to be tossed in to a shitty fantasy novel in a desperate attempt to achieve some kind of gritty realism that completely eludes their hack writing skills, then they do deserve to be told in very extremely impolite terms that they are shit and should fuck off and stick to writing about people hitting each other with sticks.

    And if anyone else says “huh, rape and violence…Bakker has a new reader” I will personally find them and make them read Gor novels until their brain implodes.

  47. Holy, I managed to miss Lanius’ comment: I mean.. remember racefail in SF? Where some black drama queens raised enormous amounts of drama on LJ?

    This is how one proves that all accusations of sexism and racism are false and cannot be taken seriously, gentlebeings. What is Lanius, the poster boy for Redneck’R'US magazine?

    @Seth: Oh come, Watts is reacting very badly to critiques directed at another writer; I can only imagine how he’d react to my review of his own. The apoplexy would be amazing.

  48. @Damien G. Walter I will personally find them and make them read Gor novels until their brain implodes.

    Making people read John Norman is expressly forbidden by the Geneva Conventions, my friend. :)

  49. My pointing out that “rabid animal” is problematic merited an immediate editorial addition whereas “rape card” and things like “I take no accusations of racism/sexism seriously” sit unchallenged. Interesting priorities.

    Moon, you do not know this blog, so I’ll fill you in: on this blog, at least one person went so far as to express eager anticipation over my imminent ass-raping while in jail. I let that comment stand, even though that person had been banned on pretty much every other forum he stuck their head up at; not because I agreed with him, but because I did not want to play the censor even when I was the one getting shat upon (and I got shat upon a lot, in those days).

    I have challenged Lanius, and others, at far greater length than I’ve challenged you so far. You can sift through the archives and see for yourself if you want. Lanius can be a total dick, and I disagree with much of what he’s said here; he’s actually on probation, and I’ve nuked one of his comments to this very thread not an hour ago on the grounds of utter irrelevance. But he has also, on occasion, made substantive points. I err on the side of free speech, however repellent I may find it personally. I called you on “rabid animal” because you’d called me on it, but I didn’t censor your words.

    As for my attitudes (and presumed implicit approval towards) sexual violence (at least, the nonconsensual kind), I’m painfully aware that I can’t speak to what that experience means to anyone who suffers it. However, the protagonist of my first novel was based upon a woman I was involved with back in grad school, who’d been victimized. I’ve since had a variety of friends and lovers who’ve had various forms of abuse in their past. On a more dispassionate note, I was involved for a while with the manager of the domestic violence lab at UBC, and got a whole whack of horrific data via that avenue. I know that in all likelihood, I’ll never know first-hand what any of that is like, and I don’t pretend to: but before you show the temerity to suggest that I take a light view of sexual abuse, you might want to learn what the fuck you’re talking about first.

    Oh come, Watts is reacting very badly to critiques directed at another writer; I can only imagine how he’d react to my review of his own.

    No. I am not reacting to a critique: I am reacting to character assassination. I stated explicitly in my post that I was not competent to argue the merits of the book because I hadn’t read it (a position you might want to adopt yourself, for that matter); and I explicitly referred readers to a blog post by Caitlin Sweet (who is not a nerdy white boy, but who is a fantasy novelist exploring many of the same issues as Bakker’s work, and who, wonder of wonders, actually read TDtCB prior to weighing in on it). My only desire was to defend the person; I left it to Caitlin to react to the critique. And I see that so far, your reaction to her post has been a howling silence.

    As for my reaction to an acm review of my own work, I can only invoke Pierre Elliot Trudeau: “I’ve been called worse things by better people”.

  50. She really was angry and I didn’t read the book or all of the comments but from the ones I did read…afterwards I began to feel angry at everyone. Not at the Writer as I don’t know what his book’s about (unless he commented) but at the comments. Especially, one in particular.

    If she’s been sexually molested or is ugly or mentally ill…so what?!
    That doesn’t stop her from being able to have an opinion.

    I’m mentally ill, I’ve been molested in the past and youth will pass me by some day. It doesn’t make me any less human. I have a heart and a brain like any other person.

  51. ACM: I agree wholeheartedly with your discomfort at the ‘black drama queens’ remark, as well as — well, a number of other things that often pop up in blog comments on this topic.

    I can’t speak for Peter Watts, only for myself. I suspect that a lot of the apoplexy is a reaction to your choice to use performance rage, rather than a reaction to the content of your reviews. (I know what a tone argument is, and I promise not going to make one!) From a utilitarian standpoint, I understand the choice you make; I’m sometimes uncomfortable with your ad hominem style, but I know you intend to evoke discomfort, and I know you don’t want to apologize or take an ingratiating, conciliatory stance about issues that affect you personally and powerfully.

    My concern with your performance rage is that I fear it alienates those who might otherwise be allies, conflating your ad hominem arguments with your (really powerful, for me) arguments about racism and sexism. This is a personal qualm, and I suspect you’ve thought about it more than me, and decided quite firmly how much you care about these allies.

    I’m a white straight guy. I’ve only had one story published, and it included lesbians, institutional homophobia, and POC. I think I probably screwed a few things up. I’ve asked myself what I would do if you reviewed it, called me out on my mistakes, and called me a roach. I like to hope I’d acknowledge the review and try to take something away from it. Maybe I’d react like Bakker did; I hope not, but I can’t be sure.

    If you reviewed Watts’ work and critiqued it, I suspect he would acknowledge your points and take issue with your tone. I hesitate to speak for him on his own blog. But I stand by my faith in Mr. Watts’ awareness of privilege. If Nalo Hopkinson’s willing to read his work and offer him advice, he’s got to be doing something right, doesn’t he?

    e: I’ve seen Mr. Watts’ latest post and liked it. I may not be able to stay involved in the discussion because I’ve enjoyed the work of every party involved in this dispute, from ROH all the way to Caitlin Sweet, and I don’t want to make any enemies.

  52. I err on the side of free speech, however repellent I may find it personally. I called you on “rabid animal” because you’d called me on it, but I didn’t censor your words.

    So, uh… “You say godawful shit but it’s okay I’ll let your comment stand… HEY, YOU OVER THERE, you CALLED ME OUT ON SOMETHING, this will NOT STAND!”

    As for my attitudes (and presumed implicit approval towards) sexual violence (at least, the nonconsensual kind)

    ?

    No, I’m questioning why you let a comment that talks about “a rape card” stand. If you are reading “I think you implicitly approve of rape” you are… stretching things a lot. What is a rape card, in any case?

    However, the protagonist of my first novel was based upon a woman I was involved with back in grad school, who’d been victimized.

    I hope you, like, asked and got her permission to do that. You did, right?

    No. I am not reacting to a critique: I am reacting to character assassination.

    This ties back to my amusement at my post from six months ago stirring you and the rest of the lot into fits of rage. Do you believe I’m some sort of politician or some big-name blogger who can influence the blogosphere at large? Character assassination. Amazing. Have you considered whether you are overreacting? I use capslock and profanities a lot, but I know that I’m doing so as part of my performance rage schtick. You seem very earnest about it all, which is worrying. By the way, I see that even someone who thinks I’m “toxic” considers “rabid” loaded. It’s the sort of word with a history of whites throwing it at people of color, and men throwing it at women, especially feminists.

    I left it to Caitlin to react to the critique. And I see that so far, your reaction to her post has been a howling silence.

    Was there something to react to outside of “I know Bakker personally, I’ve met him in real life, he cannot possibly be sexist or any -ist in any way; she’s wrong because she. is. wrong”? It’s a bit tough to respond to that in any meaningful way.

  53. The idea that Damien Walter can recognize mediocrity: Not enough lols on the internet.

  54. No good can come of interacting with the troll. Do not do it. If you have already begun to do so then simply give up and walk away. No good can come of this conversation.

  55. @requireshate,

    Oh, come now. If there is one thing more misleading than judging an author based on a personal encounter at a con, it’s judging them by the people who comment on their blog. For all my claims at tolerance and love of free speech, I’d be sorely tempted to moderate the hell out of anyone who’d try to purport that racims and sexisms weren’t real contemporary issues. In that respect, Peter Watts is a better man than me.

    I admit that I didn’t care much for your post on RSB (my rock-like motto has always been: “If you want to criticise their works, read their works. If you don’t read, you cannot know if their defence makes sense in context or not”, and performance rage isn’t really my thing), but I found some of your other – less rage-y, more analytical – reviews to be nothing if not brilliant.

  56. How is one, at least not one steeped in the same subculture at least, intended to distinguish this ‘performance rage’ from the ordinary sort?

  57. “You say godawful shit but it’s okay I’ll let your comment stand… HEY, YOU OVER THERE, you CALLED ME OUT ON SOMETHING, this will NOT STAND!”

    No. Rather: those comments didn’t involve me, weren’t directed at me, other people can handle them as well as I can; this thing over here has my name on it; I have limited time. I deal first with the stuff that’s pointed directly at me. I would have singled you out even if you’d asked me a question about the kind of fruit I mix with my yoghurt.

    It may be dawning on you that we do things differently here. Doesn’t make us the klan.

    sexual violence (at least, the nonconsensual kind)

    ?

    As opposed to consensual, rough sex. Sometimes learned, sometimes pleasure/pain centers crosswired. You didn’t know?

    I hope you, like, asked and got her permission to do that. You did, right?

    I thought she was dead; I only found out this year that she isn’t. But it’s nothing anyone would recognize. I didn’t tuckerise the name or anything, and when your character is a genetically tweaked surgically-altered deep-sea diver circa 2050 there’s not much that survives in the way of telltale biography.

    I [Ed. redaction after the horse has fled the barn]. I’m told she’s flattered.

    This ties back to my amusement at my post from six months ago stirring you and the rest of the lot into fits of rage.

    No offense (for once), but I’m skeptical that you are amused. Your blood seems to be on a continuous rolling boil. Either that or Seth’s right, and you’re the world’s most convincing performance artist.

    Do you believe I’m some sort of politician or some big-name blogger who can influence the blogosphere at large? Character assassination. Amazing. Have you considered whether you are overreacting?

    I didn’t know whether you were big-name or not. I’d never heard of you before, but I didn’t even know about the Pedobear meme until last fall so that tells you how clued out I am on such matters. You show up on icerocket as having 88 twitter fans (granted, 88 more than I have), so not a big name. But that’s not the point: it’s never been the point, any more than your gender or your ethnicity informed my “rabid animal” comment (I didn’t even know you were oC when I wrote that; and if it had been a nerdy white boy behind ROTYH, it wouldn’t have changed my post one iota).

    Look, I boycotted a favorite con of mine this year because of the way they treated one of their guests last year. I didn’t think I was going up against Big Names or Shadowy Cabals. I did it to protest the fact that someone was being fucked over; and you don’t have to have a Big Name to fuck someone over. So, yeah: character assassination. Small, squeaky, tiny-fish-in-huge-pool character assassination, maybe; but then, Lanius (for example) is an even tinier fish and you seem to think he’s worth going after. (He is, too; you don’t have to go back too many posts to see how often the rest of us pile onto him.) Goose, meet gander.

    Was there something to react to outside of “I know Bakker personally, I’ve met him in real life, he cannot possibly be sexist or any -ist in any way;

    Oh, I dunno. Maybe the part where, having actually read the whole damn book, she opined:

    I never felt that Scott’s depiction of these abuses was gratuitous or self-indulgent. Partly because I know him, yes—but also because I’m pretty clear that authors don’t have to be nasty people to write about nasty things.

    Or even

    Authors use imagination and intellect to make things up—things they might be drawn to on aesthetic or thematic levels, but which might horrify them on an emotional one. He made up a dark, dire, grim patriarchal world in which women, men, beasts—hell, any and all life forms—are degraded. I understand readers who say, “Wow—this book isn’t my thing at all—I’m going to put it down forever.” But it’s a gargantuan leap from “I really don’t like this book” to “I really don’t like the man who wrote this book.”

    These are comments about the book, from someone who writes in the field herself. At the very least, you might want to rethink the whole Only nerdy white boys like Bakker paradigm (I think Karin Lowachee is a Bakker fan too, if I’m not mistaken). Or that grandmothers-and-goldfish rip — because yes, it’s easy for someone to say “Nothing wrong with me because X says so”. But when X actually does get up and say so on her own initiative, you might want to be a bit less dismissive.

  58. I am only here to ask a few questions.

    my context:
    I engage in and support critical analyses of how race, gender, class, and privilege in general are constructed in cultural artifacts.

    I also understand to at least some extent, how individual and historical injustices, identity constructions, differing perspectives, cultural and personal variations in discursive styles, and reflexive reactions on multiple sides of conversations about these crucial issues can make conversations about these kinds of analyses very difficult.

    I also truly enjoy work like Peter’s, which explores ideas I find interesting, and delves into some of the most painful existential crises I’ve had in my life.

    I also appreciate people who challenge me to consider perspectives I might not have and who are similarly open to listening to me, people with whom I can agree to disagree, people who will not be afraid to tell me that they think I’m full of it, but will also allow me to apologise and try to move forward more productively.

    I nearly left fandom before RaceFail. That was how I found out about the Carl Brandon Society. Seeing other people stand up for what they believe in, what I believe in too, encouraged me that, contrary to my initial experiences in the sf community with people who seemed to be oblivious to the things that are most important to me in the world – i.e. social justice – there are people with similar frustrations and dreams, people I should be making efforts to support, and that just running away and burying my head in the sand is as much of an expression of privilege as refusing to see opportunities to move on if and when I am challenged.

    This is not “Why can’t we all just get along.”

    This is “What’s the best way to move forward?”

    I claim no ultimate knowledge, and state nothing other than to say I can see both sides, and I hope there is a path forward on which both can walk. The fact that I can try to be neutral like this is privilege, I know. I acknowledge it, and say that I wish to help, to foster peace here. If I fail in this, I apologise to everyone who may take offense at my words, and will take all corrections to heart.

    I don’t understand how arguing in comment threads the way folks are doing now is going to change anything.

    Nobody seems to me to be convincing each other of anything.

    Please tell me how I am wrong. How can positive things can come from this? How can injuries can be healed, how awareness can be raised, how truth can be said?

    What are your goals, and why? Are there grounds for agreement?

  59. @Art:

    No good can come of interacting with the troll. Do not do it. If you have already begun to do so then simply give up and walk away. No good can come of this conversation.

    You know, a couple of hours ago I was in total agreement with this. I was even writing up a mock nature documentary on the subject, having decided that actual engagement was pointless and we might as well just get out the knives.

    But the thing is, even in that mess o’bile that acm posted, you can see the bones of an actual argument there — something worth debating if every challenge wasn’t met with sneering denigration. And now it turns out that some regular inhabitants of the ‘crawl — folks whose opinions I respect — seem to respect at least some of acm’s opinions in turn. Which by some weirdass transitive property of trollery suggests that maybe I should try and scrape off some of the abuse and have a second look. Not because acm is anywhere close to being right about Scott as a person, or even because her perspective on his work can have much value until she’s actually read it. But there might be something meta in here, something about appropriation and double standards and the whole process of political critique that might be worth digging into. And as all-but-one here know, I do welcome legitimate disagreement.

    So I’ve blown a whole damn morning and part of an afternoon looking to engage. Maybe it’s a fool’s errand. We’ll see what happens.

  60. …aaannnnddd, no:

    requireshate: So Peter Watts didn’t actually ask/get permission before basing a character on an abuse survivor

    ACM just posted the above tweet to her elite corps of 88 followers.

    Knowing that I thought the woman in question had been dead for decades. Knowing that even though it turns out that she’s still alive, she is, according to my best information, flattered by [Ed. redaction after the horse has fled the barn]. Knowing nothing about character or the person, beyond the fact that the former is an undersea cyborg with no significant biographical details in common with the latter.

    Knowing, in fact, nothing at all. Nothing about the woman I knew, or my relationship with her. Nothing about the circumstances under which we separated, or how I came to my conclusions about her fate; nothing about how either of us felt about the other.

    She posts this.

    @Art, you were right. @Nestor, @Llama: you were right. This is a troll, nothing more. I was profoundly mistaken to feed it.

    What a vindictive, dishonest asshole. What a foul, rabid animal.

    So much for reaching out.

  61. @Aaron

    Someone in the sub-culture explains it to you.

    There’s a persistent misconception that acrackedmoon’s vitriol is bad because it makes people who disagree with her not want to engage with her. But I don’t think ACM writes for people who have no problem with Tolkien, GRRM, Abercrombie, Bakkar, et al. She writes to express her dislike of certain elements common in speculative fiction and she writes for others who are sick of racism, sexism, and homophobia in their stories.

    While there are people like Larry who are willing to take the time to explain Requires Hate to those who disagree with her or dislike her style, and that’s great, no one is obliged to do so. Nor is she obliged to make herself accessible.

  62. Personally, I don’t see why anyone should be required to scrape off an abuse layer to get to an argument kernel beneath, on the perky hope one exists. It’s one thing to state poorly, to let emotion or hyperbole overcome you when you’re typing, but is the whole rage critique thing even about pearls of wisdom? Or is it about letting someone else express our uncivil thoughts so we don’t have to?

    From what I can see, acm states with lots of excess verbiage that ***SPOILER ALERT****
    Bakker writes poorly and the politics of his world building come off as misogynous. That’s the kernel. I admire that Peter believes in the principle of free expression and everyone has the right to an opinion; I really really value that. But, er, shouldn’t we all read the darn book before we debate the possible misogyny of it, or have I missed the gist of this completely?

  63. Hahaha – well my comment was a day late and a dollar short. The race is definitely to the fastest typists.

  64. You are a pathetic fucking turd nobody reads. Maybe the ROH owner and her friends (about 30 other bloggers or so) will start eviscerating your verbal dysentery instead? I hope so. I would do it myself, but life is too short to waste it wading through horribly written crap, you know?
    Stop screeching about freedom of speech and be thankful that we can’t rip off your scrotum with a rusty meat hook via the Web (yet).
    Maybe you should eat Bakker’s feces and then give him a blowjob (complete with swallowing) if you love him so much?
    Bitch slaps and kicks with a spike-toed boot,

    -Me

  65. “…aaannnnddd, no:
    requireshate: So Peter Watts didn’t actually ask/get permission before basing a character on an abuse survivor
    ACM just posted the above tweet to her elite corps of 88 followers.”

    So, mr. Watts, you did get permission first, right? Because from what you have written below that quote one can understand that you really didn’t, because you thought she was dead. Is that so? You made a wrong assumption and a mistake, requireshate pointed it, and this means she is trolling?
    I found that your interest in engaging with her arguments very heartening, especially considering you don’t agree with them. But why are you giving up simply when she pointed a mistake you did?

  66. I actually feel kind of bad for RequiresHate. Assuming some level of filtering happens while she formulates her posts, imagine what it must be like inside her head. I expect it is like being on /b/, all the time.

  67. And here I thought Valerie Solanas was dead.

  68. And I’m still trying to figure out how many blog posts it takes to shut down a sex trafficking ring.

  69. Peter:

    Whatever one’s opinions on Moon, it’s hard not to be troubled when people don’t shift priorities to call out those who use her as an example of why minorities, women, or other historically marginalized groups can be dismissed out of hand.

    It feels to some, however unintentional this might be, as tacit agreement that one only wishes to tolerate such groups when they behave themselves.

    I don’t read it that way, but besides race I benefit from an incredible number of privileges so that is my luxury. But if the interest is to engage something bigger than the reputation of SFF authors, one has to encourage a safe space to at least some extent.

    -Sciborg2 aka Saajan Patel

  70. @Radu

    You made a wrong assumption and a mistake, requireshate pointed it, and this means she is trolling?

    It means that you probably are, at least.

    But I’m going to give you an absolutely huge fucking benefit of the doubt here, and assume otherwise: maybe you’re merely suffering from some sort of cognitive disorder that blinds you to why the belief that someone is dead might be relevant to whether one should seek their permission. Ask yourself why acm chose to omit that fact from her tweet. She was not pointing out a mistake; she was not even talking to me. She was deliberately concealing relevant information in order to make a false and incendiary point about (I can only imagine) some kind of psychological appropriation.

    I’ve tuckerised a number of other people in my novels; used their names, even incorporated hobbies and professional details. In some cases these people won contests where tuckerisation was the prize; but regardless, I’ve always had permission.

    My use of this one person was far less detailed than that; no biographical details, no names, no speech pattern overlap. Hair and eye color, and an attempt to look into a cryptic mask and imagine what might have been going on behind it. That was it. There was no appropriation, only speculation. I betrayed no secrets, stole no history, extracted nothing that any reasonable person would believe required permission. All storytellers are informed by the people they meet from day to day; we cadge bits and pieces from everyone around us. I doubt this woman would have even recognized herself in the tale. Even so, if I’d thought she was still alive, if I’d had some way to get in touch with her, I would have reached out.

    I’d feared she had killed herself. I am glad, twenty-five years later, to learn otherwise. But surely there is no one out there so stupid as to think that one commits some kind of wrong by not soliciting the permission of someone believed dead for fifteen years.

  71. I’m confused. How much due diligence is supposed to be necessary to gain the consent of someone with whom your prior associations have given you (what you take to be) insight into some facet of human experience such that you base part of the behaviors of a character in a work of fiction on them? Should Watts have engaged a private investigator to confirm that she was, in fact, dead? Whether she is flattered or not has little to do with it, I think, because it was something Watts could not have known one way or the other when he did what he did. However, I also think her consent is irrelevant. Writers base aspects of characters on people they have known all the time. I sincerely doubt they go around soliciting consent from these people first.

  72. “Maybe you should eat Bakker’s feces and then give him a blowjob (complete with swallowing) if you love him so much?
    Bitch slaps and kicks with a spike-toed boot”

    It’s a homophobia/sexism double play. Congrats, “Me”.

  73. You’re confused because you have the idea that this is a discussion, instead of an attempt to make some angry Internet radfem bones out of taking cheap shots at a published author.

  74. Well. This has been fascinating.

    I’d also like to commend Mr. Watts on his tolerance and willingness to engage with folks whose default mode of expression is ad hominem. I’ve done it myself in various places on the tubes, and it quite frankly gets to be mentally exhausting.

    @Radu, he’s correct to see that tweet for what it is, which is an attack on his character. Also, no writer has to ask permission to base characters on the people they interact with in life. Revealing the intimate details of the lives of others in prose can be a dick move, but that’s not what Mr. Watts is referring to, since, as he says, the character in question is an undersea cyborg in 2050. He drew on what he learned from this woman to inform the creation of the character. This is basically standard practice in all fiction, and I posit any writer who denies this is, in fact, completely full of shit.

    Also, you don’t ask permission of the dead.
    Duh.

  75. You know, I seriously can’t take someone who uses that much profanities in a “review” and claims to make up their mind after several pages seriously.

    No sirs. Can’t take her seriously.

    Also, I can’t take her “OMG GUY WITH FUNNY SURNAME MISREPRESENTED THAI CULTURE UNO UNO ELEVENTEEN” rants seriously, even though I kind of assume that she is mostly accurate in terms of cultural authenticity (despite not citing a single source. How hard it is to link your readers to a nice and accurate book about Thai culture ?).
    A foreigner is inaccurate and uses your country as mostly a source of exotic vibe ? Cry me a river, m’am.

    Also, I have a problem with feminists who roll racism, classism and any other -ism (except maybe priapism, but even that might not be entirely immune) that doesn’t manage to get away into some kind of horrendous rhetorical Katamari. I am aware that it is a proud tradition in feminist literature, but is there any solid evidence to back it up? Or is the evidence for gluing the -isms together on par with (recently harshly debunked) “evidence” of gross differences in male/female wiring ? (that, BTW, was perhaps even more embarrassing for the NeuroVoodo crowd than the salmon necromancy).

    I mean, there’s gotta be some very strong reason to lump divergent -isms of varying ill-repute in one huge mess… well, other than trying to recruit stray political aficionados from other camps to your team, right ?

    All in all, she seems like a token representative of Feminism’s less nice, less palatable underside.
    You know, everything has an unpalatable underside, and this woman is Feminism’s. Alongside with crooks like Farley and the inventors of “Angry Vagina Craft Time” (yes, that is an actual thing. No, I am not making this shit up)

    To wrap up, I think best policy in regards to people like moononcrack (that was easy) and her sycophants is same as with “forever alone” PUA crowd preaching crazy evopsych just-so-stories.

    This policy is “contain and ignore”

    P.S.: gotta pick up that “this is your serial killer, on neurosurgery” book :)

  76. @Peter Watts
    “…aaannnnddd, no
    ACM just posted the above tweet to her elite corps of 88 followers.”

    Aw, damn. That was low. From what I gathered, ACM can be pretty insightful and perceptive, especially when it comes to racial/gender issues, and she’s surprised me with her observations more than once, but she can’t argue for shit.

  77. I’m also disappointed in ACM regarding that twitter post.

  78. Ah, second-and-third-wave feminism: Where political thinking goes to die.

    I mean, ACM is obviously batshit fucking insane, bur her nuttiness and Templarlike disposition to burn the heretics stems from her belief in the idea that if you depict or mention rape without the proper deference, you are perpetuating a “rape culture” and therefore a womanhater who should be castrated. I guess freedom of speech isn’t so hot in certain leftist circles as they’re in mine…

  79. Not that comments like Jack’s aren’t also infuriating, Christ.

  80. Also, I didn’t know Canada has laws regarding permission on basing fictional characters on experiences of real people (as opposed to divulging personally sensitive data).

    Does it really, or is it yet another example of moononcrack’s magnanimous horseplay ?

    P.S.:

    dear moononcrack (aka needshate), as alleged internet woman of color, would you please kindly advise, what expletives can be used in regards to a woman of color to indicate total and utter contempt for her specifically and carry out a direct insult to her intelligence without carrying any implication of such attitude towards women and/or high-melanin ethnic groups?
    I need to insult a certain alleged woman of color, and would appreciate assistance of an obscenity professional like you.

  81. So. um, who here has actually read the book in question? Anyone, anyone? Bueller?

  82. Saajan Patel said: it’s hard not to be troubled when people don’t …call out those who use her as an example of why minorities, women, or other historically marginalized groups can be dismissed out of hand.

    It feels to some, however unintentional this might be, as tacit agreement that one only wishes to tolerate such groups when they behave themselves

    Yeah. That.
    Thanks.

  83. A little bird is telling me that the alleged female minority blogger might be neither female nor minority.

    I hear crows are smart and knowledgeable birds.

    Just letting you people know.

  84. “So. um, who here has actually read the book in question? ”

    Are you talking about The Darkness that comes before? I have read it and the other two books in the trilogy twice. Questions?

  85. Seth, ok, I’ll bite. I would really like for you to present an explanation on the importance of second and third wave Feminism beyond the victimisation of roughly over half of the human population.

    First, though, let me say that my own political paradigm is that of Good-Ol’-Marxism, as teached/defended on a third world country; now, I’ve never managed to read much on later-day feminism and have actually avoided interaction with women of such political disposition, on the grounds that any time I’ve seen an XY-chromossomed individual try to engage in debate with them it always end up with the male in question being dismissed as “mansplainer” and/or “oppressor”.

    You see, the thing that has always impeded me from taking such theories seriously is the sugestion that all the evils of the world derive from The Evil Menz, aka “Patriarchy”, which is pretty fucking hilarious for me, as I’ve always taken the instrument used to oppress the lower classes to be the capital, NOT the penis. In fact, I daresay that if you kill every single penis-having Bourgeoise and substitute him for a female equivalent, not a single thing would change for the proletariat.

    Which is not to say that mysoginy doesn’t exist: one needs only to look at the war on women’s reproductive rights waged by every single conservative party and most religions on the world right now to see that it is still present; as is racism, and classism: but I regect any theoretical framework in which a rich white woman, by her gender alone, is part of an oppressed minority, whereas a poor white man that is part of the proletariat is viewed as part of The Patriarchy.

    tl;dr: Feminism, as practised by people like ACM, is nothing but superstructural junk that ignores the real medium in which oppression is created and perpetuated (the control of the forces of production).

  86. Mr. S: Questions?

    Si!

    Do you think they are well-written?

    Your impression – do you think they portray women badly, either intentionally or accidentally whilst trying to make a point about misogyny?

  87. @ Damien G. Walter

    And if anyone else says “huh, rape and violence…Bakker has a new reader” I will personally find them and make them read Gor novels until their brain implodes.

    challenge…accepted, creature of flesh and bone

    huh, rape and violence…Bakker has a new reader ;-P

    Of course, I am cheating a bit – even if you’re good enough to find me, due to having encounter with a woman from “gorean” “fandom”, I am now 100% immune to Gorean “Ethos”. Yes

  88. … Reading through all the additional replies in my still sleep state I seem to have come up with a new reality show, it should be call it:

    “Bigots fighting about bigotry.”

    In one corner we can put all those who find it/have made it socially acceptable to be racist/bigoted towards entire races and genders under claims of past or current oppression, regardless of whether a target is guilty or not of such crimes.

    And in the other corner we can put all those who are actually still intent on suppressing others (as well, I should say) no matter what creed they are or who they are against.

    It’d be difficult to separate them out, certainly, both groups being, for all practical purposes, exactly the damned same. But, I have this (perhaps naive) hope, that by the end of the show some will have seen the real monster (external and internal) and won’t feel the need to step on the backs of others to affirm their own existence.

    “I’m not a racist/bigot anymore,” they’d say. It would be better than any other prize that has ever been offered.

    Or if that failed to happen, at least the chaos once the gates were opened would be entertaining. =P

  89. @ TheEchoInside

    From where I sit (not US of A), the US electoral process is exactly that.

  90. “Do you think they are well-written?

    Your impression – do you think they portray women badly, either intentionally or accidentally whilst trying to make a point about misogyny?”

    I do think they are well-written. However, this means absolutely nothing. My time on the internet has shown me that there is no such thing whatsoever as objective taste, and people can and will like/dislike anything. The style is effective for me because it supports a certain epic sensation, particularly when things are being related at a remove rather than narrated from a character’s point of view. It is certainly does not have a fluid, modern cadence, but that works in its favor as far as I’m concerned, giving it a patina of age.

    As for the other…I haven’t read them in a few years (been holding off until Aspect-Emperor is done because I’m tired of multi-year gaps erasing my memory of books and forcing rereads), but when I read them last I would not say that my own view of women was particularly enlightened. I struggle with my own privilege on a regular basis. To cease dodging your question, I didn’t think that they portrayed women badly (speaking only of the Prince of Nothing, since I have yet to read any of Aspect-Emperor, though I am quite eager to). I didn’t notice in PoN any subtext about gender relations, misogyny or feminism, to be quite honest. To me, the questions of human fallibility and emotional manipulation were predominant, the exposing of the frail eggshell of rationality atop the churning sea of emotion.

    *SPOILERS*

    I can only imagine the talk of women being “objectively worth less” than men in Earwa stems from events in Aspect-Emperor that I am unaware of, and I thought Esmenet was a pretty sympathetic and capable character living in a harsh world (let’s not forget it is post-apocalyptic!) and that if she ultimately failed herself by giving in to Kellhus, she was really no different than scores and scores of men in the books. Achamian was really the only one who did resist, and he did so only through his (pretty clearly Marty Stu-esque [slightly harsh, as Achamian is quite fallible and not at all a figure of heroism]) constant introspection.

    Since you haven’t read them, a lot of that might not mean anything to you.

  91. @01

    I sit close enough to be made very uncomfortable by the US electoral process.

    Though not sure it’s limited to just the process, I was quite literally yelling at my computer earlier this week because of what’s happening in Virginia. The cognitive dissonance of “small government” conservatives passing (it seems assured to go through their senate/be signed) what by definition seem institutionalized rape via medical procedure (they voted down an amendment to require consent) left me flailing, for all the obvious reasons.

    And then there was the whole commentary around the same time over the high rates of sexual assault/rape in the US military and the increase of front line positions for women. Where it was stated that women should just expect and accept being victims if they’re going to be in close quarter situations. And men were relegated (and excused) as being nothing more than the product of what the thing between their legs tells them to be. With the extra dash of the infrastructure to care for victims being a “leftist” pork barrel. I also flailed at all of that.

    It’s a worse reality show than “temptation island” or “toddlers and tiaras”. I wish they’d cancel it already (as in the shenanigans, not the country itself, for clarity =P).

  92. @Echo

    That sounds like the feel good hit of the year! You’ll be rolling in dough in no time.

  93. So far, my suspicion that moononcrack is full of shit appears to find third party circumstantial support.

    P.S.:
    Is saying that alleged woman of color is, metaphorically speaking, full of shit racist or misogynistic? ^__~

  94. Some waters are positively infested with rabid sharks. Peter always sees fit to swim in them naked, cock dangling like a tasty morsel, THAT we can rely on.

    I, for one, think that’s pretty cool. Don’t let them intimidate you out of a perfectly legitimate swim.

  95. “Ask yourself why acm chose to omit that fact from her tweet. She was not pointing out a mistake; she was not even talking to me. She was deliberately concealing relevant information in order to make a false and incendiary point about (I can only imagine) some kind of psychological appropriation.”

    OK, maybe she did that.
    I interpreted it differently, as pointing the attitude you had by acting on belief and not checking first. I thought she was pointing a mistake because it’s the kind of mistake she usually points. So based on that feeling of familiarity I stick to my reading.

    I understand the circumstances. I would have done the same thing, probably. And I am sure many people would consider me a shit for doing it. And I kind of see their point. Even if they’re biased, or angry, or lacking patience. Even if I don’t agree.

    I don’t see Requireshate as someone in need of medication, or terminally ill, but as someone with a strong perspective that is completely different than my own, and pretty consistent too.

    So I still think you’re wrong to dismiss her as a troll. You should have given her that benefit of a doubt, not me.

  96. @ TheEchoInside

    Perfectly for politicians dealing with socially conservative crowd. The point of such political stance is milking money (both in cash and in votes) from insane people, not instituting any meaningful, let alone useful, change. Do you seriously intend to appeal to insane people by doing sane things?

    Don’t worry though, I think that given US proud tradition of suing everything forever, those bills will be torn due to hawt lawyer on lawyer action.

    As for the army thing – well, that’s kinda sucks. But army, in general, sucks, and it seems US army sucks too.

    At least US army is voluntary. No one is strictly obliged to go there. And doing so apparently is akin to applying for “Val the Vampire’s table etiquette advisor” opening in Blindsight ;)

  97. @ Mirik Smit

    Yeah.

    If vampires existed, Peter would try filming a Steve Irwin style movie about them.

    …at the very least.

  98. @ TheEchoInside

    Speaking as a soldier myself, when I heard that screed I had to turn off my computer and get out of my apartment, I was so disgusted. That kind of twisted evil shit REALLY pisses me right the fuck off.

    Here’s something to ponder: can Liz Trotta, the FOX commentator who made these statements, be considered a misogynist? Because I just don’t know how else to describe something so utterly anti-woman. I just don’t have any other words.

  99. @M.S. Patterson

    Is that feel good hit, or it’d feel good to hit them? ;P (Not that I actually believe violence is an answer, just letting the lizard brain have the joke.)

    @Radu Romaniuc

    I’m wondering, what are these unwritten rules on the subject of writing and consent, that would accord this as a mistake?

    Effectively, what variables require that consent be obtained? Are the variables related to the individual’s attributes, or how many of their attributes are to be included in a work, or both?

    What are reasonable conditions for search (internet, phone book, private detective?) or implied consent (death seems to be one?)?

    Does this apply to fiction alone, or non-fiction as well?
    (And I ask these questions, genuinely curious as to what the answers are)

    And on your last point, I’m concerned about fair/equal treatment in regards to “benefit of the doubt”. If we are to say Watts should give her the benefit of the doubt in regards to intent for the tweet, should she not have given the benefit of the doubt to him in including his intent within it(the belief the subject was deceased), as well?

    @01

    Hmm, not sure if your question is rhetorical or not, but naive creature that I am, I certainly do try to appeal to those who appear insane to me, through what I believe is sanity. (Though ironically, that is perhaps an insane course of action in and of itself?)

    There are certainly some people I’ve seen who seem to be beyond consideration for change. But, I’ve also had a lot of experience with people who simply grew up in the wrong place and wrong time who are just following their localised culture. If we can’t find the means or effort of appealing to them, that seems a form of resignation to the inevitability of it occurring. And while it’s still anecdotal, having lived through a country changing that (to varying degrees of success) makes me hopeful it’s possible everywhere. =)

    @Bastien

    Urgh, it’s certainly disgusting. One hell of a way to “support the troops”.

    And that example relates back to my first post, really. In that no group has a monopoly over or an exemption from, bigoted suppression. Everyone, no matter who they are, can be racist, or sexist, etc.

    In that case though, I think she had misogyny and misandry both going on in a horrible kaleidoscope. Anti-woman in that she expects woman to just accept/be fine with some sort of inevitability of being victims. And anti-man in that she indicates men are sub-human(animals who cannot control their desires). It manages to make victims “not really” victims, excuses perpetrators from responsibility and condemns every other male as a perpetrator in waiting, all at the same time.

    It’s damn ridiculous and surreal.

  100. @ TheEchoInside

    I was actually stabbing at the politicos and not at you with my rhetorical.

    Point being, if your electorate is kinda crazy, you don’t get money and votes outta them by making sane policy.

    And politicians are not in the business of curing the insane or re-educating the unlucky backwards folk, as a general rule they are in it for money and votes.

  101. Acrackedmoon is very North American in her views. All her insistence on “white men” as a uniformly privileged group and on “People of Color” or “Asians” doesn’t reflect so much the point of view of the rest of the world. I would have expected to see at least a passing mention of class, language, ethnicity and religion, which are usually much more important.

  102. I gotta wonder, does the cracked entity believe that Jews are an oppressed minority…

  103. I can see what Moon is saying, that it’s unfair to appropriate someone’s experiences if one directly represents them.

    I think the confusion was in the idea of “basing” a character on someone versus having a real person serve as inspiration. It seems to me that what Peter actually did was the latter.

    I’d be curious to hear her thoughts on the whole thing if she came back here.

    -Sciborg2 aka Saajan Patel

  104. @Saajan Patel

    I can see what Moon is saying, that it’s unfair to appropriate someone’s experiences if one directly represents them.

    Care to rephrase ?

    Because I am not quite sure I’m parsing you well…

    I think the confusion was in the idea of “basing” a character on someone versus having a real person serve as inspiration. It seems to me that what Peter actually did was the latter.

    Would you kindly elaborate on the distinction ?

  105. Oh, some people seem like they want to talk about the books. If you’ve finished up to WLW (or don’t mind spoilers) feel free to check the thread at Westeros:

    http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/59833-white-luck-warrior-viii/page__st__220

  106. Superficial googling further indicates minor evidence that alleged Thai alleged woman might be neither Thai nor woman.

    http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2012/01/i-know-i-know.html

    A new XYsbian blogger “scandal” in the making, huh ?

  107. Bakker’s books have certainly moved way up on my reading list.

  108. 01: you’re referring to the Pat’s hotlist, where basically everyone there assumed that acm was a white male and when corrected on it refused to believe it?

    If you take that as actual reasonable evidence…I guess I’m not that surprised by the rest of your posts any more.

  109. :Would you kindly elaborate on the distinction ?:

    I think “based” sort of implies that if the person read the book they’d recognize themselves and the private details of their lives on the page. As someone who knows the true story will recognize it when the movie “based on a true story” is seen.

    Inspired means taking perhaps a small bit of RL and using it as the seed from which to grow a character. There might be recognition, but not on the level of feeling like your privacy was violated.

    As far as I can tell from what Peter wrote he did the latter, not the former.

    -Sciborg2 aka Saajan

  110. I can’t believe I need to say this in 2012, but DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS. Trolls are not interested in having a rational discussion. Trolls are interested in building a narrative, and every comment is crafted to provoke, rather than sway. Every reply to a troll is simply raw material to cherry pick for the next round of provocation, and to reinforce the desired narrative.

    Acrackedmoon isn’t interested in convincing anyone that Bakker’s work is misogynistic. Acrackedmoon is interested in, as my grandmother would have said, ‘stirring shit’.

  111. Let’s try this again, since the last comment apparently got censored. [Ed. Insert: Oh, for Christ's sake. It did not get "censored". I went to bed. Your comment arrived at 11:30 pm. I woke up. I'm working through the queue. Sorry if that doesn't fit the narrative.]

    01: the references to Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist (what you’re posting) had a number of people, Pat included, completely unaware of who acrackedmoon was or what her blog was about. Most – including Pat – assumed that she was a white male from the US.

    Which made it especially ironic when stating how it was clear this person had no idea what Thailand was compared to Pat’s experiences.

    I suppose it’s possible that acrackedmoon is a white male in the US. Reading most of her posts on RoH I find it exceedingly unlikely.

  112. I’m in the same position as most here, it seems, in regards to not having read Bakker’s book(s), but I wasted a couple hours going down the relevant posts and comments threads, both here, on ACM’s blog and Bakker’s.

    My understanding of the situation goes roughly like this: ACM subscribes to the foaming-at-the-mouth school of militancy/advocacy, and I can’t tell with any certainty in which proportions her style of rhetoric is ‘performance rage’ heavy-metal trollery/lewd publicity, or symptomatic of serious cross-wiring.

    But ‘why’ doesn’t really matter, because she and her most enthusiastic supporters don’t seem like they want to engage in a conversation, and either are content with voicing their outrage as loudly as possible, or are trying to win a shouting contest, on either which (or both) accounts they are fairly successful at.

    Reasons why Bakker is failing epicly at this specific intarwebs contest are many, but a notable few elements are his being all over the place (coming back to that in a minute), and failing to acknowledge the fact you can’t win unless you play for keeps.
    By being all over the place, I mean failing to make up his mind on the playbook page, and sticking to it. You can’t try and embody the voice of reason and yet resort to easily-debunkable petty moves and justifications in the same breath. You undermine your ‘grownup’ stance, but just denied yourself the right to fight dirty, so you’re left very exposed and without valid claim to the status of victim.

    On both sides, there’s more than a whiff of post-facto rationalization that doesn’t make anyone look good, but at least ACM’s position is bulletproof:

    [Paraphrasing]
    “I’m allowed to behave like an asshole with anyone based on my assumptions about who they are, and they can’t call me on it because they can’t know where I’m coming from, which vindicates anything I yell, anyhow.”

    That’s a beautiful invocation of Poe’s Law, and you’d be tempted to enter it as an insanity plea, if she hadn’t already called the whole court out of order.

    As for why Peter decided to jump into this particular pit of vipers, I can’t think of any explanation but what I read as his very strong dislike of emotional manipulation, guilt-tripping and affective bullying, all prompting him to come out and back up somebody he reads as a decent human being subjected to character assassination, and he’s quite astonishingly managing to mostly stay on course in his defense.
    (Apologies in advance to Peter if I’m mistakenly ascribing motives to him that really I’m projecting: I feel like there is a pattern of strong reaction to perceived unfairness and manipulation in many of your posts, but then again it’s hitting too close to home for me to be a good referee in such matters.)

    At the end of the day, I’m left wondering why and whether it makes any sense to join in the slugfest: whatever the reasoning (if any) that really supports ACM’s stance, it’s all good for her since she seems to measure her performance by SPL, but whoever else enters this particular arena under the assumption it’s a debate or conversation is deluded: you can’t reason away this level of (pretend) crazy.

    I’m also left wondering what ‘performance rage’ is supposed to achieve as the swiss-army-knife of identity politics, but I’ve moved it elsewhere, since it’s both tl;dr and slightly off-topic.

  113. 01, that’s kind disingenuous. All we have is one dude (who did actually make some racist and offensive fuckups) saying ‘he’ a lot, there. Let’s assume for reasons of basic decency that she is who she says she is.

    I don’t really think I need to weigh in on her argument, either. It stands on its own merits, and sometimes lack thereof, and nothing my faggy white-boy ass throws in about it will benefit anybody (except to say, love that ‘Me’ ‘phobe you’ve got trailing you – classy company you keep).

    What I would like to know is – how do you react to unambiguous genre-author fuckery? I mean, there’s clearly a fucking ton of wiggle room in this one, so let’s pick some targets nobody sane and bathed would argue aren’t shitbags:

    - Piers Anthony (misogyny, rape apologism both child and adult)
    - Jerry Pournelle (racism, misogyny, various forms of right-wing political crankery)
    - Tom Kratman (seriously, I gotta tell you? Google, I’m not even going to try.)

    Now, I’m not asking you for some kind of asshole common-ground thing where we both agree to hate the same easy targets – I want to know if you go up to eleven. If a midlister whose scumbag credentials are debatable deserves to be called a roach, what do those guys get? I’ve got no problem with any of the things you stand for, but I think your outrage scale is poorly calibrated.

  114. Thanks for giving that blogger a taste of well-deserved backfire. She seems to miraculously hit some notes with some people who seem to be able to see sense in any of her “reasons”.

  115. @Hljóðlegur:

    As a further data point (because I’ve also read most of Bakker’s books):

    Do you think they are well-written?

    I think they are very well written. The main characters are (in my experience) all completely unique in fantasy literature, the world is well-built and the prose (while rambly in places) is good. In my mind, “The Darkness That Comes Before” is a sort of modernised, more accessible and fucked-up version of Delany’s Dhalgren.

    Your impression – do you think they portray women badly, either intentionally or accidentally whilst trying to make a point about misogyny?

    They do. Despite the the impression one might get from the recent kerfuffle, IMO that’s not the point of the main serious criticism Bakker receives. Scott readily acknowledges that the world he has created is wildly misogynistic, women are “objectively” worth less than men. It’s the world of the Old Testament made fact. And naturally, in such a setting, his female characters will come across as inferior. What he’s trying to do (I think), is show this fictional situation in as harsh a light as possible, to make his point. The criticism is that, by doing so, he unintentionally makes the case for real-life misogyny. He responds to this criticism in many places on the web (though, unfortunately for him, not always in an easily accessible way).

    I’m still not sure whether this criticism is justified. I’ve read the available Second Apocalypse novels twice now. After the first time, I bought TDTCB for a good friend and told him “You have to read this, but be warned, the depiction of women is pretty unpalatable”. After the second reading, I’m willing to wait until the series has ended before I pass judgment.

    Just my two cents.

  116. You know what ?
    The cracked entity taught me a valuable lesson. When caught saying something inadvisable and mean (for example, something along the lines of suggesting that it would be very nice if a third party ended up raped with an operational pneumatic construction tool) by a vocal group of opponents (for instance, a group of peers ideologically opposed to rape, let alone rape mediated via heavy construction tools), one can simply declare that one was intentionally using his theatrical-rage persona to carry out a complex rhetoric act which my opponents can not comprehend due to operating outside the context of a subtle and versatile subculture I happen to be part of.

    That being done, one proceeds to imply rhetorical victory.

    This move is genius. I will use it everywhere. Everywhere! E!V!E!R!Y!W!H!E!R!E!

  117. Alerted to this post by 01, I can’t help but wonder whether Acrackedmoon will soon claim (either publicly or via private exchange with Peter) that she’s a rape survivor and that ugly blog posts and internet trolling are her ways of coping with trauma.

    I find that likely. Very. Likely.

  118. 01, have you read that post you linked to as ‘minor evidence’ of ACM’s deceit? Because I have, and I’m not seeing the ‘evidence’ part.

  119. After reading the comments and posts on Requires Only That You Hate I started getting angry particularly at her censuring of comments when it hit me , she is right . she told us at the beginning ( Requires Only That You Hate ) so its not a place for discussion or debate of points of view or ideas different from theirs.they don’t want to argue and frankly its pointless so for the love of god stop arguing with them and don’t mention or link her blog ever.

  120. And the kind of shit that Pat of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist (White, Male, Canadian, with a large readership & whose travel posts are riddled with first world privilege, some pretty icky racism, and rampant sexism)/R Scott Bakker (White, Male, Canadian, with a large & very aggressive fan base who really can’t show themselves in any worse light that they have already in over 300+ posts on Bakker’s site) and now here, some author, Peter Watts – who I know nothing about, haven’t read any of his books, but appears to be, gasp, Male, White, Canadian, and a personal friend of said author – is throwing around really should not go unchallenged.

    It hasn’t on Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist, save for the fact that Pat has moderated out of existence comments not sympathetic to his position in this bun fight, and it hasn’t on Bakker’s blog either, with R Scott Bakker determined to talk the corner round before he’ll admit the first crack in his rather flawed logic of fighting for feminism with shovels of misogyny and a lot of rape-y orcs. And doing it BETTER, mind you, than feminism actually can, he claims, because feminism like “leftism” has lost and I guess left the building without answering his Criteria Question.

    So I think I’ll take your argument, which doesn’t amount to more here than “I know this bloke, he’s no bastard in RL* and this lesbian Thai blogger whom I don’t know, is likely an absolute monster who wants to eat your babies,” with a grain of salt the size of a planet killing asteroid.

    *Just like we should *all* take Bakker’s defense that his wife and other female friends he knows don’t think he’s a misogynist is somehow compelling proof that he has not written in a lot of problematic misogyny into his work with similar caution. This, like your argument, is a rather rubbish place to start with defending your position.

  121. Another fun internet flame war! Free entertainment for all!

    All I can say about “acrackedmoon” / “requireshate” is that she needs to grow up. She comes off as an immature individual whose mouth is much larger than her brain…frankly, I would have a hard time believing that she is not still in High School.

    We can leave it at that, and ignore her, and give her the obscurity she deserves — being ignored is to loudmouthed arrested adolescents like “acrackedmoon” like garlic and silver bullets are to a vampire.

  122. A Dracula type vampire, that is, not a “Jukko Satasti” type vampire…who probably loves to consume the flesh of people who eat a lot of garlic!

  123. “Superficial googling further indicates minor evidence that alleged Thai alleged woman might be neither Thai nor woman.”

    Heh. I don’t know about that, but it certainly indicates that the post in question about Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist was lazy, lazy, lazy.

  124. Putting aside for one moment the many, many problems with R.Scott Baker’s “works” and your defence of it, has it never occurred to you that engaging in these arguments with such vehemence makes you – all of you! look hideously unprofessional? Particularly when coming from someone who is supposed to be an author?

    When you write for an audience, you must do so with the expectation that some people may not enjoy your work. When you write about controversial and/or upsetting topics you must do so with the understanding that some people, possibly a lot of people, will be upset or angered by it. They may even, shockingly, choose to express their anger or upset directly to you, or indirectly over the internet. However, you, as a “professional” author, are not required to defend your work. You are not required to engage with your readers. You are not required, in fact, to do anything whatsoever about the situation. That you chose to do so would be a positive, had you not responded by dismissing any and all concerns raised against you as the irrelevant rantings of angry feminists. You seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that being angry invalidates someone’s argument – it does not.

    You are making yourself, your fans, your friends and your supporters look like a bunch of racist, sexist dolts who believe their own opinions to be more valid and important than any others. If you can’t understand that your words and opinions are hurtful and unpleasant then at least understand that you are also hurting your career. I doubt you would find any truly successful authors who are willing to waste so much of their precious time solely for the purpose of making themselves look the fool.

    [Ed. Appendum: Read the post. It's not about my work.]

  125. @ Sean Wills

    Dear alleged Sir,

    Please be so kind as to pay attention to the word “minor”, which is provided for your comfort and indicates a kind of evidence along the lines of one claiming that “he didn’t do it” without provocation upon sudden encounter.

    In the thread provided, the question as to the alleged femininity and alleged ethnic origin of the cracked entity has been brought up, and to the best of my humble observational ability, the most coherent response was “Last I checked she lives in Thailand”, from a similarly nondescript internet denizen (no offense, Mr. Saajan Patel, but you have to understand that to the people reading your comments, you are a nondescript genderless entity at most generous. Much like myself. That’s the nature of our communication channel.)

    Given that cracked entity justifies a significant portion of her extravagant outpourings through allegations of her gender and origin, such adamant avoidance of providing any credible proof that said allegations are indeed the case and opaque, one-line deflections of her equally anonymous peers are themselves ground for suspicion.

    Good day to you, alleged Sir.

  126. @ In other news, I hate you all

    “You are making yourself, your fans, your friends and your supporters look like a bunch of racist, sexist dolts who believe their own opinions to be more valid and important than any others. If you can’t understand that your words and opinions are hurtful and unpleasant then at least understand that you are also hurting your career. I doubt you would find any truly successful authors who are willing to waste so much of their precious time solely for the purpose of making themselves look the fool.”

    Dear unidentified entity,

    would you at least kindly clarify the precise criteria for determining a “truly” successful author ?

  127. @Hljóðlegur

    Bakker’s trilogy is an epic. A bit unfocused in my opinion, but a very decent read. Being a sweeping faux-historical kind of tale, there are lots of characters, covering a lot of angles. Bakker was channeling artistically; there is no preachiness, no hidden “philosophical” underpinnings. There are lots of female characters and they do lots of things and many things happen to them. The same is true for the male characters and even the inhuman characters of no discernable gender. I did not see a weird gender fixation like in the Gor boooks.

    The one obvious angle on the book is that it’s a kind of weird transposition of the story of the 1st crusade to a fantasy setting. That’s where the meat is, if you want to go at the books critically. By contrast, the attacks on Bakker referred to in this thread are surreal ravings. I feel nothing but dismay at this kind of BS and nothing but sympathy for Bakker. All the more so since the trilogy is definitely worth a look, and even a second read. It’s big, and a bit uneven, but also highly original and very very entertaining.

  128. Sorry, Peter. I did not see either post when I made the second one until I posted the second time. It looked like it had disappeared into the ether; prior to this it had shown a nice ‘comment awaiting moderation’.

    My bad. I’ll be more patient next time.

  129. “(no offense, Mr. Saajan Patel, but you have to understand that to the people reading your comments, you are a nondescript genderless entity at most generous. Much like myself. That’s the nature of our communication channel.)”

    Actually, I take it as a compliment. ;-)

    I’m also going to second the books being worth the read. There are problems, but on the whole the books have ideas that are compelling, some refurbished and some of which I’m going to dare and say are original.

    If you don’t care overly much you can start with The Judging Eye, as in some ways it is more standard fare and more accessible though I’ve been impressed by the ability Bakker has to improve his prose.

    -Sciborg aka Saajan the genderless. ;-)

  130. “Bakker was channeling artistically; there [are]…no hidden “philosophical” underpinnings.”

    I appreciate that you like his books, but this statement could not be more wrong. I’m not even sure how you could read them without the philosophical underpinnings jumping out at you.

    “you can start with The Judging Eye, as in some ways it is more standard fare”

    Hmm, that’s disappointing. I really liked Prince of Nothing, not least of which because it didn’t seem like “standard fare”.

  131. Don’t get me wrong – I mean it feels more like epic fantasy. A clear supernatural threat that will be warred against.

    But the important thing to realize about TJE is that it is, if anything, an introduction to the next book WLW.

    If nothing else, the uphill movement on the prose style – before the end of his career Bakker will be writing “literature”. Trust me.

    I don’t think anyone would predict some of the stuff that happens there, and why people are chomping at the bit for Unholy Consult.

  132. I’m perplexed by the sheer volume of seething vitriol and infantile name-calling she(?) summons up for it, even more so by the complete lack of content attributable to her not even bothering to read the book she was reviewing.

    I love it when somebody opens an argument like that. It means that, no matter how hard I might try, the level of discourse can only improve.

  133. I miss when this blog was fun.

    Hey, do you have any pictures of when the inner workings of your leg was opened up and exposed to the air that you’ve neglected to share so far?

  134. @acrackedmoon (and those who think like her)

    Allow an old man to share his wisdom.

    You are dross. You are less than that, even. You are not even wrong.

    Your kind will not see the end of this century.

    I spent six years as an intelligence officer breaking down people whose shoes I would not allow you to shine.

    Just before the war ended, I found it advantageous to become an American. I killed a man who looked a bit like me and assumed his identity.

    I spent years searching for a mate. I finally found her, on the third try. A woman, who, after I raped her on our third date and cut her face with my dagger kissed me passionately, cut me in return and then licked off the blood.

    In the wilderness of Montana, where we lived far from the degenerate and hopeless civilization, she bore me five able sons and three daughters. Each of my sons have killed more people than you’ve slept with, and each brought back a woman like their mother.

    Together, we have crafted a new society here. A society of perfect survivors, free from lies, sin and self-deception.

    A society free from guilt, a society where ends justify the means and nothing is sacred.

    Pain purifies people, and we know how to take it and give it.

    Regards

    Major Thomas Naue (USMC retired, Standartenführer, Waffen-SS)

    P.S.
    Of course, we masquerade as just another bunch of semiliterate biblical gun-toting yokels. It has it’s advantages, and we find it very humorous.

    To those wondering, the Lovers are flawed versions of me and my wife. I corresponded with China, though he would not admit that even under torture.

  135. Hey Cracked Moon –

    Another thing I have to say to “acrackedmoon” — by your attacks, you have probably vastly increased the sales of Bakker’s books. So far from stopping his “misogynism,” you have contributed to his success.

    In fact, if I was him, I would be thanking you for the free publicity.

    Haven’t heard of such a counterproductive strategy since the US embargo on Cuba…are you a sock puppet hired to covertly promote sales of his works…no, that would be just to contrived…

  136. People who hate are making themselves blind.
    Hate is useless.
    Knowledge is power.

    A cracked moon and her ilk, are, in the grand scheme of things, less than chaff in the wind…

    When the shit hits the fan in the US, she’ll be helpless, trapped in a city with million feckless lemmings just like her.

    Life will be her for hell, but then, hell can remake people. Make them better.
    Of course, many will die, but death is nothing to be afraid of.

  137. @ Thomas Naue

    That was a mighty countertroll, sir.

  138. And there we have it. The above is what happens when anonymous dickwads (see John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Dickwad Theory) spew their shit online. Sooner or later the odour draws the truly spectacular critters out of the woodwork.

    When it comes to internet discussion I’ve got a real easy way to break it down, and my being a fan of Peter’s work need not come into it. Peter is a real, live person with a real, live reputation and a real, live career, all of which he puts at stake when he presents an opinion. acm is presenting many more, and much stronger, opinions but risks nothing. If ever she’s discredited she can simply form a new persona. It’s easy to drench us all with your bile, it’s harder to back it up with conviction. Besides, Peter’s bile is much more interesting.

    Oh, and forgive my derailing but I just can’t help myself:

    “To those wondering, the Lovers are flawed versions of me and my wife. I corresponded with China, though he would not admit that even under torture.”

    He wouldn’t admit it because, Major Standartenführer Agent Naue, you’re [i]full of shit[/i]. But very amusing. Perhaps you too should try reading the book you’re referencing, so as to not completely miss the point?

  139. Heh.

    Six years of interrogating and trying to outsmart brave men teaches you many things about human nature. I greatly enjoyed the work, and considered it a failure if I had to use actual physical torture on those.

    Mind games are so much fun.

    Cowards I tortured. And told them why. I can only hope those that survived the camps have learned a lesson there. Cowardice does not pay off.

  140. This thread just got really weird.

    @Bunny

    I do not think it is a good idea to trashtalk a ninety year old man who has been in a leadership role for probably sixty years of his life.

  141. @Mr. S

    in light of your comment, allow me to change
    “philosophical underpinnings” to “ideological underpinnings”

    To my eye, the trilogy does not impose an obvious set assumptions about what is right and what is wrong. For example, military themes are heavily emphasized, but I din’t get the sense that Bakker’s worldview is militaristic, or that his intent was to glorify the “way of the warrior”.

    There was a general sentiment that survival of humanity in the face of alien onslaught is a good thing, but there is a price to pay for this survival, and that price is Kellhus, a creature of human stock, but no longer quite human. Should “adapt or die” be considered an ideology?

    Certainly, the book is not a simple action–thriller; it’s an intelligent read. But I couldn’t identify any “didactic” principle. Ultimately, the book praised nothing and condemned nothing. Questions where asked, no doubt. But I saw no “conclusions”.

  142. @TheEchoInside

    “And I ask these questions, genuinely curious as to what the answers are”

    I don’t know how to answer them, sorry. I’m a screenwriter and actor, not a real artist :D But in my opinion everyone takes its chances and hopes for the best. I think everything comes from the life surrounding the creator, characters, situations, ideas, feelings, etc. Hopefully what you write transcends the material you used and becomes illuminating.

    “And on your last point, I’m concerned about fair/equal treatment in regards to “benefit of the doubt”.”

    To paraphrase Vonnegut: don’t be. It was more of a retort to mr. Watts suspecting I have some disorder. I am sure mr. Watts doesn’t care about my opinion in regards to who should benefit from his doubts.

    As for requireshate giving the benefit of the doubt to anyone, it’s not part of her modus operandi. If I comment on her blog, like I did here, and she doesn’t approve of my comment, like mr. Watts didn’t approve here, I would not get any sort of benefit of doubt. I’d be ridiculed, belittled, deleted, edited, laughed at, twittered, made into a huge poster with testes instead of eyes, and eaten slowly by one single ant.
    That is what she does, because the perspective from which she interrogates stuff requires it. And she is consistent. You are worried about fair/equal treatment, but her point is that you can’t have it because she speaks for those who had no share of equal or fair treatment for too long: women, LGBT people, abused people, non-whites. These people were and still are tormented all over the world, and they want to have the opportunity to be vocal and to shout and to point the finger at those who, even unintentionally, keep propagating hurtful attitudes.
    You don’t have to agree with her, because she doesn’t write for you. You can accept she has these opinions, and that she is entitled to have them, or you can deny her this right. But don’t ask for fair from people to whom life and society were not fair.

  143. 3rd Google result for “R. Scott Bakker” is that slander post of ACM. Does he realize what she is doing to him? I would slap her with a libel case.

  144. Cool – thanks, Mr. S, Adrianne, and rm3154! Thanks for your data points and discussion on this – I feel as if I have a better grasp of what were really talking about, by going back to the source of all this. Guess I oughta read at least one?

  145. Wenn Herr Naue waren, wie er behauptet, er würde dies beantworten und meine Grammatik korrigieren. In seiner Muttersprache.

  146. When in early 1951 I decided to found Neue Sparta in this blessed remote Montana valley, I did not have a firm plan.

    Of course, I wanted to breed a superior kind of human here. To achieve that, I sought out and lured the finest female specimens of each race here.
    The whole 650 strong population of Neue Sparta is descended from me and five other survivors of the Das Reich division.
    That was the easy and very enjoyable part. I am still quite attractive to women. I’ve maintained a vigorous exercise regime, and although I’m 94 years old, I could pass for a very fit sixty five.

    @Hljóðlegur
    Can you understand French? I was born in Alsace. German is my second language..

    Only now I’ve figured out the downside of breeding humans for intelligence, competitiveness and physical ability.
    The downside is disgusting, oily lesbian sex.

    Our society is polygamous. Roughly one male for three females, and the ratio has only increased with time. Mark III Spartans are 80% female.
    Our males are multi-ethnic, generally either 1%’ers or gov’t officials. Google, Raytheon, DoD, Norad, Goldman Sachs… we have our men in places like these.
    They are there to earn lots of money and provide intelligence. They never try to influence gov’t and business decisions. Too risky. They only spend about a month of each year back here.

    So, this whole underground town of ours is ran by women. Since women are by nature more content to stay in one place, I had no need to restrict my designs on them to what is common in the outside world.
    All New Spartans are tall. Average height of our males is 185 cms.

    Average height of our women is 195cms, and the average height of the youngest generation is 221 cms. Their average weight is 145 kgs.
    These figures may look a little odd to outsiders. They are frankly unnatural. I know that Neue Sparta could easily defend itself even if our women were scrawny five footers.
    These rugged valleys where we have dug so many bunkers, automated mortar emplacements, anti-aircraft turrets and ammo stores, factories and tunnels are difficult terrain for any military to conquer.

    However, my perfectionist nature got the better of me. In the early 1970′s, I started researching the possibility of hormone treatments to delay puberty in girls and increase body size, muscle mass and bone density.
    I drafted the specifications for Mark III Spartan in 1978. Body height 220 cms, weight 145 kgs, IQ 125. I thought, stronger women, although they eat more, will make better fighters and more able workers.

    That’s true. The newest version of the armor our womenfolk can don in the unlikely event Neue Sparta comes under attack weighs 140 kgs. It is a partially-self supporting exoskeleton, made up of 12 mm armor steel on the most exposed parts, dragonskin scales where steel could not be fitted.

    There is a thermal under-armor. Provides active cooling by coolant circulation powered by multiply redundant pumps, that are itself powered by methanol fuel cells. In case of a hit to the cell, the whole system can be ejected by explosive bolts.
    The whole armor is NBC proof, virtually invulnerable to small arms fire. Visor is armored glass, that can be protected from damage by titanium shutters.
    There is the sarin-based suicide unit, the frag grenade last-ditch defense. There is also a spring-loaded 1m long bayonet for hand to hand combat hidden in each
    Helmet has third gen night vision, very good gas mask, a backup air supply for 20 minutes, a laser designator for calling in mortars, radio and a powerful speaker. Nothing puts normals in their place like a 130 decibel snarl.

    The downsides of this armor suit is poor mobility. It is hard work moving around in it. Our women can only run at roughly 8 kph in it, and top sprint speed is just 15 kph. Pathetic. We are eagerly awaiting advances in fuel cells and hydraulic systems to create a powered armor that would be more comfortable and more mobile than our current Mk.I armor.

    It is very easy to get bogged down in swampy terrain in the armor, and it is quite uncomfortable to cover long distances in it. Not to mention that makes our women very, very hungry. Complicates logistics.
    Even though there has never been a need, our women could easily cover large distances on their motorcycles. The bikes are very heavy, roughly 1300 kgs. The wheels are 6 inches wide, kevlar/spring steel honeycomb, rubber surface.
    Power is provided by a multi-fuel 350 KW engine. The whole motorcycle is proof to .50 BMG AP rounds. Top speed is just 250 kph. Theoretical, we’ve never dared to try that on a highway.

    Above the front wheel there is an automated AA-12 based close defense system. Basically a big, armored, gimballed shotgun turret that can shoot nearby unfriendlies or slow-moving grenades.
    The front wheel is enclosed. The front of the bike is very sturdy, basically triangular. We found out the bike can easily penetrate police roadblocks.

    For logistical support, each bike can tow a trailer. We have many types of trailers. Automated mortar, flamethrower, ammo supply, fuel trailers.. etc.

    The bikes are almost never used, they just sit in their climate controlled storage caves, are regularily checked and religiously maintained, and many people complain that they are a waste. No one is ever going to pick a fight with us. We have a nuclear deterrent (not widely known, but one tactical nuclear warhead went missing in 1975 in Korea. The whole affair was so embarrassing that it has been completely expunged. No paper trail. Nothing.

    Thanks to our contacts at Norinco, we’ve been able to keep the warhead operational, and it is prepared for launch in one of our cruise missiles. Those are mostly designed for platoon level heavy fire support. It is basically a short-range, supersonic, armored, low-radar-profile laser/gps/inertial based on a Tomahawk. Sounds tough to pull off? Not so hard, if you have people at the right places in Raytheon, and cordial relations with the People’s Republic of China. They are the only nation state that recognizes Neue Sparta. Unofficaly of course, and the terms of our treaty prohibit any non-paper information.

    Norinco is really a first rate company. We draw up plans, they send back our toys and even some money for the designs. Lately, their manufacturing quality has improved and is now world class.
    Most of our equipment is built in their factories.

    Anyway, I digress.

    Why was I complaining about the sex? Ah. The idiot who drafted plans for the gym put a wrestling area in one part of it. Since our women are very gung-ho because of their unnaturally high testosterone levels, they love to wrestle covered in oil. Usually, that devolves into a group cunt-eating orgy. And while lifting weights, I definitely do not want to be in close proximity to roughly 1200 kgs of intertwined, naked and glistening female flesh in the throes of ecstasy.

    I know it’s harmless, but it is disgusting! To me at least.

    After all, I was born in another age.

    Still, our womenfolk are the finest heavy infantry this Earth of ours have ever seen!
    If we had just one company of such troops in Stalingrad, Germany would have won the war. But then, I’d have never gotten around to founding Neue Sparta.

    (note to officials. We are not trying to harm anyone. Neue Sparta is not aggressive. We just want to pursue our goals unmolested by busybodies.
    I’m sure the founding fathers would have liked this grand eugenics/social engineering experiment NS is. We are different, and a little odd, but we are quite interesting. Why not celebrate diversity?

    In the unlikely event Ron Paul is elected president, and is able to pass any legislation he wants, we will allow Waffen-NS (our designation for our modest milita) to integrate into the US Army.
    Even though we are quite alien to most of you, we are really harmless. The only living things that suffer because of us are the poor grizzlies. Our women like to punch them out if they come too close to our food-processing facilities.

    Anyway. I’ve got to sign off. My youngest grand daughter wants to go out for a walk. I’ll probably let her carry me, since my knee is still a little dodgy.

  147. “You are worried about fair/equal treatment, but her point is that you can’t have it because she speaks for those who had no share of equal or fair treatment for too long: women, LGBT people, abused people, non-whites. These people were and still are tormented all over the world, and they want to have the opportunity to be vocal and to shout and to point the finger at those who, even unintentionally, keep propagating hurtful attitudes.”

    Who the hell do you think you are? Who the hell do _she_ think she is? What makes you think that she can arrogate herself any kind of representative role? Who the hell gave _you_ the right to decide who someone can or cannot represent? I’m _sure_ all those tormented people feel better now that someone finally can be obnoxious on the Internet in their place.

    Get down off your high horse, ACM is a privileged woman from a privileged background (a Thai Chinese!) who speaks a very good English and is completely steeped in North American culture in a country where only 10% of the population speaks any English at all, who has access to Internet in a country where only a quarter of the population has any kind of connection and apparently has a lot of free time she can spend reading fantasy books and maintaining a constant Internet presence.

    If _she_ can represent someone, I surely can decide that I’m the voice of billions of farmers and factory workers and as such I’m happy to tell her that she’s an obnoxious bourgeois and should start thinking about doing something productive and useful to make up for the history of prevarication and oppression who gave her her role in society.

  148. ***Post deleted at editorial discretion. I’ve tried to avoid playing the censor, but Lanius, this really doesn’t fucking help.***

  149. Thomas Naue – is that you Avneendra?

  150. Fast response to the original post only…

    @Peter Watts, who wrote: [...] If I have offended the human Living-with-Rabies community, I apologize. In truth I didn’t even know such a community existed. [...]

    It’s a small community but as Jeanna Giese could tell you, it does exist. (I don’t think you’ve offended, though.)

    I’m almost stunned that you haven’t taken a hard look at the survivors and what they tell us about rabies. From the first link, Jeanna was alive, but she’d paid a high price. She had to learn to speak again, learn to walk, she was like a baby. Dr Willoughby explained: “Rabies unwires you completely and it appears now that it takes at least two years to fully rewire”. I employed the notion of using a modified rhabdovirus as a means to deliver new genetic instructions to a working nervous system, in a very unread and unsold novel. Rhabdovirus virus is one of the few that crosses the blood-brain barrier, and that’s part of the problem… the virus easily and speedily goes where antibodies can’t reach it in time. There are some who suggest that even those who survive due to PEP might themselves be immune to rabies yet still harbor the virus in tissues where antibodies can’t easily go. The human body reacts very strongly to produce antibodies to rabies… in tissues other than skin and nerves. A bite in the arm is bad and could kill you without PEP, a bite into a major nerve in the arm very likely will, perhaps even with PEP.

    @the Thread: Just because there’s such controversy, I had to order a copy of the book in question. Amazon says “buy now, only 15 left”. ;)

  151. @Radek, who wrote in-part: the whole debate seemed to assume that the contents of a fictional series should be automatically applied to its author. As gospel. [ ... ] Maybe I just don’t know enough about literary criticism, but I think that premise should have stopped the debate in its tracks.

    I guess you haven’t ever before encountered Mary Sue Theory before. More or less, Mary Sue Theory implies that the more unusual the scenario or character, the more it is to be viewed as a wish-fulfillment construct reflecting the intentions, the inner life so to speak, of the author.

    So many people seem to believe this — I think they teach it in most Liberal Arts Colleges in crossover courses combining Psych 100, Literature for Fuckheads 102, and Law Enforcement Methods at the Masters level — that I personally decided to never again write fiction sometime back around 1997. To certain types of reviewers and bloggers, Stephen King intends to release Super Flu and furthermore is the antichrist, and Larry Niven believes himself to be not merely a 400-year-old Chinese-American, but also a paranoid three-legged hyperintelligent vegetarian as well as a quarter-ton of easily-annoyed starfaring war cat. That the technical medical term in both psychiatry and literary-criticism for persons holding such beliefs is “idiot” does nothing to reduce either their numbers or willingness to post vast reams of idiocy, and the best you can hope for from them is also the worst thing to fear from them: that they learn to refine and develop their technique so as to not be so obviously idiots.

    The way to deal with “acrackedmoon” and their ilk is generally to call them a “Mary Sue Theorist” and to point out that there’s actually some genuine term for their disorder which will be listed in the new DSM-V, filed alphabetically under “a.s.s.h.a.t.”.

  152. @Radu Romaniuc

    I have been considering how to respond to your commentary for a number of hours now. I’ve typed and retyped multiple times. I don’t think there is any real possible way to discuss such a rationalization. I’ve seen similar arguments, many time before and the experience has almost always been negative and pointless.

    It is certainly internally consistent, but so is all bigotry. And such justification is merely more of that same old racism/sexism/bigotry practiced all over the globe by all manner of aggressors, just some variables tweaked, as always.

    I certainly don’t accept that any person or group is entitled to the right to willfully harm others of another, or their own either. Or that any of the classes are exempted from consideration, or that any be permitted to be defined as sub-human(as such a rationalisation as presented requires). That’s the thing about basic human rights, their application should be universal.

    Believe I’ll take my leave from this subject after saying that though, too many of my own scars feeling particularly itchy now.

    Be well, all.

  153. wait, I thought there’s like, one person who survived rabies and the process needed to make that happen included experimental induced coma

    Learn new things every day, huh…

  154. @ Thomas Naue
    While I must second 01′s comment
    “@ Thomas Naue
    That was a mighty countertroll, sir. ”
    and call “Bravo” while LOL, I must say that your second post at length “Thomas Naue, on February 18th, 2012 at 5:27 pm Said:
    When in early 1951 I decided to found Neue Sparta in this blessed remote Montana valley, I did not have a firm plan.”
    has strayed into shear “Pulp” Fiction and is IMO massively OTT not to mention scientifically implausible in many details, it still gets a chuckle or two.

    @the Thread:
    My impression of of the original post is that peter was hoping to spark some honest discussion on the nature of sexism/misogyny and why so many people have these mems/behavior patterns stuck in their heads.
    But instead we have a typical troll/countertroll flame discussion going on, Its a shame that it is so hard to have a reasonable discussion about sex and society and the damage that we inflict on one another.

  155. So the voice of farmers is called Giorgio? That’s cool. But I don’t understand your point. You say the author has Internet access and speaks English therefore she can’t speak from the perspective of a woman, LGBT, abused and non-white person?

    So someone who doesn’t know English, doesn’t have Internet access (and also no time to read sf books) should write her blog in English, about genre books, on the Internet?

    Well, fine. You convinced me. But then you can’t be the Voice of Farmers anymore because you first need to become mute. Sorry. Get off your high plow.

  156. @Radu

    I’m happy to tell you that you _got_ the point: the point it that it _doesn’t_ making any sense. Nobody can decide that he/she is “the voice of the voiceless” and expect that this gives him/her the right to abuse others. Especially someone who is much more close to a “white nerdy-boy” than to whoever he/she pretends to represent.

    Then I’ll take a page from her book: I don’t know you and I haven’t even read your blog, but I’ve seen the last tweet on your feed and I think that this is enough to say with absolute certainty that you’re a asshole with a self-inflated ego who’s convinced a lot more people should care for his ideas and is pleadingly sucking up to “powerful” in-group figures looking for a public nod of approval.

    Don’t ask me why you should care what I think, you shouldn’t at all. I’m nobody and I speak for no one.

  157. 01,

    Dear alleged Sir,

    Yes, you’re terribly clever.

    What your’e saying, if I’m parsing you correctly, is that ACM has to justify her claims of being both Thai and a woman; that, at the very least, they can be held suspect so long as no corroborating evidence is forthcoming even though nobody has said anything to cast doubt on what she’s said about herself. Her word isn’t enough; she needs to prove it.

    You…don’t see the problem with this, do you?

    No, I’m guessing you don’t.

  158. You should at least speak for yourself, Giorgio.

    The blog in question discusses genre works from a certain perspective. I wasn’t careful when I wrote it assumed the position of a speech representative. Obviously I don’t know what the author of that blog thinks, assumes, etc. I only read the blog.

    As I wrote previously, what the requiresonlyhate blog does isn’t about fairness or righteousness. It’s a pretty aggressive and vocal opinion. I don’t see it as abusive because it discusses topics that are communal and not private. I also don’t see it as right, or wrong, or fair.

    I can’t say what upset you about the last tweet in my timeline. Was it offensive because it generalizes something about the Romanian people, or because I put my own guilt of doing something unadvisable on the account of a “trait of my people?” I am interested in talking about that (really, because actually I often think of myself in some of the terms you used), but if you don’t engage I can’t understand what I did wrong. I am sure your comment is not gratuitous, but since you don’t offer a frame of reference, I can’t understand you at all. As a difference, requiresonlyhate is full of articles and comments that express consistently its author’s stance. I can understand its arguments, regardless of my agreement or disagreement.

    But you shouldn’t have given up the Voice of Farmers gig so quickly. It’s cool to imagine a billion farmers with pitchforks and shotguns yelling at me because of that tweet about my gossiping :D

  159. Dear alleged Sir,

    when the argument does not hinge, in any way, on whether the speaker is a man, a woman, or a murder of genetically engineered ravens pecking on a Macbook’s keyboard, then of course, this line of inquiry would be superfluous. However, the cracked entity and associated speakers deem necessary to construct arguments that, one way or another, rely on allegations of her Thai origins and allegations of her gender.
    Under those conditions, inquiring as to whether she indeed is a Thai woman is perfectly justified, and the opaque deflections the other side of the argument are quite suspicious.

    That just comes with the medium, kind alleged Sir.

    Welcome to the Internet.

  160. @Hljóðlegur

    Guess I oughta read at least one?

    Indeed. If you have any tolerance at all for fantasy as a genre, I’m sure it’ll be an interesting read (even if you don’t end up liking it). Contrary to Saajan Patel above, I’d recommend you start with “The Darkness That Comes Before” (first in the first trilogy), because it is the more unconventional book. I’ve rarely been as excited about reading a new book as I was after the first fifty pages of that. “The Judging Eye”(first in the second trilogy) and subsequent books feel a bit more as if was Bakker toning it down and even (inadvertently?) adjusting to criticism.

  161. @Da’Schmeef, who wrote in-part: My impression of of the original post is that peter was hoping to spark some honest discussion on the nature of sexism/misogyny and why so many people have these mems/behavior patterns stuck in their heads.
    But instead we have a typical troll/countertroll flame discussion going on, Its a shame that it is so hard to have a reasonable discussion about sex and society and the damage that we inflict on one another.

    Well, sexism/misogyny/”misandrony” is one of those things that’s almost impossible to discuss reasonably. The issue seems to be one of those “all or nothing” emotionally laden issues. Some might think that a person is either blissfully unaware of such a concept, or one must rise to seek and destroy all such sexism etc., else be seen as being an active part of The Oppressive Patriarchy, etc.

    One could take the position that the best way to not perpetuate something is to simply fail to feed into it. Yet that is another hazard. For example, in the 1960s in the US, there were those who remembered “Rosie the Riveter” and knew that she won WWII as much as anyone else did… but some took a “moral position” that it was unfair to have women working such jobs because there were men who were out of work and they should be hired first, and there were those who took a position that it was unfair to have women doing such jobs because a woman ought to be doing a job (home-making etc.) at which she would be better than any man could be. (Both are somewhat sexist but I submit that the latter position is the more sexist while the former position is more about protectionism.) Yet even without actually considering either position or articulating such positions, society itself had such notions deeply embedded in it.

    Having grown up in that time-frame and having a mother who was extremely capable and determined to break the glass ceiling, and having a father who came from a US frontier tradition and a family that seems for generations to have produced mostly females (they can plow fields and harvest crops, too), I didn’t see a whole lot of that embedded sexism that society had in those times. I did see more than a bit of reverse sexism, so to speak, and while I see far less of the Old Boys style of sexism embedded in society, the subculture of Fight The Power seems to be no less vocal and determined. Yet in some cases, there is an attitude of someone walking around with a chip on their shoulder, looking for a fight in the public library or some other such quiet place where a fight was the last thing anyone expected or would want.

    But enough of preface: there’s a certain crew who seem anxious to bowdlerize literature as well as perhaps doing a bit of revisionism or perhaps suppression of bits of either or both of human nature and history. It has only been quite recently, and in fact still in evolution, that males and females are in positions of anything like equality. One faction seems to have the notion that so long as anyone remembers injustice, inevitably injustice will occur, either from a harking back to the way things used to be, or from seeking vengeance for former inequities. There might be some truth to that, but I doubt that it should become policy to pave over the past to the point where one can’t even satirize it. How much less should anyone quail from pointing out that institutionalized inequity is alive and well in many (if not most) nations and cultures. Yet it might be suggested that however you might feel about religion, a certain legendary figure once suggested (paraphrased) “physician, first heal yourself before you practice on others” and “how is it that with a plank in your eye, you hope to see and remove a mote from my eye”.

    My point being, I guess, that while certain people might believe that we just dare not have anyone creating fictional worlds in which the worst excesses of our own are revisited, I’d suggest that our energies would be better applied to the task of ridding our own real world of those excesses as a priority.

  162. @E. M. Edwards:

    And the kind of shit that Pat of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist (White, Male, Canadian … R Scott Bakker (White, Male, Canadian, with a large & very aggressive fan base … and now here, some author, Peter Watts — who I know nothing about, haven’t read any of his books, but appears to be, gasp, Male, White, Canadian, and a personal friend of said author — is throwing around really should not go unchallenged…

    So I think I’ll take your argument, which doesn’t amount to more here than “I know this bloke, he’s no bastard in RL and this lesbian Thai blogger whom I don’t know, is likely an absolute monster who wants to eat your babies,” with a grain of salt the size of a planet killing asteroid.

    Yeah. Because the fact that Caitlin and I (oh, wait, that’s right — you folks keep forgetting that Caitlin weighed in on this first, for some reason) both actually know the man in question is completely irrelevant to any defense of his character. Someone who’s never met Bakker — someone who, it turns out, lives on the other side of the world — is more qualified to assess Scott’s character by simple virtue of not being “white” or “Canadian”. Or “male” (ah, but there’s Caitlin again, fucking with the narrative; better just ignore her). The only valid character witnesses are those who’ve never met the defendant.

    Also, I didn’t know acm was either Thai or lesbian. All I could infer from her blog, at the time I wrote the post, was that she was full of hate. All I’ve inferred since is that she’s an asshole given to lies and personal attacks.

    @Radu Romaniuc:


    But don’t ask for fair from people to whom life and society were not fair.

    I do. I ask for fairness from everyone. If I got mugged in Bucharest, I’d hope you wouldn’t defend my actions if I went around spitting on every Romanian I encountered because “Romania hasn’t been fair to me”. I am hugely aware of the privilege I enjoy, by simple virtue of living in the developed world. My standard of living has always been pretty substandard by local metrics, but I’ve always been well aware that I was living in the lap of luxury by global standards. I’ve experienced some forms of “unfairness” directly (being shit-kicked, maced, and jailed by the pseudocops of the US border patrol was no walk in the park); others I know I’m unlikely to ever “get” on a gut level, although I can certainly recognize them on an intellectual one.

    But this isn’t about demographics: this is about one-on-one. I knew nothing about acm when this whole thing started, beyond the fact that she’d shat upon someone that I knew from direct experience was undeserving of that treatment. I’ve since gathered the impression (I don’t know how accurately) that she is, if anything, more “privileged” than I, at least in terms of standard-of-living (I spent my whole adult life in a series of one-bedroom apartments until about a year ago; maybe some day I’ll write a post about the Great Bed Bug Wars of 2008-10). I find it rich that she can so easily discount the views of those who actually know the person she’s attacking, on the grounds of “white male privilege” (which is, I suppose, more respect than she accorded Caitlin’s views, which she simply ignored). I find it rich that you can excuse this behavior on the grounds that “life hasn’t been fair” to her.

    A wild animal, caught in a leg-hold trap, can be forgiven for lashing out at anything that comes close; even for developing a general hatred of all things two-legged. I expect more from any sapient being. I expect some level of nuance, some ability to see that there is variation within every group, that the mean is not the population. It’s probably dumb of me — evidence to date isn’t especially supportive — but I do expect fairness. This whole shitstorm blew up because Caitlin and I spoke out when we saw unfairness.

    As you say, though, acm isn’t interested in any of that shit. She just wants to go to war, to lash out. That whole rabid animal metaphor was not chosen lightly. And while, when this whole thing started, I didn’t know anything about her beyond the fact that she’d made an unwarranted personal attack on someone I knew, I’ve learned more since.

    Then, I tried to engage. Now, I’d barely make the effort to scrape her off the bottom of my boot.

  163. @Lanius: “***original post deleted at editorial discretion***”

    Do the world a favor, crawl back under a rock, you despicable excuse for a human being. And don’t address me again, I don’t want anything to do with someone who can write that sort of things.

  164. @Peter Watts, who wrote in-part: maybe some day I’ll write a post about the Great Bed Bug Wars of 2008-10

    Sorry to derail again, but at the moment I seem to be going through about the same thing, and would dearly love to know how the hell you got rid of the evil bastards.

    @Giorgio re: Lanius

    Lanius deeply reminds me of a one-time denizen of UseNet alt.gothic, where discussions on the matter of gender identity, sexism, etc etc all were either endless or recurrent (or both) and the trolls were mighty and much war was waged. That particular individual who cannot be named had some sort of disorder, we decided, something akin to that sort of Tourette Syndrome that causes people to not merely curse, but to utter the worst possible curse at the worst possible time to the worst possible people.

    Then again, that person always managed to come off as if they actually meant to say such things, and could expound for days in defense of whatever it was they said, however totally in the wrong, probably mostly because they’d written it and didn’t have the backbone to admit “I stand corrected”.

    @the Thread: some folks really are just easily riled, and if nothing has yet riled them on any given day, they go looking for something to rile them. One fine day a few months ago, one such person found and got riled over the writings of one of the Wattses’ friends. And now they know that this makes the Wattses mad.

  165. @Giorgio
    It was just my idea of a joke…;-)

  166. Okay, this has gone far enough. New policy.

    Comments which make legitimate points will be allowed, even if they piss people off. Comments which (in my sole judgment) are designed primarily to piss people off — jokes about rape, or race, the usual incendiary stuff — will be disallowed. Any such posts which are already up will remain, in evidence as to why I have to do this (except for that last post by Lanius, which kinda yanked the scales from my eyes).

    I have tried to keep a free hand here. When people have crossed the line I have asked them nicely to step back. I haven’t had to pull this kind of heavy-handed shit since Squidgate, and then only because that particular event lured in mouth-breathers and knuckle-draggers that would normally never have found this place.

    So, one more time: if you’re going to be offensive, make sure it’s for some reason other than to give offense.

    I should probably write up a blog-etiquette FAQ. Assuming I can find the time.

  167. Awwww, 03 won’t be able to deploy her “rape tripmine” trolling shtick here :’(

  168. @Da’Schmeef:

    “My impression of of the original post is that peter was hoping to spark some honest discussion on the nature of sexism/misogyny and why so many people have these mems/behavior patterns stuck in their heads.”

    I think the reason that analyzing works to point out privilege gets so many goats is we’ve created a society wherein any honest admission of prejudice, no matter how much you regret it, is seen as a reason to condemn you.

    So, to even enjoy a problematic work is to believe you yourself are being accused on something. Which, possibly, you are. But I think this pariah status towards -isms gets people to earnestly defend themselves, while sometimes the better thing to do is to ask if the charges make sense.

    Judging a woman’s worth by her size is not equivalent to beating her with a stick, but it is unjust. Writing a book that appropriates and erroneously depicts another culture is not the same thing as bombing some group, but it does affect how we treat people.

    Our own poor understanding of Islamophobia, for example, can mean life or death depending on how we instruct our governments to act. Our understanding of rape culture can make us ask things like “How many men did she hook up with?” or “Well, was she teasing?”

    How much worse when, due to this culture, women ask themselves such questions after becoming victims?

    Larry of OF blog once quoted Swamplandia!, which features a rape scene. One of the most glaring things was when the character being raped mentions her “false deja vu” due to the stories that she’d heard about rape. While fictional, I think it was a powerful line because it makes us wonder about the frankly casual way rape is used in narrative, especially in SFF.

    (Note I’ve never read any of Peter’s books, so this isn’t some passive-aggressive dig.)

    I was going to relate this to Moon’s piece, but honestly I just don’t have any interest it talking about it, and it seemed you didn’t either.

    Sci aka Saajan

  169. @ Peter Watts

    “If I got mugged in Bucharest, I’d hope you wouldn’t defend my actions if I went around spitting on every Romanian I encountered because “Romania hasn’t been fair to me”.”

    But it’s not the same. Requiresonlyhate doesn’t attack every white man. She lashes against those writers (women included) who make light of abuse topics. The equivalent would be you getting mugged in Bucharest and then spitting on the Romanians who consider a triviality that foreigners are mugged. I would defend your actions in that case, if you’d need someone to translate curses in the native language.

    “But this isn’t about demographics: this is about one-on-one.”

    I got that impression too. But to me it isn’t, and I suspect there are many others who are not personally involved. This is how I see what happened:

    Requireshate happened upon a book, read a few pages, discovered it made light of rape/sexual abuse, and attacked it as that blog does to books like that. Even, as I said before, books written by women authors. Some months after that, the author of the book decided to retort and he wasn’t convincing and stirred a storm of comments.

    “I find it rich that she can so easily discount the views of those who actually know the person she’s attacking, on the grounds of “white male privilege” (which is, I suppose, more respect than she accorded Caitlin’s views, which she simply ignored). I find it rich that you can excuse this behavior on the grounds that “life hasn’t been fair” to her.”

    I can believe he is a nice guy, or that Requireshate is written by a privileged person, but that doesn’t mean anything to me in the context of the discussion about his book, how he uses rape narratively, and how he decided to talk about it.
    I work in theater. It’s not a solitary thing, like writing. Theater is lots of people spending lots of time together. We make friends, lovers, etc. But I never hear someone saying hey, X is a nice guy to have a beer with, has a good personality, this means he can’t screw up a project. It doesn’t work as an excuse. In theater. How is it different for writers?

    If I wrote somewhere that I’m excusing her behavior I expressed myself wrong. I wouldn’t do that because it’s not my place to do that. I was only trying to explain the perspective of the blog. I understand you find what Requireshate does as being unfair, but Requireshate finds what some writers do with topics of sexual abuse as unfair too.

  170. Hi Radu,

    I’d quibble with your use of the word “discovered” — I’d take “believed” or “interpreted” without complaint. I take far more serious issue with the way you read my original post, which I don’t think you read carefully.

    I never said hey, “X is a nice guy to have a beer with, has a good personality, this means he can’t screw up a project.” In fact, I went out of my way to say that I couldn’t comment on the project one way or another: “I can’t argue with her about the book, because I’ve read even less of it than she has … And I am a nerdy white male, so there are some things I probably won’t get even if they’re staring me in the face.”

    I was only mouthing the first part of your paraphrase: X is a nice guy to have a beer with, has a good personality. I am qualified to say that, far more qualified than acm is to call him a “self-important little roach” or a “sexist douchebag”. I was sticking up for someone who had been unjustly slagged on a personal level by someone who didn’t even know the poor bastard. I left the commentary on the book itself to Caitlin, who’d read it in several drafts, and I asked everyone to go and read her take on Bakker’s writing.

    Look what happened: acm ignored Caitlin’s post utterly, and attacked me for calling her a “rabid animal” — even though I only did that in order to explicitly explore the contrast between that and her description of Scott as a “self-important roach”. If you’ve been following this thread and her related tweets you’re well aware of the bullshit didn’t-get-consent-of-someone-he-thought-was-dead attacks she launched subsequently. These are not the actions of anyone who gives a flying fuck about the facts of an issue. All she’s interested in is personal attack.

    I tried to engage her, at first. Won’t make that mistake again. But I’m surprised that you seem to have forgotten what this whole thing was originally about, which was not the book (again; Caitlin commented on that). This was simply someone who knows someone else, defending him from unjustified character attacks leveled by someone who didn’t. And I stand by that defense.

  171. Just curious, Peter – do you seriously see nothing wrong with telling the world that a character in your books was modeled after a real life person who was a victim of abuse and that you [Ed. redaction after the horse has fled the barn], all without requesting or receiving her permission?

    Does she know you’ve done this? That you connected ‘abuse victim’ with [Ed. redaction after the horse has fled the barn]? Because that seems to be a lot worse than not asking her permission to model a character after her; that’s basically telling the world that this specific person was abused or victimized without their consent.

    If she did tell you that it was fine to connect the dots to your audience, that’s another thing. I hope that’s the case; many people do not want that kind of publicity or discussion about their abuse or surviving it to the general populace, much less from a third party – and from my completely uninformed position that’s exactly what it looks like happened, albeit inadvertently.

  172. “I’d quibble with your use of the word “discovered” — I’d take “believed” or “interpreted” without complaint.”

    Yes, those are better words.

    “I take far more serious issue with the way you read my original post, which I don’t think you read carefully.”

    Yes, it’s my fault. Not because of the initial post, but because of the comments where you wrote that you know him personally. Because I only thought about the book and how one can read it. That’s the core of the matter for me, what the work in question generates.
    Because this whole thing started and revolved around the book and what the book did. Some readers complained about what they interpreted as sexism in the book. The author made a series of comments about the readers which were not flattering, calling them prejudiced, gay conservatives, intellectually insufficient for the complexity of his work. A particular reader retorted by calling him names.

    So the name calling I see as being related to the book and the discussion around it.
    You see what happened as someone being unjustly slagged on a personal level. I see it as a consequence of the way he chose to defend his book. (Please don’t read this as some righteous remark. I don’t consider I’d do better or differently if and when I’m defending myself. I do worse)

    I can’t, as you do, detach the name-calling from the book.

    I don’t know why acm ignored your partner’s post. But I read it and it’s written from the perspective of a dear friend. It is very nice, but it’s not relevant because the author is too personally attached to the object of the review.

    “But I’m surprised that you seem to have forgotten what this whole thing was originally about, which was not the book (again; Caitlin commented on that). This was simply someone who knows someone else, defending him from unjustified character attacks leveled by someone who didn’t. And I stand by that defense.”

    I tried to explain above how and why I ignored your initial intention with this. I’m sorry about it.
    People keep discussing Requireshate’s tone or name-calling while I’m interested in the feminist and post-colonialism arguments, so I kept trying to explain its perspective.

    “I tried to engage her, at first. Won’t make that mistake again.”

    And I still think it’s too bad. Not that it would matter to anyone.

  173. @Kalon,

    You’re right.

    You weren’t at first. [Ed. redaction after the horse has fled the barn] — and even if I’d thought both were still alive, I wouldn’t have sought consent because the nature of the inspiration wasn’t sufficiently specific for any kind of ID.

    I blew it when I engaged acm, who’d accused me of taking issues of sexual violence too lightly. I said that I’d been close to several people who’d been abused, and that I’d based a novel character after one of them. She came back with the question of whether I’d gotten that person’s consent first. Instead of mocking the question for its absurdity (get consent from every real-world relationship that ever informs a fictional character?) I took it seriously; pointed out that I’d thought the lady had been dead for years, so the question was moot; but that I’d since heard second-hand that she knew I’d [Ed. redaction after the horse has fled the barn], and was cool with it.

    Check and mate. I was careful not to name names in the thread, but if anyone cares enough to track down the book and crack the cover, they can connect the dots. I feel sick about that. You’re right that it was completely inadvertent; it wasn’t even insensitive, insofar as I’d been careful to protect the memory of an absent-presumed-dead ex-partner in both separate instances. But it was deeply stupid. I was angry because someone had accused me of trivializing sexual violence; I was trying to show that I didn’t do that, and I fell for the feint. I should have put more thought into it.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve gone back and redacted that specific detail from the thread.

  174. @ the Thread: Re: Sexual Violence, more or less… trivialization in an inverse sort of way?

    An article on “street harassment” in the Washington Post gives a look at a different angle of “what’s violation”.

    Now, I wouldn’t even begin to suggest that some (or any) of the offensive behavior described is acceptable, but I am somewhat unsettled by a spectrum being delineated by a few data points along it. On the one hand, I am sure we all agree that we should condemn any violence of the sort described as “applied hands, tools, or weapons to someone against their will and despite their protestations”. On the other hand, I’m not at all sure we should condemn anyone for depicting such things in fiction so long as it isn’t clearly prurient in intent. But it’s the middle point, the third hand (so to speak) that worries me.

    Perhaps I did suffer significant cognitive impairment after my last bout with general anaesthetic, and I am increasingly convinced that this is the case. So please be kind to me (and other confused people) and tell us where exactly is the line between something that’s ridiculous to condemn (for most people, or for reasonable people) and something that’s arguably across the line, though only barely across the line.

    Peter Watts says (in-part) I was angry because someone had accused me of trivializing sexual violence; I was trying to show that I didn’t do that, and I fell for the feint. I should have put more thought into it. But again one has to ask “who is it who is characterizing something as sexual violence”. In the article, linked above, probably most of us would characterize “flashing” as sexual violence. But would most of us characterize a man approaching a woman in a public space, making what he seems to think is a compliment, and trying to get a phone number, “sexual violence”? Or just “crass”?

    In his most-recent post, on the Constraints of Time, The Limits to Reason, Peter Watts raises the issue of dealing with True Believers. Is it even worth the time trying to debate with people whose True Belief is that a man on the make and being a bit tactless about, it is morally in the same class as the raw violence of sexual assault? Is it even worth the time trying to debate with people who don’t have that True Belief? Would anyone bother to enter either of those debates if they didn’t have their own True Belief on those matters?


  175. something akin to that sort of Tourette Syndrome that causes people to not merely curse, but to utter the worst possible curse at the worst possible time to the worst possible people.

    This is high praise.
    Thank you sir!

    I pride myself on my ability to outrage silly people!

  176. @Thomas Hardman…you say True Believer as if women don’t have ample evidence that (some) men wish them harm? It must be nice going through life believing your interactions with others don’t include these kinds of concerns…on the part of others. You know that when women do get attacked/assaulted/raped, they are often blamed for wearing the wrong clothes, going out at night, being willing to talk to/date/go home with someone who “seemed” nice, right?

    Personally, I’m okay with (some) men paying me a compliment in public. I’ve been lucky enough never to have been raped/assaulted, of course. Makes me more trusting, probably. I have been called a bitch, a cunt and threatened with rape by strange men in the street when I failed to take them up on their offers of dates, random sex, what-have-you. I don’t think that experience is unusual AT ALL. In fact, I think that’s quite a common experience for women…and something to keep in mind when you choose to talk to a strange woman in public. Just because you feel comfortable talking to them does not mean they owe you their time/attention.

    I find this covers it pretty thoroughly…

    http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/

  177. Peter,
    Welcome to my world. Sometimes, doing what you KNOW is the “right” thing just blows up on you, and you find that in your defense of what you know is an injustice opens you up to trolls and personal attacks. Just hold your head up high and keep on keeping on. Don’t take anything too seriously, because it will just make you crazy. The real world is just this… people suck. It’s easy to sit back and play armchair quarterback. It’s easy to read comments, dissect them, and criticize for the sake of spite. The secret, my dear friend, is to keep in sight the fact that you proactively did the right thing. The shitstorm that befalls you after the fact is irrelevant. You have to look at yourself in the mirror every morning. You have to live with you. It’s easy to sit back and do nothing. I could have walked out of a certain courthouse and never looked back. That would have been EASY. It wouldn’t, however, have been RIGHT. People might not have liked what I had to say, but how can they judge fairly, not having been there themselves? You have a personal relationship with this man. You KNOW him. How can someone have the audacity to even attempt to judge the man having never even met him?
    Dude, you do have the tendency to attract some real winners, don’t you? Good luck to you.

  178. @ Yukon Val

    “you say True Believer as if women don’t have ample evidence that (some) men wish them harm? It must be nice going through life believing your interactions with others don’t include these kinds of concerns…on the part of others.”

    Hey, Val, please don’t take it the wrong way, but you make it sound like the world isn’t chock full of people who want to hurt other people in an entirely gender-agnostic manner (when I was a “problem youth”, I was an equal-opportunity misery dispenser, but hey, maybe male problem teens have a more biased abuse pattern).

    World is generally full of people and things that are out to get you, whether y’re old, young, male, female, trans, or whatever.
    If you let that get under your skin to the point of considering a perfectly safe verbal transaction to be a form of “encroachment”, you’re up for a very miserable life full of terror, even if you move to a no-man-island of some sort.

    “You know that when women do get attacked/assaulted/raped, they are often blamed for wearing the wrong clothes, going out at night, being willing to talk to/date/go home with someone who “seemed” nice, right?”

    Quite ironically, there’s some evidence that rapists preferentially target “modestly” dressed women for some weird rapist-brain reason science is yet to find out.

    I wonder how soon will defense lawyers in rape cases start latching onto that.

    “http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/”

    I don’t want to sound offensive again, but that sounds like a giant truck of passive-aggressive crock mixed with only a bit of sense, and I say this as connoisseur and producer of finest passive-aggressive crock.

    Worse yet, it seems to perpetuate some fairly inaccurate stereotypes of what a high-risk male is, and what high-risk locations are (as far as I know, public spaces, even shitty ones, are fairly low risk for rape).

    It seems like the American Women (assumption disclosure: 03 assumes that the author of that blog post is American which may, of course, be not true. Never bothered to check, srry) are immensely risk-averse and easily scared.
    Ironically, to the best of my knowledge there’s a whole documented subtype of rapists who specifically target people like that.

    @ 01

    Man, I’d never do that thing on Peter’s blog.
    That’s a horrible maneuver I reserve for places full of people I enjoy making uncomfortable.

  179. @Peter: I hope you informed her that this happened as well; it’s good to know that you’ve been outed, especially for safety’s sake.

  180. only now do I see some comments directed at me.

    Guess it would be gauche to leave them unattended

    @ Kalon

    “01: the references to Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist (what you’re posting) had a number of people, Pat included, completely unaware of who acrackedmoon was or what her blog was about. Most – including Pat – assumed that she was a white male from the US.

    Which made it especially ironic when stating how it was clear this person had no idea what Thailand was compared to Pat’s experiences.

    The whole point of the exercise, dear friend, is that ‘cracked is claiming a kind of expert-status though allegations of heritage (an approach itself questionable in societies that don’t pass on their culture through some creepy genetic-memory process, of which none are documented). There is virtually no evidence as to what ‘cracked’s heritage is, and when the issue is brought up, it is fairly quickly deflected.

    I see claim of “I am Thai woman” by an anonymous entity to be about as sound as “I have a Phd” from an anonymous entity. Sorry mate, this is the Internet, where everyone has a Phd in Smartology from the Einstein’s college of applied thinkery, so the claim is very suspect. In fact, my opinion is that whenever people try to get some kind of favorable response from you online by claims of off-line background status (be that Phd or some ethnic heritage) while themselves hiding behind the veil of anonymity, you should treat them with great suspicion.

    That’s why I do my best to ensure that the soundness of my argument would not be affected when people find out that I am, in fact, a large group of ravens pecking on a keyboard

    @ Soren

    01, that’s kind disingenuous. All we have is one dude (who did actually make some racist and offensive fuckups) saying ‘he’ a lot, there. Let’s assume for reasons of basic decency that she is who she says she is.

    I don’t really think I need to weigh in on her argument, either. It stands on its own merits, and sometimes lack thereof, and nothing my faggy white-boy ass throws in about it will benefit anybody (except to say, love that ‘Me’ ‘phobe you’ve got trailing you – classy company you keep).

    First, I do not think that assumption to respect self-claims of an anonymous entity (okay, strongly pseudonymous if you want to be a pedant) is sound.
    If that’s what your concept of human decency requires, then you’re in for a lot of bridges to be sold to you by nice 80-year-old-ladies who inherited them from the mayor of Loo York City (not to be confused with New York).

    Second, if Pat indeed made any factually inaccurate depictions, the best way to address that is with links to academically recognized sources on Thai culture, not obscene screeches and claims of expertise based on allegations of ethnicity (made from behind the “anonymity veil”)

    Third, I am quite profoundly confused as to who ‘Me’ ‘phobe trailing me is. I assure you that 03 is not afraid of Mass Effect (she’s mighty pissed at DA for forfeiting an opportunity to troll bible-thumping embryofags, however)

    - Piers Anthony (misogyny, rape apologism both child and adult)
    - Jerry Pournelle (racism, misogyny, various forms of right-wing political crankery)
    - Tom Kratman (seriously, I gotta tell you? Google, I’m not even going to try.)

    Now, I’m not asking you for some kind of asshole common-ground thing where we both agree to hate the same easy targets – I want to know if you go up to eleven. If a midlister whose scumbag credentials are debatable deserves to be called a roach, what do those guys get? I’ve got no problem with any of the things you stand for, but I think your outrage scale is poorly calibrated.

    I am generally not prone to outrages, dear Sir.

    Especially not over the likes of Sauerkrat. Sure, poking him is great fun, especially given that Tom Kratman, the unconscious rapemachine, is googling himself meticulously and will likely come here to AVENGE HIS, TOM KRATMAN’S, NAAAAMMEEEE :D (“Tom Kratman ammonia bullshit”, now he WILL come ;)), but going into silly, poorly sourced diatribes is not my shtick.

    Going into diatribes about books I self-admittedly didn’t read ? That’s just unspeakably ugly to me.

    Okay, seems to be done now… Oh wait, something I’d like to note

    Adrianne said…

    The criticism is that, by doing so, he unintentionally makes the case for real-life misogyny. He responds to this criticism in many places on the web (though, unfortunately for him, not always in an easily accessible way).

    And THAT ladies and gentlemen, is a horrible offshoot of feminist discourse. Outside of some strong statistical evidence that this is the case, allegations that “fictionally misogynistic setting is enabling real misogyny” should go out of the fucking window and into the dumpster, where emotionally manipulative factless allegations belong.

  181. @03 – There is alot of space between prudent and being overly -scared.

    If you would, please do not tell women that they are being little silly worriers for having a careful clear eye about the capacity and desire of men to do violence to them. It does a disservice to everyone. Thanks!

  182. @Radu:

    I don’t know why acm ignored your partner’s post. But I read it and it’s written from the perspective of a dear friend. It is very nice, but it’s not relevant because the author is too personally attached to the object of the review.

    I don’t know quite how to react to this. You’ve just argued that first-hand familiarity with a subject disqualifies one from having a valid opinion. I take your point about the inevitable bias resulting from friendship — Caitlin says as much herself in her own post — but how can you dismiss her position on the basis of bias while letting acm’s stand? Do you really believe there’s no pre-existing bias from that quarter?

    More: perhaps you’re conflating cause and effect. Maybe Caitlin doesn’t defend Scott because he’s a friend; maybe Caitlin befriended Scott because he was the kind of person worth defending. It’s a bias, yes; but it’s the same bias I have in favor of evolution by natural selection. It was the evidence and the inevitable logic of the process that convinced me originally; to dismiss anyone who finds fault with creationism because they “believe in evolution” is an excellent way of ensuring that only the most ignorant get to vote.

    Finally, try to imagine how acm would react if you aimed that line in her direction. I imagine she’d sneer about condescending white males who cluck over how difficult it must be for poor emotional women to separate their feelings from their critical faculties. I wouldn’t go that far, but it is pretty dismissive. Caitlin is an author, and a critic, and a teacher of the craft at a major university; to suggest that her assessment of the book can’t be trusted solely because she knows the author is to do her a real disservice. Especially since a number of others on this thread, both male and female, appear to agree with her.

    @proudinjun:

    Good to hear from you. I worry sometimes.

  183. “Yeah. Because the fact that Caitlin and I (oh, wait, that’s right — you folks keep forgetting that Caitlin weighed in on this first, for some reason) both actually know the man in question is completely irrelevant to any defense of his character. Someone who’s never met Bakker — someone who, it turns out, lives on the other side of the world — is more qualified to assess Scott’s character by simple virtue of not being “white” or “Canadian”. Or “male” (ah, but there’s Caitlin again, fucking with the narrative; better just ignore her). The only valid character witnesses are those who’ve never met the defendant.
    Also, I didn’t know acm was either Thai or lesbian. All I could infer from her blog, at the time I wrote the post, was that she was full of hate. All I’ve inferred since is that she’s an asshole given to lies and personal attacks.”

    @Peter Watts

    There are problems here. I’m interested in a clear dialogue, so I hope you’ll be patient. If I err on the side of verbosity, it is partly because I’m not willing to cut corners.

    I haven’t commented on Caitlin, because I’ve not read her post and she is not *you.* She is not a he, in fact, and that’s important. I’ll be happy to discuss her points, after I’ve read them.

    It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that knowing someone in real life can cause both bias in favour of supporting them or even failing to see their faults, and more importantly, is only *at best* of secondary importance when discussing whether an author’s work contains problematic elements. Such the misogyny in Bakker’s books. I don’t think it can be argued away. Explained, perhaps, as authorial intent, a thought experiment gone wrong (or right if you see if from Bakker’s point, I don’t, nor is it all that’s wrong with them), but not expunged. I don’t feel that using misogynist writing and world building in the form that it takes in Bakker’s books, is either a logical or an effective way to fight it – which has been my primary understanding of his own explanations for the not unfrequent and persistent reading of these issues in his text. Not his *life* but his text and in his comments on his own blog and elsewhere, regarding it.

    Proportional reaction vs. positions of authority here are fundamentally unequal. There is not parity between you and acrackedmoon. Even if we can not validate beyond doubt (and *needing* to is another issue, which I’ll touch on in due time, because it is important) acrackedmoon’s ethnicity, nationality, or gender – we certainly can in the case of you, R. Scott Bakker, and Pat of Pat’s Fantasy Hostlist. All three of you are male, white, and North American. Two of you are successful authors with a sizable following, the third has a huge and popular website with many vocal followers. At to this the well documented inequality among genre fans, and you no matter what invective is flung your way, however personal you view these attacks on a fellow colleague or yourself, are in a superior position.

    Therefore it behooves you to tread very carefully. To err on the side of caution. Not to demand that someone who if their identity is as claimed, is far more liable to suffer rape threats and ill treatment from a far larger potential group both in RL and online. Someone who is in fact well aware of this inequality in power and whose very modus operandi screams out ample anger and pain about this situation. That they’re not willing to “take crap” or speak politely or softly, or post their photo and home address, is not only understandable, but necessary if their voice is going to come close to getting out there, over your own.

    Under such circumstances, and where some posters have used all these points to attack acrackedmoon in ways you wouldn’t see if they were for example, you, I think your wading in defending Bakker should be seen with a large caveat. Not that you are not *entitled* to speak your mind, but any declarations that Bakker’s detractor in this case is a diseased animal, is really at least as repulsive if not more when we consider the lack of parity, as anything voiced by acrackedmoon, I believe.

    I have some more to say, but I’ll have to continue this later. But I do hope you’ll at least read and think about the points which I’ve raised.

    N.B. May contain all sorts of typos.

  184. E. M. Edwards, I guess that the question of whether writing out old-testament “fact of belief” misogyny is a way of combating it is a silly angle to pursue, since most you can do is agree to disagree. I literally can not imagine an argument “proving” it other way.

    P.S.:

    Gotta wonder whether my response to Hljóðlegur made it through the Great Filter

  185. Decided to repost (since it kinda vanished)

    If doublepost happens, may Peter delete it :)

    Hljóðlegur, I have specifically quantified “get under your skin to the point of considering a perfectly safe verbal transaction to be a form of “encroachment” in order to avoid this (sadly, all too typical) response.

    I do, however, disagree with your characterization of response outlined in the “Shrodinger” post as “clear” since the list of alarming characteristics of males and locations does not appear to be informed by modern research (at least by modern American research I am aware of).

    Also, the whole concept of “shrodinger-anything” reeks of paranoia.
    By same token males could treat their same-sex peers as “shrodinger murderers” and “shrodinger gay-rapists” (and while obliviously dropping the soap in an obviously tense situation is of course unwise, there obviously has to be some reasonable limit on concerned behavior)

    Full disclosure:
    I grew up in a criminalized neighborhood in a non-Western country. Also was a member of, shall we say, “physical goods relief” service for quite some time.
    Also, to a very large degree, I, shall we say, lack psychological aversion to pain.

    That might greatly color the way I perceive concerns of my American sisters ;).

  186. @E.M. Edwards:

    Okay. I’ve encountered these points before; you make them well, and yeah, they’re valid. I have more to say, but there’s a lot of overlap here with your latest comment on the downstream post, so I think I’ll hop over there before I continue.

  187. 03: Don’t take this the wrong way, but there is nothing reassuring about having a former criminal advise me that I need not keep my wits about me so as to avoid becoming a victim of crime. If you see what I mean?


  188. Hljóðlegur,

    Fear is only useful for the weak. The strong need not fear.

  189. Hljóðlegur key word being former, why not ?
    You sure lack the ability to think like a criminal :p (Though for such discussion, a former rapist might be of more use than me…assuming that a rapist can, at some point, become “former” of course)

  190. @03

    Criminals are so short-sighted. The best kind of crimes are completely legal ones and get you medals!

  191. Some notable pullquotes in my estimation:

    Hljóðlegur: “Personally, I don’t see why anyone should be required to scrape off an abuse layer to get to an argument kernel beneath, on the perky hope one exists. It’s one thing to state poorly, to let emotion or hyperbole overcome you when you’re typing, but is the whole rage critique thing even about pearls of wisdom? Or is it about letting someone else express our uncivil thoughts so we don’t have to?”

    Saajan Patel: “Whatever one’s opinions on Moon, it’s hard not to be troubled when people don’t shift priorities to call out those who use her as an example of why minorities, women, or other historically marginalized groups can be dismissed out of hand. It feels to some, however unintentional this might be, as tacit agreement that one only wishes to tolerate such groups when they behave themselves”

    Hljóðlegur: “So. um, who here has actually read the book in question? Anyone, anyone? Bueller?”

    Saajan Patel: “Inspired means taking perhaps a small bit of RL and using it as the seed from which to grow a character. There might be recognition, but not on the level of feeling like your privacy was violated.
    As far as I can tell from what Peter wrote he did the latter, not the former.”

    In other news I hate you all: “When you write for an audience, you must do so with the expectation that some people may not enjoy your work.”

    Saajan Patel: “So, to even enjoy a problematic work is to believe you yourself are being accused on something. Which, possibly, you are. But I think this pariah status towards -isms gets people to earnestly defend themselves, while sometimes the better thing to do is to ask if the charges make sense.”

    Peter Watts: “I’m surprised that you seem to have forgotten what this whole thing was originally about, which was not the book (again; Caitlin commented on that). This was simply someone who knows someone else, defending him from unjustified character attacks leveled by someone who didn’t. And I stand by that defense.”

    Peter: “I was angry because someone had accused me of trivializing sexual violence; I was trying to show that I didn’t do that, and I fell for the feint. I should have put more thought into it.”

  192. @03 seriously?

    No one said men weren’t at risk when out in public. They are. And they should feel free to take whatever precautions they see fit, based on their experiences, the situation, whatever.

    The problem is that (some) men expect to be able to approach women in public…for whatever reason…without those interactions being subjected to EXACTLY the same kind of reasonable precautions as any other social interaction. Other men (the same men?) also don’t seem to want to have to hear that women (might) feel threatened by these kinds of approaches.

    I guess they are men who can magically recognize perfectly safe verbal transactions?

    You are ignoring what I said about men who become abusive as soon as women reject these kinds of offers/requests. In my experience, when this happens, things start out very much the same, with the only real difference being that the men in question are assholes who don’t like to take “no” for an answer. Maybe guys who really, really want to be able to ask strange women for their phone number in public spaces should talk to those guys. They are totally ruining it for the rest of you.

    I am well aware that most rapists do not attack women in public. Most of them are well-known to their victims, so rape in private. Women are often grabbed, groped, threatened etc. in public, though. The original post from Thomas Hardman actually linked to an article about sexual harassment on the subway. Did you read that?

    Also, I know of at least one modern study (or American college students) that concluded women were very unlikely to agree to offers/requests for sex from strangers who approached them in public, if those strangers were men. Maybe some men here could weigh in. The research suggests that men are pretty much wasting their time AND pestering women doing this. Why do it?

    I don’t live anything like a “life of misery-filled terror”. I already said that I don’t, personally, have a problem with being approached by some men in public. I walk around after dark. I have also been known to strike up conversations with strange men in bank-line-ups, at parks, in coffee shops and bars. I have even picked up hitch-hikers on occasion. I am not paranoid, nor do I worry excessively. You are being pretty dismissive when you suggest I just can’t judge my own safety in these situations.

    @ Peter…I came into this pretty late and am now caught up in a side conversation.

    For what it’s worth, I have not read Bakker, so have no opinion about his prose. I do think it’s worthwhile to read fiction from a variety of different perspectives, including ones that might seem “wrong-headed” or otherwise uncomfortable. I think people are pretty complex…so friends/colleagues/relatives can surprise us with beliefs/attitudes and even behaviours out of the contexts in which we (think) we know them. I really appreciate your willingness to continue to engage with everyone here.

    I DO NOT think you trivialize sexual violence AT ALL.

  193. gah…examine fiction from a variety of different perspectives!

  194. acrackedmoon is winterfox (also known as pyrofennec on Dreamwidth), who under the winterfox moniker became somewhat Internet Infamous in certain circles on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth.

    I recognize her as winterfox, because she used to link her blog ‘Requires Only That You Hate’.

    She’s basically a troll, and apparently has been around trolling since the early 2000s.

    http://failfandomanonwiki.pbworks.com/w/page/46349159/Winterfox

    http://fail-fandomanon.livejournal.com/28649.html?thread=127446505#t127446505

    http://www.journalfen.net/community/wank_report/888.html?thread=7267960

    Nothing that she says is really worth time to argue against, since Winterfox pretty much exists to troll and insult anyone who disagrees with her. She’s been asked to leave numerous LJ communities in the past, due to her trolling and insults.

    I would not worry too much about countering her arguments, as she never offers any coherent ones that I’ve ever encountered.

    For a general taste, here’s winterfox arguing that all of YA is ‘dumbed-down shit’, which she knows because she’s never read any YA.

    http://fantasy.dreamwidth.org/7242.html?thread=111690#cmt111690

    So, to reiterate, don’t worry. She’s a troll, and truly not worth anyone’s time. She likes attention, not logic, and likes to get very personal with her insults.

  195. For a general taste, here’s winterfox arguing that all of YA is ‘dumbed-down shit’, which she knows because she’s never read any YA.*

    *Correction: Rarely reads any YA

  196. Ah, and here’s the link discussing how winterfox is requireshate

    http://fail-fandomanon.livejournal.com/28649.html?thread=127741417#t127741417

    Anyhow, just thought I’d let you know that this person is winterfox, and that winterfox has a particularly nasty documented trolling history.

  197. @Red Fish:

    I’m not seeing anything at that link except one anonymous poster asking if winterfox is requireshate and another anonymous poster saying “yup”. None of the associated comments mention the topic of dual identity.

    Is there some other link I should be clicking? Because if that’s a “discussion”, the Iliad is a limerick.

  198. @Yukon Val:

    As oxymoronic as it sounds, I find myself largely in agreement with what both you and 03 wrote over the last few comments, starting here.

    Yes, there are creeps on the prowl, and poorly groomed idiots who don’t realize just because they’re horny not everyone around feels the same, and then there are outright predators.
    Rape is a terrible, de-humanizing violent crime, and some ‘insistant’ seduction tactics probably warrant tar and feathers, I’m with you on that, and I don’t reckon 03 fundamentally disagrees.

    Also, I think the onus is on people of all genders to try and not behave like assholes with prospective mates, and even to show some level of respect to fellow human beings as a default stance, at least until given a good enough reason to stick a fork in their eye (looking at me funny is not a sufficient motive for me to deprive you of the wonders of 3D movies, for ex.).

    And yet, the ‘Schrödinger-rapist’ article you linked to, as catchy as the phrase may be, is indeed a load of passive-aggressive BS playing to the choir, but most importantly is either disingenuous, misguided, or both (and way too sanctimonious to get away with a post-facto: haha, only kidding excuse).

    The idea here seems to be that the dreadful number of rapes (and dreadful it is) warrants a blanket presumption of guilt applied to an entire gender, which includes the intended readership (and putative beneficiaries) of that life lesson. By focusing only on the precautions men should take to avoid the Mace of Rightful Wrath +3 they so clearly deserve, the author manages to paints women’s competence as roughly equivalent to that of a potted plant with a proximity alarm.

    Thus, in essence, Phaedra Starling asks of women to internalize the role of soon-to-be-victims (super healthy), and astutely tries to prime men for gender-wide guilt, telling them how they should find perfectly alright to be seen as big scary monsters just because, and they better wait for the next elevator if they don’t want to get tased.

    But that’s not the biggest problem with this article, nor is the dubious rationalization for prejudice through stigmatization ; the main flaw in that otherwise airtight line of reasoning is that it isn’t relevant to the intended reader, this theoretical ‘good guy’, the non-rapy, balanced person who is both respectful of women yet willing and able to “connect, love and get romatically involved”.

    These sensible, balanced and presumably intelligent people (despite their peeing facing the wall) usually can tell before they’re told, and thus barely ever need to hear it to get a clue. In case of a doubt, they may even spontaneously ask if everything’s OK, and to them, ‘no’ means no as a matter of course.
    On the flipside, the exact same nice guys guys tend to have a decently tuned radar to detect the crazy at mid-to-long range, and as a result they carefully avoid women who see men as Schrödinger’s rapists…

    Likewise, women with a working creep-o-meter can read the maladjusted and predatory with enough clarity that they don’t need to fear their own shadow and preemptively mace random passerbys “just in case”. Curiously, the same women who don’t seem to attract as many stalkers or predatory types, and seem to have a much easier time handling assholes in a decisive way when the need arises.

    Which only proves Phaedra Starling’s point, I suppose. If you, as a women, share her worldview and find both her perceptions and advice ‘spot-on’, you should certainly be wary of strangers trying to engage with you: either they can’t recognize fear and unease when they see it, or they like the smell of if and that’s what’s drawing them to you.

    Unfortunately, that also means the proto-rapists in the box are very unlikely to pay any heed to Miss Lonelyheart’s admonestations, because they don’t see woman as equals, and won’t change their views on a woman’s word.

    All that’s left then, in the end, is a very creepy and miserably scared outlook on gender relations that’s about as helpful to rightfully concerned women as the last Cosmo tutorial on ‘sucking cock to keep your man’ or ‘getting fit to find love’, that is: not much.

    Eagerly waiting now for Miss Starling’s followup column:

    “Schrödinger’s gangsta: or a colored’s guide to approaching strange white people without being shot by the popo.”

    then part III:

    “Schrödinger’s Racist: or a Privileged White guide for talking to the natives in an african-american neighborhood (and live to tell the tale).”

    Thanks, I’ll be there all week.

    …Reiterating, Yukon Val, I see nothing in what you personally wrote in your comments that gives anything like this paranoid and infantilizing old-testament vibe, I generally agree with most of your points, and yet I see major problems with the article you linked (as 03 did, if I’m not mistaken), and found “covers it pretty thoroughly…”

    What did I fail to get ?

  199. It all seems so much angels on the heads of pins..these discussions. Nothing of real value.

    Why care about feelings of other people?.. if you can make them obey you?
    Why care about justice, if order is easier to achieve and does almost the same?
    Why take care not to offend people, who are not even wrong?

    How about you commenters stop counting them, get back to your work, eh?
    Procrastination is not a good habit.

  200. Re: Yukon Val

    First thing I’d like to get out of the way – it appears to me that you might be taking my words a little bit personally. It might be due to my clumsy use of English – like using a “you” in “you’re up for a very miserable life full of terror”. That was… not intended to indicate “you” as in “person known as Yukon Val”, but a general “rhetorical address” related to someone like that blog post author (I kinda hope you’re not the same person ;) ). In no way, shape or form did I intend to specifically comment on your personal “urban survival” strategy or whatever

    Now that my possible linguistic blunder is out of the way…

    First and foremost to shamelessly steal a page from AcD’s book, would you consider a blog post along the lines of “Shrodinger’s mugger – when a strange girl asks for directions at evening” or “Shrodinger’s gangsta – a white man’s guide to avoiding ethnic gang violence” or somesuch ?

    Those would be pretty ludicrous, paining large parts of human population as almost-criminal based on age, culture and ethnicity. I would call that paranoid, racist and nonconstructive despite the existence of evidence that indeed some ethnic groups, as well as youths of all ethnicity, are more likely to commit violent crimes.

    Now, as to various forms of non-rape abusive and harassing behavior, nowhere did I even engage those so I don’t quite see why you bring those up. Yes, I too was once groped on the subway. Made a scandal out of it and turned the creep in to security people. Sure he had a nice day having coffee and a chat with sweaty, angry fat men in uniform, who must have been willing to thank him for the extra paperwork they now had to deal with.
    No, I don’t think this kind of guys is directly or indirectly related to rape proper – in fact, I think that only one subtype of rapists (the peeping-tom variety) overlaps with the subway weirdo demographic, and even then I don’t recall any evidence of a strong connection.
    And yes, the threat of rape is obviously exploitable to ruin a woman’s day without actually intending to rape her (IMHO given how good such a claim would be at ruining a person’s day, a non-rapist asshole would reasonably want to make such a threat due to low risk of the threat itself, and relatively high reward of someone’s day ruined)

    However, the issue I had with the blog post had nothing to do with forms of abuse that do not “qualify” as rape. And it had nothing to do with possible success rate of public-space approaches.

    The issue I had is that the blog post perpetuates paranoid, over-the-top behavior, encourages victim mentality, kind of passively-aggressively suggests “guilty until proven innocent” attitude toward males (the fact that many males are assholes and some are even rapists does not justify a “Shrodinger’s X” mentality) and, worst of all, doesn’t even bother to actually educate people what the real risk factors are and how real rapists are likely to behave.

    TLDR My problem with the blog post in question was that it’s a load of passive-aggressive baloney and that it perpetuates unpleasant stereotypes of both males and females (on a second thought, that probably makes it totally egalitarian) while lacking in content that could actually help women avoid real rapists. I also kind of took issue with high-concern citizens of female gender due to generally having a derisive attitude to high-concern citizens (esp. Western) but did not have any specific intent to comment specifically about Yukon Val’s attitudes (of which I know pretty much nothing)

    That pretty much covers it I think :)

  201. Do you have evidence women pre-emptively mace men? Like, on a regular basis? I’ve never heard of that happening, actually. I don’t carry mace anywhere I would ever expect to use it on people, myself.

    And, my worldview doesn’t include being preemptively afraid of men…as discussed above. Did you read that part? So, I guess it is possible to agree with this stuff without being afraid of one’s own shadow. YMMV, which again, the point of this whole thing.

    I notice that you haven’t answered my question about hitting on strange women in public. Too bad, I’m kinda interested in that, actually.

    It’s true that proto-rapists probably aren’t going to change their ways in response to this, but if you had been paying attention, you would have noticed that this is a response to men who…just…don’t seem to understand why women might not like/be comfortable with/feel they should have to deal politely with the attentions of men 24/7. It also contained some humour/hyperbole. Men whose behaviour doesn’t set off women’screepometer? Are unlikely to need this advice. Hint: I posted this because someone suggested that criminal prosecution of men caught sexually harrasing women was somehow a slippery slope that would lead to any (all?) men being punished (by jail?) for “crassness”. He didn’t provide any evidence that happens, but if you have some, by all means…

    As for rape prevention, try google…people have been telling women things THEY should do to stay safe from rape for a very long time. This hasn’t worked out very well, makes women overly fearful and contributes to the idea that women are somehow responsible for their own rapes/unsafe in public. I think it’s pretty interesting that you think cautioning men is somehow going to cause the same problems when it’s pretty much the opposite approach.

  202. Well, actually, I think it would be nice if we differentiated rape prevention advice provided by officials and grounded in scientific analysis of rape cases and advice kindly provided by “some d00dz on t3h n3tz”.

    I am reasonably confident that some of that prevention advice is actually at least somewhat workable and is not directly associated with idiotic and unscientific victim-blaming escapades about dresses (which are known to not be associated with rape, or even be negatively associated to social conservative chagrin) and whatnot.

    Cautioning men against raping women seems like… something we are doing since we started jailing rapists.


  203. Do the world a favor, crawl back under a rock, you despicable excuse for a human being. And don’t address me again, I don’t want anything to do with someone who can write that sort of things.

    @Giorgio
    Humanity is overrated. Here at Neue Sparta we found out that merciless & rational inhumanity yields far superior products than old-fashioned humanity.

  204. hell on a wheel, forgot a comma there in “or even be negatively associated to social conservative chagrin”

    What I wanted to say is this
    http://www.law.duke.edu/shell/cite.pl?14+Duke+J.+Gender+L.+&+Pol%27y+125

    Fun bits start at “rapists look for signs of passiveness and submissiveness, which, studies suggest, are more likely to coincide with more body-concealing clothing.”
    So, umh, the take home lesson is that…fuck modesty ;)

  205. @PW

    Reposting Naue to ROH. For lulz and experiment.
    Does the troll have enough guts, or will she delete it?

    Will she try to out-troll Naue? In that case, she is utterly, utterly screwed.

  206. @Wow
    She let me in, and they are trying to ridicule me.
    This will get interesting!

    Keep ROH in your bookmarks!

  207. Um, I’m a little slow sometimes, and it only just now occurs to me that I may have unintentionally misled people with my chosen moniker (which was meant to accompany my silly first post and picked in commemoration of a certain wordy blacksmith from Whiterun ). So, for the record, I am a white nerdy male and you may now call me Adrian. Sorry if “Adrianne” confused anyone.

  208. notable pullquote
    Yukon Val: “As for rape prevention, try google…people have been telling women things THEY should do to stay safe from rape for a very long time. This hasn’t worked out very well, makes women overly fearful and contributes to the idea that women are somehow responsible for their own rapes/unsafe in public. I think it’s pretty interesting that you think cautioning men is somehow going to cause the same problems when it’s pretty much the opposite approach.”

  209. Yukon Val wrote:

    Do you have evidence women pre-emptively mace men? Like, on a regular basis? I’ve never heard of that happening, actually. I don’t carry mace anywhere I would ever expect to use it on people, myself.

    Humor/hyperbole. Her ball, which I picked up rolling and shot through the same hoop, as is good form.
    Apologies, should probably had sprinkled some smileys around, I wrongly assumed the tongue-in-cheek in my comment was obvious.

    And, my worldview doesn’t include being preemptively afraid of men…as discussed above. Did you read that part?

    Yes, I even went out of my way both in starting and ending my post to make clear I didn’t get that ‘preemptively afraid’ vibe off your own comments, hence my being surprised you’d endorse and recommend this article that most certainly does sings that tune (to my ear).

    So, I guess it is possible to agree with this stuff without being afraid of one’s own shadow. YMMV, which again, the point of this whole thing.

    Yes, I guess it’s possible, since you do, yet I can’t quite figure out how, and I’m not sure I can explain much better than I already did the obvious (to me) clash in worldviews I perceive between yours and those advocated in this article.
    I guess we won’t be able to help each other resolve that apparent contradiction, then.

    I notice that you haven’t answered my question about hitting on strange women in public. Too bad, I’m kinda interested in that, actually.

    I thought I did (assuming we’re talking about cold unsolicited openings and out-of-the-blue offers/requests for the nasty), but I’m willing to go out on a limb and expand a bit on that.

    First, some people seem to come with an either/or switch between self-awareness and horniness, and I’m in fact surprised we don’t routinely witness more cases of dry-humping lamp posts, mailboxes and public benches.
    Second, since many/most people are taught (explicitly and/or mimetically) that men are expected to take the initiative in all inter-gender things (prince rescues the potted princess, guy falls on knee in restaurant to propose, they ride into the sunset on his conveniently double-seater horse, add any other cliche you love to hate), there is (typically) less cultural inhibition at play to stop a man from making a move, which means that, at equal horniness/drunkenness, many men will start making fools of themselves way sooner than the ladies.

    Also, in some cultures, where socialization across genders is discouraged for all purposes but mating, cisgendered individuals on both sides of the aisle tend to have little clue and clumsily play by rote, ensuring the reinforcement of stereotypes and misconceptions by the repetition of horror stories (both told and experienced).
    Add to that poor understanding of statistics, and you get such gems of wisdom passed among dudes as: “Hit on every woman you can, you’ll get told to fuck off 99% of the time, but you’ll nail the 100th chick.”
    So one must assume there are guys out there who’re just out to kill ten rats, ten times, and who save that last, heartfelt blow for a very speshul womin’.
    Who knows, really ?

    It’s true that proto-rapists probably aren’t going to change their ways in response to this, but if you had been paying attention, you would have noticed that this is a response to men who…just…don’t seem to understand why women might not like/be comfortable with/feel they should have to deal politely with the attentions of men 24/7.

    Well, I’m not a woman, and I’m not attractive enough as a guy to get hit on without some warning signs (like having been interacting for at least a few minutes with whoever is starting to consider making a pass at me), so I only know from hearsay and as third-party witness about the experience of women being routinely hailed like they were a street-food cart, and I suspect it would get old fast for me, too, were I in their shoes.

    The problem with this article as I read it is it doesn’t do anything to help intergender relations by explaining men (or women) that women aren’t to be seen as ‘intercourse dispensers’, but rather tries and teach them better ‘customer etiquette’, like not banging on the bell when the rack isn’t on display.
    I find that both counterproductive and focusing on the wrong message, but that’s just because I don’t endorse the preconception that men and women have to be in a state of war and the best a civilized society can hope for is a Geneva Convention on how to treat each other like morons according to rules.
    Yes, I blame the self-help book culture.

    It also contained some humour/hyperbole. Men whose behaviour doesn’t set off women’screepometer? Are unlikely to need this advice. Hint: I posted this because someone suggested that criminal prosecution of men caught sexually harrasing women was somehow a slippery slope that would lead to any (all?) men being punished (by jail?) for “crassness”. He didn’t provide any evidence that happens, but if you have some, by all means…

    I don’t remember weighing either way on this specific argument, which I took to be both lacking and possibly trollish, but if I have to… I recall suggesting earlier to tar and feather those jerks who harass women, and while that was kinda in jest, I really do believe those individuals could indeed benefit from a good sit-down and remedial courses about not being a jackass and acknowledging their fellow humans as such, and not commodities or prey (see above).

    Now, what exactly constitutes harassment is the crux of the issue: when is it good enough enough to tell the creep to bugger off, and when do you call the police, Alice ?
    I suspect your take would be ‘the moment a woman feels harassed’, and I can grok that view, although I’d probably disagree with the leap between having cause to call for help, and being entitled to vindication, which is the (flawed) rationale underlying the crassness=>jail argument you rightfully took exception to.

    As for rape prevention, try google…people have been telling women things THEY should do to stay safe from rape for a very long time. This hasn’t worked out very well, makes women overly fearful and contributes to the idea that women are somehow responsible for their own rapes/unsafe in public. I think it’s pretty interesting that you think cautioning men is somehow going to cause the same problems when it’s pretty much the opposite approach.

    I didn’t argue, nor think, that cautioning men is going to ’cause’ problems, but I do think this article is counterproductive by its endorsing a gender war mentality and assuming the best we can do as people is tell mean they’re Shrödinger’s rapists and shouldn’t go out without a muzzle “for their own safety”.

    To maybe shed a slightly different light on that discussion:
    I won’t presume to know about your personal upbringing and grownup experience, but assuming you’re talking from a US resident perspective, I can see how my views could seem suspiciously naive and borderline idealistic to you: coming from a background where the boys vs girls mentality isn’t as ingrained in the culture, it was quite a shock to find on my first time in the US of A that merely hanging out with somebody of the other cisgender wasn’t on most people menu unless one party was very obviously gay or both were close relatives — something I found counterintuitive and frankly speaking, broken.

    And yes, I do realize this, more than most other tired cliches, makes me a member of a privileged group, but I’d sooner see more people enjoy that privilege than feel guilty about my luck (which I don’t).

    Hope this helps.

  210. In the third-to-last paragraph above:

    [...]tell mean they’re Shrödinger’s rapists[...]

    should read:

    [...]tell men they’re Shrödinger’s rapists[...]

    Sorry about that.

  211. @Peter Watts

    Ah, apologies if the comment threads were hard to follow. I know that LJ is kind of labyrinthine in its comment structure. The difficulty of the situation is that winterfox/pyroffenec deleted her Dreamwidth and LiveJournal.

    When she deleted her LiveJournal, she selected the option that removed all of her comments and posts to communities from the site. So, every single post or comment she ever made is gone. So, since the wank was pretty big and recent over at LJ in fandom circles, people just *remember* that winterfox was also ‘Requires Only That You Hate’.

    Luckily, I can prove the pyrofennec/winterfox/acrackedmoon link, because Dreamwidth does not auto-delete comments/posts.

    Go to http://fantasy.dreamwidth.org/7242.html

    The post is by pyrofennec. In the last two paragraphs of the main post, there are three links, which are links to “[her] review it in two parts”

    “If this book is feminist, then I’m the Witch-Queen of Sparklepoo.” goes to

    “Silver Phoenix and Fauxminism

    Posted by acrackedmoon on February 4, 2011″

    “On top of that, Cindy Pon can’t write.” goes to http://winterfox.livejournal.com/230505.html

    “quotespam” goes to http://winterfox.livejournal.com/230948.html

    In the comment thread of https://arsmarginal.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/silver-phoenix-and-fauxminism/ she replies as pyrofennec, speaking as the author of the post, which was labeled as posted by ‘acrackedmoon’. I’m assuming that what happened is that she was using a general wordpress ID to log in to make these posts, but replying under another name she goes by.

    Googling pyrofennec brings up

    http://www.blogger.com/profile/08287909874278102916

    Googling pyrofennec also brings up this twitter exchange with Jim Butcher

    https://twitter.com/#!/longshotauthor/status/89985714997051392

    Which originally says @pyrofennec, but the top reply to now says @requireshate

    I think that means a twitter rename.

    So, that, I hope, provides some better linkage between the identities. :)

  212. Here’s a qoute from a message board about Pyrofennec = Winterfox who may also now be acm….

    “….Pretty much, yup. Attacks any and all situations — whether justified or not — with the tenacity of a rabid chihuahua, loves to accuse anyone not agreeing with them of “you’re white, right?” which has backfired more than once, has expressed opinion that JKR is a rascist and homophobe, and on and on.”
    http://www.journalfen.net/community/unfunny_fandom/14193.html?thread=1198961

    Love the “rabid chihuahua” bit ;-)

  213. CAW! that’s some detective work there. Respects fly off 2 Red Fish

  214. This is amazing. i feel like Steve Martin in The Jerk “Well if this is out there just think how much more is out there!!!’” There are some other quotes I could use as well but then I would be relying on the genius of Steve Martin to make my points for me and I do that often enough as it is.

    Before I go any further, a full disclosure. I really like Peter Watts’s writings and sensibilities so anything I say is probably biased by my own opinions.

    Peter, I really don’t think there is anything wrong about basing/modeling characters on real people. Isn’t that what happens all of the time? Doesn’t it actually end up being the author’s biased impressions of certain traits/facts of a person mixed in with a lot of other stuff to create a character that is involved in the plot of a story??

    To summarize, I think any of the brouhahah over whether you asked first before writing the character is dumb. But if I ever meet her I will have to ask her to tell me more about living underwater like that.. Oh wait, that wasn’t real. Silly me.

    I don’t think I realized the extant that people would go to to anonymously insult each other and act self righteous.

  215. People here keep using the phrase “passive aggressive” in a weird way.

    I’ll quote Cecil Adams here:

    It’s true that if you look under “passive-aggressive personality disorder” (PAPD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the older editions–more about that below), you find the syndrome solemnly described as a “pervasive pattern of passive resistance to demands for adequate social and occupational performance.” But once you delve into the history of the term, you realize that–at least in the eyes of its critics–it’s mostly useful as a high-flown way to call someone a pain in the ass.

    The term “passive-aggressive” was introduced in a 1945 U.S. War Department technical bulletin, describing soldiers who weren’t openly insubordinate but shirked duty through procrastination, willful incompetence, and so on. If you’ve ever served in the military during wartime, though, or for that matter read Catch-22, you realize that what the brass calls a personality disorder a grunt might call a rational strategy to avoid getting killed.

    Is that what we mean here?

  216. Hljóðlegur said:

    [ backstory on passive-aggressive as a concept]
    Is that what we mean here?

    No, the colloquial meaning has drifted.
    The equivalent to what is described by Cecil Adams would most likely be labelled as ‘passive resistance’ or ‘non-violent resistance’ (in the context of someone being imposed upon and defending herself).

    Passive-aggressive behavior (in its contemporary colloquial meaning) includes the procrastination, playing dumb, willful incompetence et al, and extends beyond that, but most importantly:

    - is emotionally manipulative in nature, typically focusing on guilt-tripping, self-victimization and shaming.
    - the imposition of authority is reversed.

    A passive-aggressor tries to control its target by making them feel bad about themselves, implying they’re mean for not subjecting to (often non explicit) demands.
    As opposed to the historical sense of passive-aggression as a mechanism of resistance to imposition of power, the current colloquial sense assumes the passive-aggressor is the one in dominant position, not resisting, but ruling through obstruction and manipulation.

    A typical case would be about ‘letting’ the target make a decision, but sulking, complaining or dismissing their choices until they eventually stumble on the desired selection, then blame them afterwards if the outcome didn’t turn out to be perfectly satisfying to the passive-aggressor (if it worked out perfectly, it’s still possible to point all the horrible alternatives that ‘almost’ happened because of the prey’s poor tastes/skills).

    That’s what we mean here.

  217. Ah, one more bit of evidence. Here’s a link to a requireshate blog post, which states

    “Silver Phoenix and the Fauxminism
    Sep19 by acrackedmoon

    Note: this was originally posted at Ars Marginal, but I’m keeping a copy here for archival purposes.”

    https://requireshate.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/silver-phoenix-and-the-fauxminism/

    So, that’s the acrackedmoon at requireshate @ wordpress claiming ownership of the blog post on Ars Marginal. So, the acrackedmoon @ requireshate is the same acrackedmoon @ Ars Marginal, and at Ars Marginal she was also posting as pyrofennec, which is the same person as winterfox.

    So, that’s the last of my linkage that acrackedmoon = pyrofennec = winterfox

    Best of luck to anyone who runs into her.

  218. Siedhr on RoH made a good point – perhaps it is best to delete a good chunk of conversation that can be used to identify the victim’s name?

  219. I meant even the part about [Ed. redaction].

  220. Hi Sajaan:

    I did that a while ago– immediately after Kalon pointed out how I’d fucked up, in fact. But I see I missed a couple of peripheral references (including yours, ironically), which I’ve just fixed. Thank you.

  221. Re: Adrianne

    LOL don’t sweat it.

    Arguments should not rely on one’s penis or lack thereof :)

  222. Peter, why does every comment I make gets sent to moderator limbo ?

    I use same credentials and stuff…

    Perhaps you could install one of them member-registration plugins so that people who hang out often and have a history of not being immense PITA could avoid the spam gauntlet run entirely ?

  223. [...] Watts – In Vicarious Defense of R. Scott Bakker – dated 16 February [...]

  224. @03: I don’t know what’s going on there. You’re not the only one it happens to; in some cases one comment will get through while another by the same person will get held up. Any first-time poster gets held in moderation until approved, and there are spam and moderation lists for problematic posters — and I’ve occasionally rescued legit postings that got dumped into the spam folder because of a high number of embedded links — but sometimes completely normal comments just get queued. Don’t know why. Doesn’t seem to be a whitelist option here (although I suppose I could go and look for plug-ins). I’ve always meant to get around to looking into that, but things keep getting in the way…

  225. Silly season.

    Breaks my rotary pump heart to find out there is a bunch of people who agree with Ms.Cracked on something…

  226. @Lanius:

    Silly season.
    Breaks my rotary pump heart to find out there is a bunch of people who agree with Ms.Cracked on something…

    Yeah. Especially when you look at the masthead.

    On the other hand, there’s this, which is heartening even if it doesn’t get nearly as much traffic. I don’t even know this person (at least, I don’t recognize the handle…)

  227. Lanius

    How does your heart feel about “Sarah” ;) ?

  228. @ Lanius

    Well, poking fun at her by exposing my ravenhood is sorta fun, I must admit. A guilty, childish amusement, but amusement nonetheless.

    @ Peter

    03 has informed me over ICQ that her posts have stopped getting through completely.

  229. @01: Found ‘em. Three of them, in the spam folder. I don’t get notified when that happens.

    I honestly don’t know why this keeps happening; I’ve got a straight-to-spam flag on an “oh@really” (one of the mouth-breathers from Squidgate days), but that shouldn’t set it off in 03′s case. And the IP address hasn’t been blacklisted.

    Apologies. I’ll fix forthwith, and keep an eye out. Maybe even upgrade my version of WordPress (I try to hold off on upgrades until all the inevitable new-release bugs get worked out).

  230. And look at winterfox pyrofennec hate-machine’s scrub-a-dub, too:

    Google Cache on 30-Jan: http://i.imgur.com/v8hV1.png

    Current: http://i.imgur.com/McYz8.png

    That’s whitewashing that would make Tom Sawyer proud. Looks like somebody’s more concerned about being called out for her trolling than she lets on.

  231. @ Peter Watts

    Well, perhaps you might want to consider registration (I believe that you can manually create username/password pairs, which is about the same amount of fuss as approving comments, but has to be done once)
    However, being ITSec dude I am uneasy with that, since that would mean you will need to take care with what privileges (lol ;) ) the users get, and expose the login page which is considered a “fuck no NO NO” in wordpress circles (such attitude is somewhat justified, given how flakey and jury-rigged this thing is)

    Alternatively, you might want to consider changing your spam countermeasure plugins.

    I hear that a combination of Akismet (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/akismet/ ) and BWP ReCaptcha ( http://betterwp.net/wordpress-plugins/bwp-recaptcha/ ) works pretty decently. Cursory examination suggests that they are well maintained, and Gray Lines theme should work with BWP ReCaptcha out of the box.

    P.S.:
    Also, expect an email from the address I currently use for commenting fairly soon.

  232. World SF blog?

    And that is .. world in the same manner US national sports have ‘world events’or whatever?

    Any way officialy affiliated with some body?

    And
    Contributors to the blog include: Anil Menon (India), Guy Hasson (Israel), Kaaron Warren (Australia), Mihai Adascalitei (Romania), Aliette de Bodard (France), Fábio Fernandes (Brazil), Lauren Beukes (South Africa), Harry Markov (Bulgaria), and many others.

    No names. Anyone recognizes any?

    At least, in the comment section, some people try to defend against Ms.Cracked
    (her vitriolic hatred of everyone different reminds me of another famous hater, Ms.Rand. Who, though haughty, at least did not hide behind a nickname, or use language that would make a Navy Seal wince. And beat up the originator badly, most likely)

  233. I recognize Kaaron Warren. I’ve even hung out with her a few times. She’s an author in her own right, and from everything I could tell, a really nice person.

  234. Well, so far the discussion in the comments has boiled down to cracked entity evading and fleeing when faced with unshakably polite inquiries, and Athena suddenly throwing the bizarre “How many woman-murdering terristers have you stopped” line at me (after evading the request to link sources that would unambiguously establish “harm” from that kind of “works”).

    No need to stroke that pile any further.

  235. Well, whatever ACM might have intended with her vitriol, I’m pretty sure I just did the exact opposite: I bought one of Bakker’s books, and if I like it (and it seems that has a very high probability) I will be giving a lot more of my hard-earned money to the man.

  236. [...] Watts – In Vicarious Defense of R. Scott Bakker – dated 16 February [...]

  237. To Above:

    Without exception, I have found acrackedmoon’s criticisms of works I have read to be valid. That’s not to say I’m always in total agreement with her. I think the political interpretation of work can be limited. But all criticism, from
    whatever angle, is limited. As is writing.

    I wish you have grown up some place where men are not metaphorically emasculated by society in puberty or whenever.
    You think it is okay for her to slander and insult other women on the net?

    Imagine if a male writer did so.

    Is Ms.Cracked a misogynist?Or a racist. Damned hard to find her being nice to anyone not ‘other’.

    Think about that, and think about the utility of hate.

    Ms.Cracked is a hateful purveyor of toxic insults with no original insights.


  238. Far from being a rabid animal, acrackedmoon is an excellent and perceptive critic. Her point of view is not only reasonable, it’s important. Voices like hers are too rarely heard in a community that still thinks Tolkien’s racism is in the magical realm of maybe or that Orson Scott Card is anything but a homophobic hack whose greatest work is a defence of genocide.

    Mieville said so about Tolkien. He never writes such filth as acm.

    Tolkien was a parochial catholic … you need to be a little forgiving there. Not everyone is willing to spend time figuring out how to interact with other groups.

  239. I have no issue with her criticism. Let her criticise.

    I have issue with her being a vile, nasty person, whose writings are as hateful as the best bile Ms.Rand has ever vomited out through her typewriter.

  240. “Well, whatever ACM might have intended with her vitriol, I’m pretty sure I just did the exact opposite: I bought one of Bakker’s books, and if I like it (and it seems that has a very high probability) I will be giving a lot more of my hard-earned money to the man.”

    Actually most of this would have completely been ignored had Bakker not written 4 separate blog posts about it over the course of 6 months. It’s pretty clear to me that Bakker wanted the publicity about acm’s review, so you’re basically playing right into what Bakker wants.

    Which is fine, as they’re pretty good books.

    Also, my suspicion is that acm isn’t interested in banning anyone or suggesting that books shouldn’t be written; she’s interested in showing people some of the fairly atrocious things that people do in fantasy and sci-fi from a feminist perspective (or at least hers). Which isn’t commonly done; fantasy especially has been mired in conservativism and a copycat mentality since Tolkien, and continues to be so. As Zero Punctuation pointed out today, the word ‘fantasy’ is a very different cry from what actual fantasy works are most of the time. Why are all fantasies about swords and sorcery?

  241. @Kalon:

    she’s interested in showing people some of the fairly atrocious things that people do in fantasy and sci-fi from a feminist perspective (or at least hers).

    Also in making unwarranted and vitriolic personal attacks, unless there’s some constructive analysis in phrases like “self-important little roach” that I’m not seeing

    Why are all fantasies about swords and sorcery?

    Two words: China. Miéville.

  242. China Mieville is one of the better non-fantasy fantasy writers, but he’s still writing in the genre ,albeit from a different angle. He still has magic, he still has princesses needing rescue, he even has adventurers straight out of D&D. At least Bas-lag. More of his recent work is significantly more what I’m talking about, and perhaps what you are – the City and the City is a great example, as is UnLunDun.

    “Also in making unwarranted and vitriolic personal attacks, unless there’s some constructive analysis in phrases like “self-important little roach” that I’m not seeing” Yes, that too. She does enjoy showing her displeasure at people she considers to be douchebags. Which makes her no different than basically everyone on this blog, I believe. I’m also not sure why you think it’s unwarranted; from her perspective Bakker basically told her that he hated women and thought they were literally worth less than men while doing it in the name of science, and did it in earnest. While you can disagree with that interpretation – and I do as well – the notion that calling out a misogynist for being a misogynist is unwarranted is pretty silly. You yourself say that you like picking fights and slamming the tea party folks and fundies when they say something you find offensive or sometimes because they just exist and are idiots; how is that different in principle from what ACM did with Bakker?

    From where I’m sitting the only difference is that you don’t agree with her starting point.

  243. Ya know, I think the reason why Lan dislikes ACM so much is because they have lots of traits in common. I won’t be surprised if he eventually turns out to be a Thai lesbian posing as Czech male or something…

    Also, I am reasonably confident that I did not sink down to calling people names around here, even when said people are douches. So please don’t sweepingly over-generalize :D

  244. @03: my apologies. I still suspect that you’d be happy to call someone a douchebag if you really felt that they were, but I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    The thing is that most people are certainly willing to go there. Very few people are not going to say anything about something that offends them; while they might not say it to the person’s face, they’ll go talk to friends or family, or blog about it, or whatever. They’ll find their clade and discuss. And they’ll likely do it based on very scant information about that person or that subject which is heavily biased in their favor, because, well, that’s what everyone does.

  245. Moon and some of these other people are neoliberal as is the notion that if you eliminate something from language it will disappear in *real* fucking life in full goddam defiance of genetics and learned behavior that has nothing to do with godsdam SFF but rather sonny taking his cues from dear old dad (who provably never picked up a SFF book in his life). Let’s just call rape “rapid reproduction” and be done with it (a neoconlike solution that’s really close to being the same thing). Those are both Orwellian.

    And anything she says is justified because it attacks white males (observe the continued discussion in the Bakker thread over there…Assange is guilty of rape without trial because he’s a while male, for example). That’s both racist and sexist.

    (That said, when the neoliberals get 1/10th as much influence as the neoconservatives, I’ll worry about the “word police.” It’s like another faux “even” kind of thing that shitty journalists enjoy inflicting on thinking people, eg, climate change science vs. climate deniers getting equal coverage even though the latter has denial, stupid and greed as it’s three main ingredients. Ralph Nader wanting you to be forced to wear a seatbelt just doesn’t compare to David Koch wanting to be free to give you cancer as a by-product of doing business. Or does it?)

  246. Hi Kalon,

    While you can disagree with that interpretation — and I do as well — the notion that calling out a misogynist for being a misogynist is unwarranted is pretty silly. You yourself say that you like picking fights and slamming the tea party folks and fundies when they say something you find offensive or sometimes because they just exist and are idiots; how is that different in principle from what ACM did with Bakker? From where I’m sitting the only difference is that you don’t agree with her starting point.

    There are a lot of differences.

    acm’s arguments are not just insulting, they’re logically incoherent. E.g., her response to Bakker’s observation that you can’t judge a book by its first few pages, you actually have to see how those pages fit into the work as a whole, was Eat shit. Tastes like shit? Keep eating, it’ll turn into cake! Which makes exactly as much logical sense as refusing to read past the first six steps of an open-heart surgical procedure because those first six steps in isolation would kill the patient. (See also the sex-slavery jab I parodied in that excerpt from “Internet: Who’s Who”.)

    She’s the queen of the double standard. She feels perfectly justified in referring to someone as a “self-important little roach”, then screeches to the heavens when I use the term “rabid animal” — even though her use of invective was purely vitriolic while mine was explicitly analytical. (Not that I don’t stand behind my use of that term, by the way: “rabid” connotes something that foams at the mouth and attacks indiscriminately, which strkes me as a pretty good metaphor in this case.) She calls me out for not reining Lanius in, while letting a comment on her own blog describing Bakker as a “subhuman misogynistic piece of garbage” pass without issue.

    She deliberately conflates the individual and the demographic. It seems inconceivable to her that I would call her a rabid animal simply because I think that she, personally, is an asshole; no, the only reason I would use such hurtful language is because she’s female, and “of color”, and lesbian (two traits of which I was unaware, and all three of which are utterly irrelevant to whether or not she is a decent human being.)

    She’s a bigot; I attack people on the basis of their own professed beliefs, acm attributes beliefs to individuals on the basis of their demographic. She lies, without remorse. She trolls. She exploits those she claims to be speaking out for. She—

    I’ve gone on about this elsewhere, Kalon; I know you’ve read those bits. And right now I’d be too tired and overwhelmed by other things to repeat all that stuff even if I did think that acm warranted further attention. I think perhaps the one despicable ubertrait that underlies all the others is her outright and consistent hypocrisy — and in all these ways, I think she and I differ. Not just from starting point, as you suggest.

    I suppose as a privileged white boy, my perspective remains ever suspect; I suppose that as my wife, Caitlin’s does too. But you might want to check out this lady’s thoughts on the subject; she’s saying this stuff better than I could at this point, and hers is a less-impeachable perspective at least by virtue of not being male, or knowing me personally.

  247. Red fish has done an outstanding job of outing ACM as other personalities to be the troll entity it is. As did the person who linked the screenshots where the name differs (a trick she herself has used on her blog).

    I’d like to add to the debunking: If you are quick and she doesn’t change it…go back to her very early posts on the ROH blog…the one about AVATAR and Jim Cameron (where she seemingly actually threatens his life) should suffice and I do believe the pyrofennec (or some variation thereof is how she/he/it caps off the post.

    Scratch that, she’s changed it now. It used to be signed off in the early days of her blog like ~pyrofennec or some such. I noticed it around the time of the Pat’s hotlist thing as I dug for info on the trolling.

    At any rate, like someone way upthread said…some people just want to watch the world burn. The reason you can’t find any decent arguments with the ACM entity where she/he/it refutes anything in a proper debating type of way is that is not the goal at all. The goal is to cause upset. The equivalent of an internet terrorist, ACM exists to cause panic, upset and anger. The best 4Chan troll ever is MHO.

    I will leave ACM and her sub-personalities like Sean Wills and Sanjeel (who we are aware are also ACM, you’re not fooling anyone) with the following wisdom from Morgan Freeman:

    “Morgan Freeman says the concept of a month dedicated to black history is “ridiculous.”

    “You’re going to relegate my history to a month?” the 68-year-old actor says in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” to air Sunday (7 p.m. EST). “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.”

    Black History Month has roots in historian Carter G. Woodson’s Negro History Week, which he designated in 1926 as the second week in February to mark the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

    Woodson said he hoped the week could one day be eliminated — when black history would become fundamental to American history.

    Freeman notes there is no “white history month,” and says the only way to get rid of racism is to “stop talking about it.”

    The actor says he believes the labels “black” and “white” are an obstacle to beating racism.

    “I am going to stop calling you a white man and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man,” Freeman says.”

  248. More Evidence of ROH ACM’s split personality that shows her/him to have been a troll for years. A post by someone who actually likes the vitriol (lord knows why), who at the time of posting in early summer 2011 refers to ACM clearly as Pyrofennec…I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to then believe the debunker above who said this was also someone who used to call themselves Winterfox on LJ.

    Anyways, proof linky:

    http://barkingbookreviews.com/reissue-anno-dracula-and-reading-while-starving-better/

    @ACM/ROH/Pyrofennec/Winterfox Next time you attempt to whitewash your own internet persona in an attempt to later come across as someone who isn’t the troll you clearly are…try doing it a little harder. The more that comes out about these Alt-identities (the most telling of which is the Live journal one from years ago), the further down the drain anything you say in your own defense goes. ;)

    De-trolling the troll. Enjoyed your fifteen minutes I hope, it won’t come around again.

  249. Morgan Freeman = so much win.

  250. “acm’s arguments are not just insulting, they’re logically incoherent. E.g., her response to Bakker’s observation that you can’t judge a book by its first few pages, you actually have to see how those pages fit into the work as a whole, was Eat shit. Tastes like shit? Keep eating, it’ll turn into cake! Which makes exactly as much logical sense as refusing to read past the first six steps of an open-heart surgical procedure because those first six steps in isolation would kill the patient. (See also the sex-slavery jab I parodied in that excerpt from “Internet: Who’s Who”.)”

    Wait – as someone who is reading for enjoyment you’re comparing that to reading an open heart surgical procedure? That’s ludicrous. I think it’s quite normal to experience a small bit and if you don’t enjoy it, stop doing it. Not everyone does it, but plenty of people do; do you think that it’s wrong to walk out of a movie that you find distasteful? Do you feel that it’s wrong to state that you found it distasteful and walked out? It’s a perfectly reasonable opinion to state and she didn’t try to hide it; more importantly she never claimed to be reviewing his work. She commented that she found it bad and found some other exerpts, but mostly she was reviewing the interview.

    How is that different than you reacting to a soundbyte by a neocon or a tea party rep and telling them they’re idiots?

    “She feels perfectly justified in referring to someone as a “self-important little roach”, then screeches to the heavens when I use the term “rabid animal” — even though her use of invective was purely vitriolic while mine was explicitly analytical. ” She objected to you using a term that is associated with dehumanizing non-whites by whites in a very historic practice. It is entirely because you’re a white guy and she’s a Thai woman. I understand that that wasn’t your intent, but so what? If you call a woman a bitch, does that have the same power as calling a man a bitch? How about a cunt? Does it matter if you personally use the word to describe everyone equally? You’re better than this, Peter. Just as Bakker was better than that when using the term ‘dude’ to refer to her.

    “She calls me out for not reining Lanius in, while letting a comment on her own blog describing Bakker as a “subhuman misogynistic piece of garbage” pass without issue.” Is there some kind of longstanding prejudice against misogynists? Have misogynists been denied work or been enslaved because of their misogynistic views?

    Shockingly, making racist and sexist comments is not the same equivalent as calling a white male a misogynist. This seems so very obvious that arguing against it seems ludicrous.

    “She deliberately conflates the individual and the demographic. It seems inconceivable to her that I would call her a rabid animal simply because I think that she, personally, is an asshole; no, the only reason I would use such hurtful language is because she’s female, and “of color”, and lesbian (two traits of which I was unaware, and all three of which are utterly irrelevant to whether or not she is a decent human being.)” Yes, she absolutely does. She stereotypes all the time. She groups people together based on their skin color.

    Do you think that it’s a horrible thing that you’re being prejudged because you’re a white man? And more importantly, do you think this is comparable to being prejudiced against because you’re a woman or a PoC?

    “I think perhaps the one despicable ubertrait that underlies all the others is her outright and consistent hypocrisy — and in all these ways, I think she and I differ. Not just from starting point, as you suggest.” Except you yourself commented on this hypocrisy and how troubled you were by your own notions – that you have no problem attacking random tea partiers, but can see the issue of completely alienating women and PoC from your blog because of allowing others to say whatever they want. How is this different, exactly?

    In any event, I agree that there’s no productive value in discussing it further.

    @Requires Love ” I will leave ACM and her sub-personalities like Sean Wills and Sanjeel (who we are aware are also ACM, you’re not fooling anyone) ” yeah, sorry, this doesn’t fly. Any more than it’s clear than you’re an alt of Lanius. Which…come to think of it, you probably are. Without IP checks it’s hard to say. Sci is at least hugely consistent across the blogosphere in his posting style and comes across completely differently than ACM in words. He’s also openly disagreed with ACM. This just comes across as some paranoid delusion.

  251. @PW
    Encyclopedia Dramatica has an article about winterfox and her kin..
    http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/index.php?title=SF_Drama&oldid=228676

  252. Re: Kalon

    “Wait – as someone who is reading for enjoyment you’re comparing that to reading an open heart surgical procedure? That’s ludicrous. “

    I think you assume that one can’t read medical literature for fun ;)
    It’s entirely possible to read surgical literature for sheer curiosity’s sake, and refusing to read past a certain stage would still be patently silly.

    Generally, refusing to read past a certain point but still implying possession of an informed opinion is silly. There are books I never finished. I don’t comment on them. That would be just stupid.

    She objected to you using a term that is associated with dehumanizing non-whites by whites in a very historic practice. It is entirely because you’re a white guy and she’s a Thai woman

    (A) And here comes the legendary passive aggressiveness (though you might still claim it’s not passive), attempt to wrestle some kind of superiority through unverifiable claims of background.
    I’ve seen this done too many times, and done this too many times (in venues I respect less) to take that as anything but unwarranted and pathetic rhetorical grab

    (B) There might be Thai-specific context I am not aware of (maybe Thai people only use “rabid” and “animal” as descriptors for women), but where I sit, neither “rabid” nor “animal” is a gender-specific or ethnospecific slur.

    Under a variety of circumstances, one or more of those descriptors has, in my personal experience, been used to describe
    1) national-insertwordists (they have a hard time using “socialist” after “national”, so they get creative)
    2) KKK
    3) Gay pride parade participants
    4) violent homophobes trying to start shit during a pride parade
    5) cops suppressing riots
    6) rioting violent football fans
    7) idiots almost crushing each other to the death when rushing into a supermarket during seasonal sales
    8) drunk idiots starting a panic and trampling each other during a beer festival
    9) women with social behaviors author disagrees with
    10) men with social behaviors author disagrees with
    11) small yet nasty groups of criminalized youths (of which I was, at some point, a part of)

    if anything, ACM is trying to unilaterally appropriate two terms that are perhaps among most generic insults in history used to describe a wide variety of individuals with disagreeable characteristics as something that specifically targets people of her alleged background

    “Shockingly, making racist and sexist comments is not the same equivalent as calling a white male a misogynist. This seems so very obvious that arguing against it seems ludicrous. “

    I’d say calling someone misogynist without proper evidence being laid out is pretty much as bad as a racist slur, if not worse.
    Being target of racist slurs does not itself constitute any kind of “character flaw” when viewed by a non-racist third party. Being ascribed misogynistic properties kind of does. It’s like a very mild form of libel.

    “Do you think that it’s a horrible thing that you’re being prejudged because you’re a white man? And more importantly, do you think this is comparable to being prejudiced against because you’re a woman or a PoC?”

    I think Mr. Morgan Freeman addressed it best.
    Racism against whites does not in any way counteract racism against anyone else.

    You either judge people on the merit of their performance, or you’re some kinda racist/sexist/etc. animal (see what I did there?) ACM happens to be on the racist/sexist side of the debate, just has somewhat atypical preference groups.

    “Except you yourself commented on this hypocrisy and how troubled you were by your own notions – that you have no problem attacking random tea partiers, but can see the issue of completely alienating women and PoC from your blog because of allowing others to say whatever they want. How is this different, exactly? “

    Teepers and jackbooted thugs have every right to comment here, and have only been cut out when their responses degenerated into a sequence of pointless insults

    The reason you don’t see teepers around here much is not because Peter deletes their comments, but because they can’t handle environments where their precious ideals aren’t coddled and opposing views aren’t getting suppressed.

  253. @Kalon. Doesn’t fly? You truly believe that I need your approval to make a statement in which I believe that ACM has alter ego’s (a number of them have already been exposed and proven with evidence, see upthread)?

    What on earth?

    How are you even allowed to use the internet with a mentality like that? I’ll tell you what, those britches might be a tad big for you. You can keep digging your hole here, but the further you go the more you are revealed and dissembled.

    I have my belief that ACM is using MANY alter ego’s in her “narrative of rage” (I love how Peter noted that is what it is) and quite frankly if you don’t like that, you can lump it.

    Oh, but I must note the huge plot hole in your arguement about her not being Sci as an Alt…and I bloody well quote…”he openly has disagreed with “her” ” Excuse me while I fall off my chair. While it is clear that ACM has constructed a troll identity, she would also need a foil to go up against, keep discussions going where her main alt of ACM won’t go, and so Sci is introduced as a dissenting voice (who still agrees with her). It’s all part of the “narrative” and it’s fairly ridiculous and transparent at this point. Like I already said, I hope ACM has enjoyed its 15 minutes, because it’s over now.

    My second fave thing today. When this Watt’s post started ACM had 88 twitter followers….she now has 60. It would appear as if 28 people came to their senses. That just made my day.

  254. @Kalon:

    Wait — as someone who is reading for enjoyment you’re comparing that to reading an open heart surgical procedure? That’s ludicrous. I think it’s quite normal to experience a small bit and if you don’t enjoy it, stop doing it.

    Sure, if you’re after basic beach-reading escapism. But some works act as thought experiments, Bakker’s trilogy apparently among them (again, not having read it myself). You don’t judge an experiment on the basis of its reagents list. If you don’t like the surgical-procedure analogy, here’s one that’s exactly analogous: tossing Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange after a couple of pages because it obviously glorifies violence and besides, you wouldn’t believe all the typos…

    How is that different than you reacting to a soundbyte by a neocon or a tea party rep and telling them they’re idiots?

    There’s that whole bit about hypocrisy, for one thing. I may ridicule someone for believing in “intelligent design”, but I don’t then follow it up with a strident endorsement of seven-day creationism.

    She objected to you using a term that is associated with dehumanizing non-whites by whites in a very historic practice. It is entirely because you’re a white guy and she’s a Thai woman.

    What you’re suggesting is that “rabid animal” is a culturally-established ethnic or racist slur on a par with “nigger” or “kike”. This is news to me. I’ve no doubt that such terms are frequently applied to PoCs, but as far as I know 03′s right; it gets used in a shitload of other contexts as well, so while it’s definitely insulting on a personal level it’s not insulting on a demographic one (just as my use of the term “despot”, for example, wouldn’t be racist just because I happened to apply it to Kim Jong-il).

    Of course, if there is some kind of specific ethnic exclusivity to the term (and I’d like to see some evidence for that, maybe a link to a lexicon of cultural epithets or something), then I’d stand corrected and would refrain from using it in future. But as far as I’m aware, “rabid” is a perfectly legit term to apply to anyone who foams at the mouth. That’s the cultural connotation I’m aware of.

    “She calls me out for not reining Lanius in, while letting a comment on her own blog describing Bakker as a “subhuman misogynistic piece of garbage” pass without issue.” Is there some kind of longstanding prejudice against misogynists? Have misogynists been denied work or been enslaved because of their misogynistic views? Shockingly, making racist and sexist comments is not the same equivalent as calling a white male a misogynist. This seems so very obvious that arguing against it seems ludicrous.

    K, you seem to be focussing on “misogynist” and completely ignoring the words to either side. If the commenter in question had said “I find Bakker’s statements misogynist”, or even “Bakker’s clearly a misogynist”, I wouldn’t have batted an eye. The phrase, however was “subhuman piece of misogynistic garbage” — and the difference seems so very obvious to me that arguing against it seems ludicrous.

    Do you think that it’s a horrible thing that you’re being prejudged because you’re a white man? And more importantly, do you think this is comparable to being prejudiced against because you’re a woman or a PoC?

    I’m opposed to prejudging anyone on the basis of anything other than their behaviour. Neither gender nor ethnicity matter one whit to any of the traits I care about in a human being, and even if they did, such variables are hardly a matter of choice.

    (No, I haven’t forgotten the dim view that much of my own writing takes on the subject of choice even when it comes to high-level behavior. Let’s save that for another thread.)

    Except you yourself commented on this hypocrisy and how troubled you were by your own notions — that you have no problem attacking random tea partiers, but can see the issue of completely alienating women and PoC from your blog because of allowing others to say whatever they want. How is this different, exactly?

    For one thing, because it does trouble me. I have, for the most part, a really good bunch of people here, and from a purely selfish POV I don’t want to lose them because you wouldn’t believe how many cool links and perspectives I get from this place. I always thought that the best way to fertilise that soil was to let everyone speak their piece, no holds barred, and trust that we’d be grown-up enough to spew ideas and not insults. For the most part, that’s worked; but now the trolls are starting to sniff around, and I’ve had to start deleting comments without posting them (Hi, Lanius: no, there is no fucking way I am going to post a link on this blog to naked pictures of you). But I don’t like to be the arbiter of anything. The whole point of science (when done properly, at least) is that anyone can be wrong, that everything is subject to disproof in the face of evidence, that no one person is infallible so no one person should decide what passes and what doesn’t. It’s easy enough to ban comments that are just insulting; where I have problems is with the posts that are downright insulting but with also have a substantive kernal nested inside the turd. For what it’s worth, I’m tending towards taking a deep sigh and banning those too; hell, if I passed everything Lanius has been posting, he’d be 90% of the ‘crawl.

    Anyway, that’s the difference. I don’t like censoring opposing ideas, even if it proves necessary. acm seems to revel in it.

    In any event, I agree that there’s no productive value in discussing it further.

    Oh. Okay, then. Never mind.

    @Requires Love ” I will leave ACM and her sub-personalities like Sean Wills and Sanjeel (who we are aware are also ACM, you’re not fooling anyone) ” yeah, sorry, this doesn’t fly. Any more than it’s clear than you’re an alt of Lanius. Which…come to think of it, you probably are.

    Nope. Lanius and RequiresLove aren’t even posting from the same hemisphere, unless they’ve figured out how to spoof the IP addies somehow.

    @RequiresLove:

    My second fave thing today. When this Watt’s post started ACM had 88 twitter followers….she now has 60. It would appear as if 28 people came to their senses. That just made my day.

    Huh. Last time she popped up on my scope she had 120. But that was a while ago. The thing that made my day was that that story of mine she tweeted — the one where she took the rape line out of context — just got a repeat endorsement from Simon Pegg to his two-million-plus twitter followers (he tweeted about it a few months ago, too). Apparently the Clarkesworld servers have just about melted.

  255. @PW
    Was a decent nude picture, not naked. (lol)

    Spoofing IP’s is possible. Easy to do.
    With a little effort and a little cash, one could have private relays all over the world so one would be able to sit at home and post stuff that would appear to come from different parts of the net…

    Also, my manic state is dampening, so I won’t be filling up your server drives with superfluous posts..

  256. @ Peter. Doh! I was looking at the wrong stat, you are correct. Though how 120 people could follow someone who’s feed seems to be one continuous stream of hate is beyond me. But then again, I suppose there are just people like that in this world sadly.

  257. @03: “Generally, refusing to read past a certain point but still implying possession of an informed opinion is silly. There are books I never finished. I don’t comment on them. That would be just stupid.”

    I agree. And ACM didn’t. She stated she had read only the first few pages, found a rape there, had heard there were problems with rape in the rest of the book and decided it wasn’t worth the effort. This is very explicitly stated. And it appears that you do object to talking about that too; to me, that doesn’t make sense. A lot of people happily commented how they couldn’t get past the rape in Thomas Covenant, and I think that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to say. It isn’t the same thing as saying that the books are horrible or the books are…well, anything. Just that you didn’t read past a certain point because it bothered you and you moved on.

    “There might be Thai-specific context I am not aware of (maybe Thai people only use “rabid” and “animal” as descriptors for women), but where I sit, neither “rabid” nor “animal” is a gender-specific or ethnospecific slur.”

    Comparing PoC to animals is a very old slur. I’m actually kind of shocked you don’t understand this. Here’s the first google result I found for googling ‘black people as animals.’ It’s a pretty big website.

    “I’d say calling someone misogynist without proper evidence being laid out is pretty much as bad as a racist slur, if not worse.
    Being target of racist slurs does not itself constitute any kind of “character flaw” when viewed by a non-racist third party. Being ascribed misogynistic properties kind of does. It’s like a very mild form of libel.”
    So is being called an asshole. Or a dick. Or a douchebag. None of them have the cultural or emotional baggage that racial slurs have.

    And I’ve seen no reasonable claim put forth that being labeled a misogynist by an internet blog causes any actual harm, financial or otherwise. Plenty of misogynists get tons of money – some BECAUSE they’re misogynists, others because people don’t care. And in this specific case many people commented that they hadn’t heard about Bakker until this but now will be picking up his books. So…yeah. If you want to equate any sort of namecalling to libel but are fine with people using racial slurs, I simply don’t understand you.

    “I think Mr. Morgan Freeman addressed it best.
    Racism against whites does not in any way counteract racism against anyone else.

    You either judge people on the merit of their performance, or you’re some kinda racist/sexist/etc. animal (see what I did there?) ACM happens to be on the racist/sexist side of the debate, just has somewhat atypical preference groups. ”

    And here’s the privilege argument. Racism without power is not as big a deal. When she calls a white person a honky, do you think that person thinks about a time they were beaten? Or denied a job? Or when their parents were terrorized? Probably not. She does it to provoke, but the central notion that all racial slurs is equivalent is not in my mind reasonable. It is reasonable when we’re starting at the same point, when there isn’t institutional and systemic prejudice, when everyone can be judged on their merits and there isn’t that baggage. That’s not where we are, and ignoring that – thinking that the fight is won, that we’re all good now – is a problem.

    This is a very common argument – one detailed heavily in derailingfordummies.

    “Oh, but I must note the huge plot hole in your arguement about her not being Sci as an Alt…and I bloody well quote…”he openly has disagreed with “her” ” Excuse me while I fall off my chair. While it is clear that ACM has constructed a troll identity, she would also need a foil to go up against, keep discussions going where her main alt of ACM won’t go, and so Sci is introduced as a dissenting voice (who still agrees with her). It’s all part of the “narrative” and it’s fairly ridiculous and transparent at this point. Like I already said, I hope ACM has enjoyed its 15 minutes, because it’s over now. ” yeah, this still strikes me as hugely paranoid. I guess if you want to believe that every troll also has an army of commenters that are disagreeing with them or agreeing with them, that’s on you.

  258. @Peter Watts:
    “You don’t judge an experiment on the basis of its reagents list. If you don’t like the surgical-procedure analogy, here’s one that’s exactly analogous: tossing Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange after a couple of pages because it obviously glorifies violence and besides, you wouldn’t believe all the typos… ”
    I don’t have any problem with that judgment. If you don’t want to read something and find it not to your taste or have some problem with explicit violence and beatings and read that in the first few pages, why would you want to read further? Yes, you might be missing out. So what?

    Again, ACM didn’t judge Bakker on that; she stated what she had read and decided it wasn’t worth the time. She judges him primarily on an interview, which she quotes almost in its entirety. I still don’t understand the issue; should she not have made any comment about the book at all? That seems silly to me; if I start a book and say I couldn’t get through it because of X, that’s an entirely helpful review to many people. At the very least it’s a reasonable thing to discuss.

    “What you’re suggesting is that “rabid animal” is a culturally-established ethnic or racist slur on a par with “nigger” or “kike”. This is news to me. ”
    See above. Your lack of awareness does not mean it doesn’t exist. Rabid isn’t the problem (though it’s not great) but animal definitely is.

    “The phrase, however was “subhuman piece of misogynistic garbage” — and the difference seems so very obvious to me that arguing against it seems ludicrous.” And this is different from calling him an asshole how, exactly?

    Again, you’re equating that to calling someone a n-word. Why? Are all insults exactly equivalent to you? Are all insulters equivalent to you?

    “I’m opposed to prejudging anyone on the basis of anything other than their behaviour. Neither gender nor ethnicity matter one whit to any of the traits I care about in a human being, and even if they did, such variables are hardly a matter of choice.”
    You didn’t answer my question, Peter. Do you think that you being called a honky is equivalent to a black person being called an n-word or an animal? Do you think they have the same neurological effect? I thought you had already stated against that, but it seems like you don’t actually believe that and it’s already been forgotten.

    “Anyway, that’s the difference. I don’t like censoring opposing ideas, even if it proves necessary. acm seems to revel in it.”

    That’s fair. I think I understand why she revels in it, but I also see a very big need for women to be able to talk about issues without the conversation being co-opted and derailed by men. Or PoC to talk about racism issues without white people coming in and saying how all racism is bad, and why do y’all use the n-word, and any number of random bits of things that aren’t helpful. I think she’s abrasive and violent and definitely provocative. I also think that there are points in there worth listening to and she’s often quite funny.

    In that respect Lanius and ACM are very alike.

    “Nope. Lanius and RequiresLove aren’t even posting from the same hemisphere, unless they’ve figured out how to spoof the IP addies somehow.”

    And we can also prove that about ACM and Sci if you like, fairly easily; both have posted here. Same as Sean W. Same as me. It’s pretty easy to make this claim, and it’s completely paranoid silliness. I guess if you’re that afraid that everyone is one person and they’re all out to get you, why would you get on the internet? It just seems like an exceptionally fearful state to be in; I’d like to assume that people are who they say they are most of the time at least in casual conversation. That might be wrong, but it’s the most reasonable way to approach things when no real harm can be caused.

  259. Subhuman is a pretty loaded term. It was applied by Nazis and others to Poles and other Slavs as well as Jews. If ACM goes around throwing it at random white people, she might just end up being a “real” racist despite her best efforts to only injure those who “deserve” her abuse.

  260. @PrivateIron – that’s a good point. She didn’t say that; it was one of her comments, but the point is still sound.

  261. @Karon – Sigh.

    A. I’m not scared of anything, or even paranoid. How my assumption that a person like ACM has aliases (which it does have in Pyrofennec and Winterfox) somehow equates, in your head, to me being “paranoid” about it sort of baffles me. I simply assume ACM has aliases and uses them to advantage (perhaps even from different IP addresses)…nothing further. Let’s get one thing quite straight, what ACM does or doesn’t do…affects me IRL not one bit. That doesn’t mean I’m going to keep quiet when I think it’s going on.

    B. ANYONE who claims that they can establish the meaning behind/story told of a book they read 6 pages of…is standing on a house of cards. Not having actually read TDTCB in its entirety REMOVES any and all notion that ACM has a right to claim anything about the work as a whole other than “I read the first 6 pages and was offended by a rape” That is all ACM can feasibly, and honestly say about the work or its perceived notions of the author. That would be like watching fight club and stopping it 10 minutes in and then crafting a blog post about how Jack associating with Tyler Durden in a club where they punch each other is a bad idea. That would be beyond silly and pointless to do because other than missing the KEY point about the characters, said person would also miss the point of the entire film (which only comes at the end). I would understand someone who said, “I couldn’t watch fight club, as I was bothered by *insert complaint hear*”…but if that same person attempts to GUESS what the point was, and make baseless assumptions on hearsay and write a blog post about it…you can be DAMN sure I’ll take that person to task, because that is idiocy of the highest rank.

    C. ACM uses a certain tone and quote various websites AD NAUSEUM, amongst those are things you’ve said like “derailing for dummies”, or the notion that “When she calls a white person a honky, do you think that person thinks about a time they were beaten? Or denied a job? Or when their parents were terrorized?” those are ACM’s arguments. So either you are ACM, or you are a very good parrot who peddles the same tripe in the exact same way, with the exact same arguments. Either way, congrats on being the worst kind of follower.

    D. I enjoyed how you quote the thing about Morgan Freeman, and then pointedly ignore what it stands for in your rebuttal. Classic politician-style avoidance there. For someone who claims to be educated, you are certainly in the dark about what “privilege” actually is. Probably as blind about it as ACM is. ACM absolutely loves to talk about “the West” or “westerners”….meanwhile many Asian countries China and Japan being big examples, are VERY developed, and in some cases are even more developed than North America. Japan has developed socially light years ahead of North America in fact. Japan is NOT the West. Though it is developed. They have virtually eliminated poverty in Japan, because even the poorer places in the country are still living a middle-class type of life. Hell, I know a guy who’s job was simply cleaning streets, and he made next to nothing…but he still found a way to live happily. China rides a different line due to its gov’t, but it is no less developed or privileged. In fact, it could not be the superpower it currently is without being so. So how about ACM tells me again about “The West” being privileged and the East is not. Look, everyone strives to live well. Everyone tries to be happy, and yes in some situations people have to live shitty lives due to location or circumstance, but a truly educated person would be aware that this sort of thing happens all over the world in every country. It is the attempt to rise above it that should be championed. Look at Martin Luther King. One of the smartest and most influential men to ever walk the planet, and if someone slapped him in the face or called him names, threatened him or denied him things he simply stood it, rose above it and acted peacefully. Because he was smart enough to know that violence and retribution was not the answer.

    From an MLK speech about the Vietnam war:

    “I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight
    Because my conscience leaves me no other choice
    A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war
    This way of settling differences is not just
    This business of burning human beings with napalm
    Of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows
    Of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane
    Of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields
    Physically handicapped and psychologically deranged Cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love.”

    Here was a guy protesting one of the most heinous wars that the U.S. ever got involved in (something they should not have done IMHO), but does he do it by being vengeful, or calling people names, or using slurs against those that would slur him? No, he certainly does not. He does it by using his smarts, by appealing to basic human decency. Did he stop the war? I thin he had an effect on the U.S pulling out…but most of all he is now a yardstick (like Ghandi before him) of a human being being clever enough to see the way forward is not through violence, nastyness or retribution.

    So do me a big favour and stop trying to use “privilege” as an argument. It simply doesn’t work. Worse, it makes you no better than those you attempt to rail against. It makes you biased to a point of view that is so skewed, it baffles me.

    Again on Morgan Freeman’s point…using the short form “PoC” is the worst thing ever. This abbrev. and the phrase it stands for is EXACTLY what is wrong with your and ACM’s entire schtick. The minute you mention color at all, you immediately load the argument. It’s a tactic that is on purpose in ACM’s case (it’s also 1st year textbook psychology for anyone willing to look it up). For someone to argue about racism and attempt to come across as legitimate in that argument dismisses themselves entirely by noting color at all. The whole point is we should be trying to get rid of color as a descriptor. I don’t care if people are vermillion of skin, I don’t call any of my friends by a color (I have a diverse group of friends). So when ACM attempts to sound altruistic and further attempts to stand on some sort of high ground, but then uses the abbrev. PoC every few sentences (and ACM uses the term to denote themselves)…to me that simply shows the type of person ACM is and that is the type who loads their statements to get a rise, and is actually worse for the fight against racism than those ACM rails against.

    Probably ACM’s favorite thing in ACM’s arsenal of hate is the fact that she is nasty about men in general…but enjoys pointing out that a lot of her followers are men. What I say to that is: There are a lot of idiots in the world, she found a few to follow her.

    Lastly: I don’t know if ACM needs to inform herself of her own country, but Thailand has always had a monarchy (if that’s not privilege, I’m not sure what is), and has been home to some of the greatest (and wealthiest) empires the world has ever known. It was so rich in the middle ages that the Khmer Empire (which occupied parts of Cambodia and Thailand, most notably at the compounds Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom) was sought after by Western explorers for its wealth and culture. Thailand (like China and even Korea and Japan) comes from a rich history of culture and wealth. Hell, Mongolia ruled by the Khan’s is to this day the largest empire the world has ever known, and beget the Yuan Dynasty, and the latter Chinese dynasties. If anything, those Dynasties are some of the most exorbitant and wealthy era’s that have ever existed in history. Empires and wealth ebb and flow, wax and wane. It’s the way of civilization. So to stand and complain that the “west” is “privileged” and therefore we ought to all be roundly and frequently chastised for being born into a country in an era where we are experiencing a modernity and a wealth (similar to those of the ancient past), is the most ludicrous notion ACM perpetrates as justice.

  262. @Requires Love

    That’s a beautiful post. Really. And a wonderful speech by MLK you quoted there.

    I have a tiny nitpick. I’d much rather engage you in thoughtful discussion than keep dealing with a broken record.

    What if MLK’s opponents lack “basic human decency”? What if the power structure that MLK fought so hard against learned from its lessons, and made sure that today’s atmosphere is wrought with fear and distrust? What if they made an excuse, a straw man out of fear of and relative lack of education about Islam, turned it into the 21st century version of the Salem witch trials? What if they have decided that climate change is real and because they don’t want to give up the lush life they’ve had, they have decided that someone else has to go. They’ve decided that that someone is going to be “not us,” whether that’s race, sexual identity/preference, belief system, etc. Essentially, they’ve decided it’s “kill or be killed” and they have used the very belief system that MLK believed in to accomplish that.

    Now you’re dealing with something that goes way beyond what MLK had to deal with. And the fact that, in the 21st century that anyone should *have* to do what he did *again* strikes me as a primary problem. At the risk of giving people like James Nicholl their money’s worth (see the quote at the main rifters.com page I think about the propensity of the owner of this blog’s writing to curb some people’s enthusiasm):

    MLK is dead. People can believe he’s up there some place looking down, proud of what he did. Rewarded somehow for his “sacrifice.”

    But they can’t *prove* it. From a purely scientific perspective, he is dead, does not know the legacy he left behind and most of all did not get to enjoy it because he was killed before it came to fruition (such as it is). That other people honor him is wonderful, I suppose.

    That if more people had done what was right in the first place he might not have had to die is, to my mind, just as poignant if not more so. It’s poetically beautiful, and a happy thought having those statues and memorials, but it still means *he* is not with us today and it could be argued that basic human cowardice played a role in that.

    The rape issue. The *real* one. Why does it persist? Perhaps because “good” people, the ones who know better, the ones who drink with rapists but don’t engage in it, fear standing up to the bully/rapist. When he — as I think was pointed out in this thread or a previous one — makes misogynist jokes, it’s the people acquiescing to his bigotry that may, on some level, reinforce that what he’s doing is “okay.” Witnesses, sometimes, maybe oftentimes, even victims refuse to report it out of fear.

    Same with racism, isn’t it? We are afraid to rock the boat, to call people out on it because of the personal cost. And when we do that, the world gets a little bit worse for us as well.

    It’s someone else’s problem. What can I do?

    To my mind, it’s as much a time to pull out the Martin Niemöller’s “First they came…” poem. It’s more apt.


  263. What if they made an excuse, a straw man out of fear of and relative lack of education about Islam, turned it into the 21st century version of the Salem witch trials?

    You are not saying on the ‘crawl that Islam is not a bunch of dangerous bullshit that is especially hard to reform since it’s adherents categorically state it is the word of god, no matter how badly translated and incomprehensible it is. (read somewhere that people do not understand 20% of the verses)

    Here, a German scholar on it

    My idea is that the Koran is a kind of cocktail of texts that were not all understood even at the time of Muhammad. Many of them may even be a hundred years older than Islam itself. Even within the Islamic traditions there is a huge body of contradictory information, including a significant Christian substrate; one can derive a whole Islamic anti-history from them if one wants. The Koran claims for itself that it is ‘mubeen,’ or ‘clear,’ but if you look at it, you will notice that every fifth sentence or so simply doesn’t make sense. Many Muslims—and Orientalists—will tell you otherwise, of course, but the fact is that a fifth of the Koranic text is just incomprehensible. This is what has caused the traditional anxiety regarding translation. If the Koran is not comprehensible—if it can’t even be understood in Arabic—then it’s not translatable. People fear that. And since the Koran claims repeatedly to be clear but obviously is not—as even speakers of Arabic will tell you—there is a contradiction. Something else must be going on

  264. @Requires Love: “B. ANYONE who claims that they can establish the meaning behind/story told of a book they read 6 pages of…is standing on a house of cards. Not having actually read TDTCB in its entirety REMOVES any and all notion that ACM has a right to claim anything about the work as a whole other than “I read the first 6 pages and was offended by a rape” That is all ACM can feasibly, and honestly say about the work ”

    Which is exactly what she said about the work. So…I guess it’s good you’re in agreement?

    She then went on to rip Bakker a new one about other things he’s said and done, and specifically referred to those things. For instance, she nailed him for using sockpuppets to talk about himself as himself on Westeros. She mocked him for his tone in interviews and his justifications about using misogyny. She did this directly from that specific source. So…what’s the problem again, Require’s Love?

    Oh wait, I know exactly what the problem is: you didn’t actually read the original post. You simply read what Peter Watts wrote and then moved on from there. Gotcha.

    “Either way, congrats on being the worst kind of follower.”

    Coming from you I’ll take that as a compliment then. I’m another one of ACM! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!

    Or it could be that certain forms of feminism and antiracism have specific terminology that is widely used and understood and a lot of people talk about them and use them? Naaaah.

    “Look at Martin Luther King. One of the smartest and most influential men to ever walk the planet, and if someone slapped him in the face or called him names, threatened him or denied him things he simply stood it, rose above it and acted peacefully. Because he was smart enough to know that violence and retribution was not the answer. ”

    And look at Malcolm X, who didn’t do that. Both were respected speakers for their points and both got a lot of shit done. And both were highly outspoken people who did not shut up when told to or were threatened. I mean – okay, ACM isn’t MLK. So what? Sadly, the most effective thing MLK did for his cause was to die.

    “The whole point is we should be trying to get rid of color as a descriptor.” Why? I hope you mean that we should be getting rid of color as a descriptor for culture, which is more apt. otherwise there’s nothing wrong with using someone’s skin color as a description of them any more than using their hair color or eye color is wrong.

    That being said, it’s also insanely wrong to ignore the cultural apparatuses that exist about white male culture in the US. It’s something that for the most part white men get to do because…well, everything’s built around us. Not acknowledging that, thinking that if we just don’t talk about it or are not aware of it that everything will be fine – that’s bullshit of the highest order, and I’ll not let you define the argument just because you refuse to acknowledge that privilege.

    And you’re right – lots of people are privileged in many ways. That does not, in any way, deny the existence or the power of white men privilege or what it does. It doesn’t deny the male privilege in Japan or China. It doesn’t deny rich privileges all over the place. the question is not whether you have or do not have privilege – it’s whether you’re aware of them and more importantly aware of those who do not have them.

    Also, last I checked Morgan Freeman was not king of all the black people, any more than Bill Cosby is. Is he now? Because otherwise all I see is one guy saying something. And that’s important, but it doesn’t mean that he’s right.

    @Whoever – nice post. That’s much closer to my support – that I appreciate ACM because she’s unafraid to actually comment on things she sees as wrong. And honestly, she doesn’t always get it right in my mind. However, I’d much rather see people challenge these things and start talking about them than just sit there and say ‘yep, thatt’s how it is’ and move on. As an example, as a direct result of her slamming Abercrombie he posted a great response on problematic scenes and characters in his books, noted how they weren’t great and what he could do to improve. He revisited a big comment on misogyny that he had made 4 years back that he’s now embarrassed about. This is a positive thing.

    And it wouldn’t have come up without that provocation.

  265. I think that we should establish that MLK pointed out when he was alive that he was happy with his own existence. He was striving for change and was seemingly willing to be a martyr to do so, which was a partial reason that he (like others) refused to go about with bodyguards everywhere. I think that MLK was actually what psychologists would deem as self-aware. He was at the top of that pyramid of existence where he knew what was required of him.

    t’s similar to how the Japanese view death. They view it as a part of life, but don’t treat it the way the rest of the planet does. To the Japanese, death is a part of life and they accept it. You would be hard pressed to find a Japanese citizen who had not already come to terms with their own existence and its inevitable end at an early age. It’s one of the reasons a film/book/manga like Battle Royale has no problems with the censors over there, since they don’t view death or violence as something that they need to prevent people from seeing, as those are both parts of life. I mean, in feudal Japan the ultimate way to show simple “shame” or “dishonor” was to kill yourself. Only self-aware people who accept death can do that sort of thing and not think twice.

    MLK is not with us today because he died a martyr’s death and is a huge reason that the civil rights movement in the US has actually progressed to where it is today. Is there still racism in the States? Yes, but it’s more pockets of people in every town/city, than this carte blanche canvas that someone like ACM seems to want to paint the world with. Quite frankly I think MLK would have seen his own sacrifice in the name of the civil rights movement as a small, but terrible price to pay to get us here.

    Sadly, when it comes to Islam, the US and other places allow the local media to embellish and lie about it. Politicians are no help either in that regard. What IS great is that I see our youth actually informing themselves of Islam and its tenets, as well as other religions and cultures. This is something their parents flat out refused to do. We have bred a generation that no longer takes Newspapers, and the nightly news as the de-facto information source of truth. No, these kids are going out and learning about other cultures. I have a few friends that are Muslims and they are always bemused by the way the NA media paints them a lot of the time, and I actually get into the same discussion with people about how MOST Christians haven’t the foggiest clue that their religion is essentially the same religion as Islam, and Judaism (aka they all believe in the same master god …(God, Allah, and Jehova are all the God Of Abraham) and the ONLY difference is the prophet who brought the tenets to the people (Jesus, Mohammed, or Moses). It seems ridiculous then for the politicians and media to find zealots and showcase them. My advice to all of NA would be to do themselves a favor and get Al-Jazeera as an untainted news source.

    It’s funny, one of my best friends is from Barbados and never in the 30 odd years I have known him and his family has race even entered into our lives. He’s not a black man, hell he’s not even a Bajan man, he’s MY FRIEND, and I don’t give a crap what anyone says, nothing stops him being that. He’s one of the best people I know and came from one of the most impoverished Caribbean countries, but you know what? Not once has he ever been someone to comment about “racism” because like Freeman he feels that drawing attention to it is part of the problem with making it go away. No, he simply lives his life. When he encounters racism I am sure it bothers him inside, but he never ever allows it to dictate what he does and who he is. He brushes it off and adds those people who show him a truly racist side to a list of people to ignore. Because fighting a truly “racist” person is not going to accomplish anything. It really isn’t. It’s funny, but no one ever asks where the whole idea of not feeding the trolls on the internet comes from…I am of the mind that it is an offshoot of the MLK, Medgar Evers, Ghandi type of passive act. Ignore the truly ignorant. Attempting to change the mind of , let’s say, a southern American racist person about black people…you will 99% of the time get NOWHERE. Anyone who thinks they will change that mind will be wasting their time. No, the young is where you need to stop it and the BEST way to achieve that is not in any anti-racist banter…no it is in educating kids on a worldly scale. You know why I became some interested in the civil rights movement? It’s because a teacher in highschool told me about a man named Fredrick Douglass, and gave me the quote I use to this day “Without struggle, there is no progress.” that statement is more true than anything when it comes to this topic. Douglass was one of the first to stand up and say no, but he wasn’t of the mind that violence, or retribution was the answer.

    did you know that the majority of cities in the U.S. has some form of Martin Luther King Blvd.? There is also the holiday. One has to surmise from that sort of thing that not only is the public aware of the man, but respected him enough to have an effect. A black man is currently president of the U.S. and we’ve gotten to that in what? Less than 50 years? in a country where it took 100 to challenge that status quo of inequality and have it be noticed by a large portion of the U.S public. I’d say that someone IS listening, and that those that have died to support the cause…MLK included…achieved more than you give them credit for. That we could go from “cannot sit at the front of the bus” and “cannot use the same toilet” to “Leader of the U.S.” in less than 50 years is not only impressive, it’s staggering! Think about how progressive that is in comparison with 400 years of the Roman Empire where slaves were not only common place but utterly accepted en masse. I think it says something about the men and women who have died to prove the point. Yes, it’s horrible that they aren’t here today to celebrate that achievement, but we deify them in their absence and say “Thank you” to their memory.

    I doubt that Galileo is aware in his grave what he gave us about our planet, as I doubt that William Wallace was aware at how fully he would unify his country and how they would not only overcome Edward II, but that Scotland would stay free for 800 further years from British rule. Martyrs are martyrs because of their sacrifice. More often than not the type of person who dies for a cause does so without the knowledge that what they do will have as big an effect as it does.

    If I could be frank. I will not discuss rape in fiction. Rape in fiction is just that…fiction. Just because a man writes about something, does not mean he endorses it. that is as ludicrous as it gets. I don’t personally like Bakker’s work, but I’m not begrudging him telling the story he tells. why? Because it is just that, a story. The idea ACM puts forward about her notion that the only GOOD fiction on the planet addresses non-white and gay characters is ridiculous, and holds no water. Just becaus an author chooses to make character’s white and hetero does not make him racist or sexist. Just like when an author like Richard Morgan writes with a gay male protagonist in his fiction, he himself is not necessarily gay. He simply show that sexual orientation for the protagonist. Choice is choice and if ACM is going to harangue people about NOT putting in other ethnicities or sexual orientations, and complain about rape being present then ACM is deluding themselves about the state of the world. Rape exists, it has for centuries and still exists today. Is it horrific? Absolutely, inhuman even in my opinion…but that makes it no less a realism of the world we live in. ACM seems to loathe rape in fiction…a real and terrible facet of those sickened in humanity…but seemingly has no issues with murder or war being in fiction. Both are widespread in fiction but there is no issue there? why? Why is it okay to write about war and murder but not about rape? It seems counterproductive and even selective to single out rape in fiction simply because it has a sexual component, but be quite okay with death, murder and war.

    I am not afraid to call someone out on racism ever. If it is true racism. In fact I once left a dinner with a family member after shouting down a racist family member on their blind and uninformed notions about the ethnicity of which they spoke (in this case, Islam). I told them in no unequivocal terms that if they EVER spoke to me again about that subject in any way, or I had heard that they voiced those racist opinions to my nieces and nephews that I would really come down on them. I don’t tolerate uninformed opinions ever, but I especially don’t come across as nasty for nasty sake, and I certainly wouldn’t bother to slur someone who had slurred. There is a dfifference between being passive and ignoring idiots and letting them know you won’t tolerate that behaviour. it’s a fine line, but I’m not going to pretend that what ACM does is helping the situation, and in fact ACM comes across as one of the most ignorant, and racist people I have ever heard of. It’s all there for everyone to see, and those that defend ACM simply reveal that they are unintelligent enough to buy into the rage.

  266. @ Kalon

    “See above. Your lack of awareness does not mean it doesn’t exist. Rabid isn’t the problem (though it’s not great) but animal definitely is. ”

    Sorry mate, but the fact that a given insult is used against minorities does not automatically make it an ethnic or gender slur. There is simply not enough specificity in its usage to make it work like a targeted slur (you could call a white man, say, a serial killer, an animal, and it won’t make the statement collapse into comedy the way calling a white gangster “effin’ nigga” would)

    Not that you won’t just go and redefine words as you please.

    Which of course would be fine if you did not imply that not accepting your brazen annexation of definitions constitutes a “lack of awareness”.

    But let’s take a look at the dictionary
    //01 summons lvl 90 dictionary // :)
    Ye olde dictionary explicateth on”nigger”

    Ye olde dictionary explicateth on”animal”

    Feel free to write an angry letter to Ye Olde Dictionary

  267. Hi Kalon,

    I don’t have any problem with that judgment. If you don’t want to read something and find it not to your taste or have some problem with explicit violence and beatings and read that in the first few pages, why would you want to read further? Yes, you might be missing out. So what?

    Yeah, but that’s not the argument acm was making. She wasn’t saying it wasn’t to her taste (although it obviously wasn’t): she described the book as “shit”. She used the word twice.

    Again, ACM didn’t judge Bakker on that; she stated what she had read and decided it wasn’t worth the time. She judges him primarily on an interview…

    Bakker’s quote in that interviewdirectly addresses the critique that the book could turn people off from its outset. His response was that you had to look at the work in its entirety to make that judgment. acm’s eat shit remark was explicitly designed to ridicule that argument: not to say I’m not up for it, or yes I might be missing out but I found it too unpleasant, as you’re suggesting. It was intended to mock the very idea that one should be expected to know a book in its entirety before passing judgment on it. Oh, look! This sexist douche says we should base our opinion on the whole thing! That’s like saying shit turns into cake!

    No, it’s not. Like I said: logically incoherent.

    See above. Your lack of awareness does not mean it doesn’t exist. Rabid isn’t the problem (though it’s not great) but animal definitely is.

    Okay, so the more the epithet separates the target from “Humanity”, the worse it is. Got it. Had it before, actually. Which brings us back to my original point: where does that leave us with a term like “roach”?

    The phrase, however was “subhuman piece of misogynistic garbage” — and the difference seems so very obvious to me that arguing against it seems ludicrous.” And this is different from calling him an asshole how, exactly?

    Exactly the essential difference you pointed out above, and which I agree with: “assholes” are still human. “Subhuman” garbage, by definition, is not.

    Again, you’re equating that to calling someone a n-word. Why? Are all insults exactly equivalent to you? Are all insulters equivalent to you? … Do you think that you being called a honky is equivalent to a black person being called an n-word or an animal? Do you think they have the same neurological effect?

    I do not. You keep coming back to this, and I take your point — I think I do, anyway — and I agree that there’s a scale of intensity to insults. I’m not going to touch the n-word with a ten-foot pole, except to admit that yes, it’s more hurtful than “honky”; but neither of those words were invoked in this dust-up, so they’re not relevant here. The epithets we’re most hung up on here are “rabid animal” (from me), “the dude” (from Bakker), “self-important little roach” (from acm), and “subhuman piece of garbage” (from one of acm’s followers — eliding the “misogynistic” bit here, because we agree that’s a legitimate thing to at least argue about). And since we both seem to agree that what matters is the degree to which a term “dehumanizes”, you’ve pretty much gotta rank Bakker’s slight as the least offensive; then mine (rabies is an exclusively mammalian affliction, so I’m at least keeping acm in the Class); and then, most offensively of all, either “roach” or “piece of garbage” (depending on whether “garbage” gets to be a life form). If dehumanization is the key, acm didn’t even let Bakker into the Vertebrata; cockroaches are almost universally reviled as vile, disgusting scuttling creatures to be squashed without a second thought. But “roach” was the word acm used, and she used it first— and having used it, neither she nor any of her apologists have reasonable grounds for criticizing “rabid animal”.

    I’m going to take a wild stab here and guess that you’d respond along the lines of acm gets to do that because she’s Thai and female but you don’t get to do it back because you’re white and male — or as EM remarked, she has to throw her rocks harder because she’s throwing them uphill. I don’t buy that. It’s one thing to accept that some groups have been oppressed by others (and continue to be so; Obama’s presidency notwithstanding, it’s hard to parse the visceral antipathy towards that man if racism isn’t still a hugely significant force in US politics); that a legacy of privilege still exists across those groups, that this has to change. It’s a completely different thing to state that it’s okay for one person to hurl whatever vile invective they like at another person and the other person has to just stand there and take it simply because they belong to different groups. One’s a statement of fact; the other’s pure bigotry.

    And we can also prove that about ACM and Sci if you like, fairly easily; both have posted here. Same as Sean W. Same as me. It’s pretty easy to make this claim, and it’s completely paranoid silliness.

    Not quite sure why you’re addressing this to me, Kalon. I never made any such claims. And to any who might be interested, judging by the IP addies Kalon is not acm and never has been. But FWIW it doesn’t really matter to me who makes these arguments, whether it’s a dozen people or eleven sock puppets; it’s the arguments themselves that matter.

    Even without the IPs, though, I wouldn’t have suspected that Kalon=acm. From what I’ve seen, acm could never maintain Kalon’s levels of self control.

  268. @Requires Love

    The short answer: urging people to die so that you (not necessarily ‘you’ but the general you) is no different than being Osama Bin Laden sending out people with suicide bomb belts or Dick Cheney using lies to make Americans kill with M16s and pilotless drones. Both are selfish, both are urging other people to do what they would not do themselves for personal gain and both hid anonymously in caves. What you’re trying to paint is the same thing I already said except you are overstating, sadly, the effect that MLK has had on the American mindset and you’ve added selfishness on top of cowardice. While I agree that strapping a bomb or grabbing a rifle are not the answer, neither is behaving like a coward.

    In any case, as with Vietnam, as with te civil rights movement, as with any conflict that the power structure lost in the past on, they learned from their mistakes. The fact that the Santorums, Bachmans, and Romneys of the world have convinced male WASPs that *THEY* are todays oppressed, that they are a minority, that they are the ones who don’t have a voice (while the opposite is still true) is indicative that MLK would lose today. In fact, I doubt he’d even get off the ground. They have wrecking movements down to a goddam science today. As I recall, MLK had at least one sex scandal. And yet his movement survived that. That would not happen today. The GOP today is having one because their leader asked for porn (and not becuase he called a woman a slut). They will survive it and, as Peter pointed out, they will somehow miraculously turn it into a positive, as further proof that their divisive, anti-Freedom, hypocritical, nonhumanist message is somehow the exact opposite

    Again, MLK/civil rights movement is not where we are. 1930s Germany is. I doubt few even know about the peace movement in Munich even though they were butchered by the Brown Shirts who then framed some other group for it. Did it have a single effect on the war? If so, what? Name one concrete thing beyond empty poetic platitudes that only serve to assauage the guilt of those who do nothing.

  269. “Why is it okay to write about war and murder but not about rape? It seems counterproductive and even selective to single out rape in fiction simply because it has a sexual component, but be quite okay with death, murder and war.”

    Requires Love, this is because rape tends very strongly to be a gender-specific crime. It doesn’t have to be, and you don’t have to bring up all the studies of various places that men get raped – we can both acknowledge their existence and possibility and threat and move on. My view is that it’s used quite a lot, lazily, to define either a victim’s characteristics in a really lazy way (IE, a woman was perfectly normal and sweet and kind, but then rape happens and now she’s a ninja) or more often it’s used to define the protagonist through that victim – that a man’s girlfriend was raped, and now He Is Seeking Revenge, or He Is Really Sad. The complexities of rape experience and behaviors are glossed over. It’s just there, like flavor.

    Now, we tend to be pretty happy about seeing warfare and whatnot and violence and whatnot. Not everyone – many people have that as a trigger – but most people judging from what humans seem to like in their entertainment. So it makes sense to depict warfare and violence. Does it make sense to depict rape the same way? Because if I’m reading you right you’re comparing the two and saying they’re equivalent, which doesn’t fit at all with my worldview.

    @Peter Watts:
    “His response was that you had to look at the work in its entirety to make that judgment. acm’s eat shit remark was explicitly designed to ridicule that argument: not to say I’m not up for it, or yes I might be missing out but I found it too unpleasant, as you’re suggesting. ”

    Actually he was suggesting you have to look at the SERIES in its entirety. Not the single book. Because Bakker has stated repeatedly that there are twists to come, but until they do things are pretty grim and shitty for women. And we’re 5 books in. I know this because that was originally a response directly to me on the Westeros boards. The first book doesn’t get much better as far as misogyny and rape than the prologue, honestly. I know you haven’t read it, but it’s pretty horrible from that perspective.

    Do you think that you need to read 5 books before judging? That seems completely absurd to me. That argument needs ridiculing. Yes, some people will be around for the payoff, but many won’t because of the choices he’s made to make the worlds he writes about so unrelentingly misogynistic. When you have child rape in your prologue, you have to accept that some people are just not going to want to read further. And yes, some will even call it a piece of shit, because their view is that books with child rape in them are pieces of shit. I don’t think that’s all that bizarre a concept.

    “Okay, so the more the epithet separates the target from “Humanity”, the worse it is. Got it. Had it before, actually. Which brings us back to my original point: where does that leave us with a term like “roach”? ”

    No, you’re still not getting it. The problem is that using animal terms from a white guy to describe PoC is problematic and has a lot of ties to racism in the US. As an example – both Bush and Obama were compared to and drawn as a simian; Bush to a monkey, Obama to a gorilla. One of those cartoons showed regularly in political commentary; the other was passed around via email and never was officially published. Why do you think that is? Which causes more offense?

    As to insults: Bakker calling a woman ‘dude’ is another wonderful form of smackage from men towards women; there’s a long history of denying women their gender in that sort of thing (down to pronoun use). It’s a stupid thing for him to say and even worse to keep harping on like it doesn’t matter.

    “It’s a completely different thing to state that it’s okay for one person to hurl whatever vile invective they like at another person and the other person has to just stand there and take it simply because they belong to different groups. One’s a statement of fact; the other’s pure bigotry. ” I don’t state that. You don’t have to take anything. However, you certainly also don’t have to stoop to various slams that are tied to privilege – I’ve stated multiple times that neither you nor Bakker deliberately intended to offend this way at least to start (Bakker certainly did and doubled down once he found out how demeaning it was, which again – stupid). By all means, call ACM an asshole. Call her a rude piece of shit. Call her a shitstain. None of these things, to my knowledge, have any specific connotation with privilege – just like her insults about you or Bakker did not.

    “Not quite sure why you’re addressing this to me, Kalon. I never made any such claims. And to any who might be interested, judging by the IP addies Kalon is not acm and never has been. But FWIW it doesn’t really matter to me who makes these arguments, whether it’s a dozen people or eleven sock puppets; it’s the arguments themselves that matter.”

    I addressed it to you because you can easily refute Requires Love’s paranoiac views; you can easily check and see if Sajaan’s IP is the same as Sean’s is the same as mine is the same as ACM. And I think it’s important, because honestly having many people argue the same point tends to be a lot more useful to understand than dismissing everyone as ‘that same guy’ and then suggesting that they’re just one crazy person.

    @01: are you really the guy that brings in dictionary definitions to defend this? Are you really telling minorities that they don’t get to tell you when specific comparisons offend or are problematic?


  270. “Leader of the U.S.”

    (rofl)

    Who is, in no way, a puppet to people who gave him his campaign money…
    (sarcastic)

  271. Who said anything about urging people to die? I certainly didn’t. You may have missed my point. MLK became a martyr, not because he openly chose to…no my point was that his martyrdom was achieved after the fact. No one sets out to die, but there are those who are accepting of the fact that they may (if they continue the courser they are on, simply due to its inherent dangers). A man who goes into the mountains to take on a group of Guerrilla’s to save a hostage is aware that they might die. This is not a choice like your bizarre analogy to Bin Laden who sends men out to die as suicide bombers. First of all the mastermind is a coward, and those he sends out do not do it because they ACCEPT..they do it because if they did not then Bin Laden would have assumed they weren’t as attached to his cause of terror. The key difference is in the choice. MLK deciding to move forward with what he was doing, but being fully aware that it might cause his death, was selfless and brave. He caused no other direct deaths from this selfless act at all. If you truly feel that we are not that far ahead (seeing as you ignore my comments about Obama’s presidency) then I flat out DARE you to walk into a mall in the states and start screaming racial obscenities…and see how many of the public (white or otherwise) will take you down, or at least belittle you… you talk a great game about politicians…but ACM’s argument (and seemingly yours) is that the entire Western world can be painted with that brush. I’m saying that the MASSES have more sense than that these days. I’m saying that if you lined 20 people up at random, the amount of them who would tolerate viewing, or hearing racism would be a VERY small percentage. Compare that with 100 years ago and that number would be much bigger.

    1930′s Germany…?! What the hell? I’ve been rather calm up to this point, but I’m sorry I see no genocidal madmen running a country. I see stupid policitians, but no genocidal madmen. that sort of thing simply COULD NOT happen today. Look at Guantanamo Bay. The horrific treatment of those POW’s lasted what? a few months? The very minute it got out, the entire place nearly got shut down. The public’s voice is louder than you think. We don’t live in a society that allows that sort of shit to go down. That you even think you could compare 1930′s Germany to now baffles me. Are the GOP hunting down one race, placing them in camps, gassing them, torturing them, experimenting on them? Sweet gods, no they aren’t

    So do me a favor, don’t come in here and pretend for ONE GODDAMN second that today is comparable to the state of the world during the second world war! By doing so, you BELITTLE every last on of those men and woman that died in that war to bring about change. If you think we are no better off today, then I’ll simply point out …you aren’t living in a police state, you aren’t being gassed, you aren’t living in fear that your gov’t could hunt you down if you ever associated with another ethnicity. So my grandfather (who died in the war) will thank you for shutting your mouth about things that you clearly don’t know the first thing about! I’m frankly astonished that you would even ATTEMPT to say that today is anything like that. In a few sentences you prove that those people died for nothing in your mind, that who gives a shit because we aren’t any better off. Eff that, we are better off… simply by the nature that WE DON’T LET THAT SHIT GO DOWN anymore. If ANYONE on the planet attempts to behave like Hitler and the 3rd Reich did, the U.S. and other countries immediately stamp down on it. I hope you’re proud of that statement. I’m officially done with you, since you don’t even have a proper grasp on reality.

  272. @ Kalon. Sweet gods, the blindness. I refer you to Peter’s other post about the Jehova’s Witnesses at his door. You simply will find a reason/answer for EVERY argument, no matter how silly you sound. Wow, I do hope your parents are proud of you.

    When you break down the world “rabid” and claim that “animal” has some sort of built-in racial slur…you actually prove a lack of intelligence (nevermind awareness). I could call someone a fire engine…and I bet you’d find a way to say that’s racist too.

    god, the lingering debaters on this thread are just blind, ACM sycophants aren’t they?

  273. @ Kalon

    I am tired of folks who just go and grab a word because they want.
    I am not telling anyone about how they should feel about anything, but I bring up a dictionary because I am under no obligation to take non-dictionary definition seriously. Alternatively, I shall reserve the right to talk to people in my own fucking dialect of English and call them racist bigots (or perhaps squirrel-cabbages) when they roll their eyes at me.

    If someone was abused in a manner that makes the word “animal” specifically problematic, they should sort this out with some kind of PTSD specialist, not demand that I accept a de-novo definition of a well-established word.

    P.S.: Maybe my people should start calling themselves “kittens”. A lot of people have some kind of antisemitic shit going on, but majority of same people love kittens. If we call Jews kittens, maybe we will be more liked (at least by people who are not allergic to cats).

    From now on, every time I mention a kitten, I may be very well referring to a fellow Jewish individual

  274. @ Requires Love

    First, I’m sorry you got upset and that forced you to resort to nationalism. We were agreeing on the words of MLK, just not that he has a snowball’s chance in hell today of being effective because…

    My words were actually chosen very, very carefully. Because clearly, it is you who are lacking a grasp on reality.

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/02/exclusive-marines-nazi-flag-whistleblower-talks

    Note the part where the man who blew the whistle (not to the press but the OIG) states that this was not an isolated incident but rather a widespread problem.

    You say you don’t want to discuss rape in fiction. Fine. How about in reality? How about the fact that rape has increased in the US military by 62% in the past five years and that, despite that, there is no increase in prosecutions for it?

    And you *REALLY* (I assure you wholeheartedly) do not want to start a my-family-is-military “war” with me. Really.

    I know plenty about WWII. Did YOU know that there was a painting of Hitler displayed in Berlin with the roughly translated “And the Spirit Was With Them” underneath? That the nazis were conflating Hitler with the Holy Spirit?

    Did you know that the Pope at the time issued a decree stating that the tenets of National Socialism (yes, at least it’s an ethos) were NOT INCOMPATIBLE with Catholicism?

    And did you ever step in shit in mentioning Gitmo. Not only are there reports of abuse, torture and now hints of human experimentation, but also faked suicides. That one has been running rampant on Twitter from all sorts of sources and I haven’t even had the time to begin parsing it.

    Couldn’t happen? Fershizzle! Is happening my brother.

  275. So… Naue wasn’t all trololol after all ? :D

  276. “Kalon. Sweet gods, the blindness. I refer you to Peter’s other post about the Jehova’s Witnesses at his door. You simply will find a reason/answer for EVERY argument, no matter how silly you sound. Wow, I do hope your parents are proud of you.” Thanks! I’m sure your parents are thrilled you’re stabbing strawmen repeatedly.

    “When you break down the world “rabid” and claim that “animal” has some sort of built-in racial slur…you actually prove a lack of intelligence (nevermind awareness). I could call someone a fire engine…and I bet you’d find a way to say that’s racist too.”

    Similarly, when you completely ignore the suggestions of slurs to use that aren’t problematic at all, ignore why using ‘animal’ as a slur of PoC in the US can be problematic you show a total lack of reading comprehension and desire to discuss anything reasonably. Which…is not really that surprising, given that your sole contribution from user name to every single topic was to denigrate a specific other person. That’s pretty dedicated!

    I’m sorry you don’t believe me that animal slurs can be more problematic than others and why they are. Again, I’d recommend asking some PoC for their opinion. This isn’t an isolated thing to just me. If you want to prove it to yourself, go look at how many detractors of Obama compare him to an animal in the press and in fairly racist places. It’s a shame to me that you’re completely unwilling to even consider the fact that this may be the case.

    “god, the lingering debaters on this thread are just blind, ACM sycophants aren’t they?”

    You realize that means you’ve called yourself a blind ACM sycophant too, right? Just curious if your lack of self awareness and inability to read covers your own statements too.

    @01: that’s a fair point about grabbing a word just because they want. I do think ACM tends to latch on whenever she can. However, she has a point and it would have been exceedingly easy to deflect her; simply apologize for calling her a rabid animal and call her something else instead. Why is that so hard? Instead, we’ve now got multiple people who want to justify calling PoCs animals and wonder why it’s an issue when it’s pretty obvious why it is.

    “If someone was abused in a manner that makes the word “animal” specifically problematic, they should sort this out with some kind of PTSD specialist, not demand that I accept a de-novo definition of a well-established word.” I don’t think anyone’s demanding that you don’t use the word animal. I think that it’s reasonable to tell people it’s problematic and why, and understand that it can absolutely cause some emotional reactions in people that were probably not intended. This hasn’t anything to do with PTSD and everything to do with how people connote words differently, and understanding that.


  277. Did you know that the Pope at the time issued a decree stating that the tenets of National Socialism (yes, at least it’s an ethos) were NOT INCOMPATIBLE with Catholicism?

    And do you know that a still living former archbishop of the catholic church, a guy who snitched for the commies and then embezzled $25 million to pay off his former handler .. publicly fondly reminisced about the wartime Slovak clerofascist state?

    The only state I know of that not only allowed Nazis to kill it’s jews.. they actually paid for each Jew that was transported away.

    With money that was presumably confiscated from the Jews themselves.

    And this man was for years the highest ranking member of the CC in Slovak Republic!

  278. Again, it’s essentially “animal has been used against many kinds of people as a form of insult, sometimes it was used by whites against nonwhites. HENCE SLUR”. That’s not how you establish a word as a slur – it has to be more specific. I’m pretty sure some gay men were called douchebags. That does not mean that “douchebag” is now a sex orientation slur.

    If someone contends that somewhere the word “animal” has become predominantly used as ethnic insult, a letter to Ye Olde Dictionary is in order – I’m sure they will gladly update after the evidence of such change is gathered.

    Until then, I’ll stick to words as they are defined.

    As a sidenote, I despise the trick of altering word definitions depending on orientation, gender and ethnicity of the speaker. It is painfully silly (and regrettably widespread)

  279. Actually, 01, let’s go with that dictionary stuff.

    Let’s look up gay. Right now it’s often being used as a slur for something bad, and fairly heavily so. It’s also used as a way to call offense. Yet shockingly the dictionary doesn’t have that as a definition.

    Do you think that all those folks out there using it are actually wrong? Or could it be that the dictionary does not capture all the euphemistic usages of words?

    Finally, can you understand that who says a word matters as much as what it means as far as understanding the connotations? I know you despise the trick and think it’s widespread, but you also understand that it does, ya know, happen. Right? That no matter how much you dislike it, it still exists?

  280. “Let’s look up gay. Right now it’s often being used as a slur for something bad, and fairly heavily so. It’s also used as a way to call offense. Yet shockingly the dictionary doesn’t have that as a definition. ”

    Quoth Ye Olde Dictionary
    “4 informal not impressive, stylish, or attractive : he thinks the obsession with celebrity is totally gay”
    from that very link you provided.

    Seriously man, pick another word. I’m pretty sure Ye Olde Dictionary is lagging behind somewhere :)

    “Finally, can you understand that who says a word matters as much as what it means as far as understanding the connotations? I know you despise the trick and think it’s widespread, but you also understand that it does, ya know, happen. Right? That no matter how much you dislike it, it still exists?
    Well, I think that people who endorse the “connotations via origin” mechanic are assholes and part of the problem. You can’t seriously claim a need for equality while creating little specialsauce rules which only apply to people of certain ethnicity. “

    I don’t think that I claimed lack of awareness of this little pathetic verbal game.

    However, I see no particular reason to endorse it, just like I see no reason to endorse slut shaming, ghetoization, and any form of ethnicity or gender bias in hiring, rewarding, or prosecution.

    If someone takes offense at me saying something because, for instance, (being a Jew) I have “not enough melanin” to be allowed to say that, my personal stance would be “fuck that person” (figuratively ;)). And if a Jew seriously believes that there are specialsauce words that only Jews are allowed to speak, fuck that specific Jewish person.

  281. @Kalon

    (Why? Why, am I doing this to myself I ask you…)

    I think the dictionary folks are trying to do what some people are saying R. Scott Bakker should do (censor so that “it will all just go away”) and that it isn’t working. By not acknowledging that usage of the word, they are attempting to not give it legs.

    But it has legs. Southpark uses it, IIRC. But I neither take much offense from Southpark using it nor do I think they should stop because *it’s fiction* and freedom of speech. It holds up a mirror to real life (and shows it be absurd at the same time) and that is one of fiction’s jobs.

    Alternately, when I hear someone use it in real life in mixed company, I cringe. Still freedom of speech, but so is saying, “That’s offensive to me, please don’t use it around this gaming table because, for one, you are outnumbered… breeder.” ;)

    Can you understand the difference between “in fiction” and “in real life”? Because that’s key. Besides, there’s the urban dictionary if you want to know the definition of, for example, ‘Hawaiian Bubble Fuck.’ Insults Hawaiians and women? Could be.

    Maybe noting the words we use (instead of censoring them) is the important thing. It’s history and sociology. Censoring it in fiction is whitewashing it (and that’s a loaded term too).

  282. (Additionally, this is Peter’s table and he can do whatever the fuck he wants with it with my full blessing. As if that needed to be said).

  283. (btw, kind of surprised that none of you have called out acm for using the term “cockroach” given that people are talking about terms applied to poc in the past. I don’t know if she did it in ignorance, or as a rhetorical device)

  284. Interesting, because that’s my term for people who hide and operate “in the dark” in order to harm others and avoid responsibility for their actions (eg, light of day, sunlight). It makes sense that people like that would also use it dehumanize their victims, though.

  285. This is a good tactic for countering gay slurs:


    TROLL: Counter-trolls are gay.
    COUNTER-TROLL: …and?
    TROLL: That means you like it up the ass.
    COUNTER-TROLL: ..you have no idea how good that is..
    COUNTER-TROLL: …and?
    TROLL: That means you have a boyfriend you faggot.
    COUNTER-TROLL: Of course I have.
    And you’re a guy who has a restraining order against him and a porn stash the size of a mattress. Your point?
    TROLL: …
    TROLL: Fuck you.
    *TROLL has signed off*
    COUNTER-TROLL: Awesome, now I can wrap up my activity here in peace and quiet, go home, and sleep with my wife.

  286. To be fair, Sheila, that was PoC using the term against PoC and never actually using the english word ‘cockroach’. This doesn’t seem to be that comparable to me, but I’m willing to be persuaded.

    Not that it wasn’t trying to dehumanize someone; to me that’s the point of racist/sexist comments in the first place. That allows humans to rationalize that they’re not doing horrible things to other humans and are doing it to some Great Other instead.

  287. I think I speak for us all at this point, when I ask the one question, the thing that we all must be wondering right about now… How DID Lanius look naked?

  288. @ Whoever

    … ? …

    What did I miss ?

  289. “I think I speak for us all at this point, when I ask the one question, the thing that we all must be wondering right about now… How DID Lanius look naked?”

    Um, pinkish? I think? Maybe?

  290. I caught the link while it was up.. briefly.

    He looks like this:

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/419245_236147296476805_100002446081349_502861_1710947943_n.jpg

  291. @PW

    Oh..blast!

  292. @PW

    You know, I’m not sure how many people I am, but the consensus among my family is about 1.75 ;-)

  293. So, from the defense of authors accused of misogyny to artsy photos of naked people in, what, only 287 posts?

    I’m impressed in a weird way. Which in the end is really the best way to be impressed.

  294. Oh, Lan turns out to be kinda yummy. Could use building up a mite more muscle, but that’s nothing that can’t be helped with a bit of proper…motivation…

  295. Yeah…. I’m sorta dating a brainy triathlete with ironman aspirations…. If I’ll train strength half as hard as she does endurance, I’ll be able to use these neat .50 BMG semiautomatic rifles with ease. (and even without much training, I can keep pace with her in running… perks of being male and tall)

    She seems really keen to motivate me in other ways. I’m surprised. Who’d have thunk it?

  296. @Bastien

    Nude != Naked

    Anyway.. seriously. After the flamewar, don’t we all deserve a bit of artsy photography that tickles the mammalian brain?

    Here’s something for the lads.. (this kinda tacky, but sweet K-selectors)
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/08/13/article-1206279-060C776F000005DC-218_634x385.jpg

    And one more:
    http://olegvolk.net/gallery/d/41890-2/enfield_shirt_9915web.jpg
    (stunner with a very nice piece)

  297. For the lovers of baroque women, here’s London Andrews…

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fJytYNyWS8E/TslvyYMwjFI/AAAAAAAACnQ/plfucOCzN1A/s1600/london_a_3093.jpg

    Those who like skinny artsy photos of nicely tattooed females…

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/421892_308957979164705_160089740718197_869092_1828531571_n.jpg

    Hope I won’t get banned for this..(@PW…. after all the crap from acm.. we really need a break.)

    And here’s a nicely muscled young brunette who hasn’t mastered the art of camera timer..

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/400999_164236617022796_128237530622705_256259_227295198_n.jpg

    ———————————————————————-

    So, what next? Seems like cracked people have left, what shall we do now in this thread?

    Any loose ends worth discussing? I’ve been watching this thread.. but it’s kind of ..used up. More soot in here than in a crematorium chimney..

  298. For those wondering, Y.T. is my identical twin brother…

    Less of a troll, more of an anarchist. Wish he hadn’t gone to study chemistry though, we’ve already had polite men from the state police knock at our doors. Nothing’s been proven so far, fortunately.

    Even with all that. shit he pulls off in RL, I’m really close to him, we share mailbox, friends, facebook and certain computers.

    Besides, I’m his genetic alibi and he is mine. Cool to have a twin!

  299. @ Y.T.

    “So, what next?”

    Post some more cute male pics ? Ya know, for equality and all that jazz

  300. Sorry. Don’t have that many picture, we’re both kind of camera-shy, or at least, don’t like them pointed at us..

    How about this touching family picture?

    http://olegvolk.net/gallery/d/2755-2/supportive4836.jpg

    One mid-list mil-sf writer with his daughter. The pink carbine is not a photoshop… that is a real, live, semi-automatic, gas-powered M4 carbine.

    People say the guy is crazy, but seriously, I know the guy, and I doubt she’s ever gonna shoot anyone who doesn’t deserve it with it..

    http://olegvolk.net/gallery/d/20415-2/feminist6362.jpg

    Not sure if this feminist guy qualifies as cute, or feminist.. I mean, he’s a over-educated, cigar-smoking, fortyish NCO… but he keeps wearing that T-shirt..
    Also, one of his names is Shirley. I guess that explains the t-shirt.

  301. …sorry.. not NCO. An officer.. my guess is 1st Lt or something. Currently deployed to Hell..sorry.. Afghanistan.

  302. Peter Watts and his keen sense of irony mixed with sadism…

  303. Hi Kalon,

    Actually he was suggesting you have to look at the SERIES in its entirety. Not the single book. Because Bakker has stated repeatedly that there are twists to come, but until they do things are pretty grim and shitty for women. And we’re 5 books in… Do you think that you need to read 5 books before judging?

    Now that I did not know. And yeah, the author should definitely provide some kind of payoff well before volume 5. I’d say one book would be reasonable. Still. More than 5 pages and an interview.

    No, you’re still not getting it. The problem is that using animal terms from a white guy to describe PoC is problematic and has a lot of ties to racism in the US.

    (I don’t know if this is relevant to you, but you do know that neither Scott nor I are USnians, right? In fact, speaking just for myself, in many ways I loathe that country even more than my own.)

    As an example — both Bush and Obama were compared to and drawn as a simian; Bush to a monkey, Obama to a gorilla. One of those cartoons showed regularly in political commentary; the other was passed around via email and never was officially published. Why do you think that is? Which causes more offense?

    Actually, that’s a really good point. And I concede it so easily because the racist connotations were shockingly obvious even to me when I saw the gunned-down-gorilla cartoon, and the merely-an-idiot connotations were pretty obvious from the Bush=chimp montage. In other words, I “got it”.

    But you’re right in other cases: I don’t get it; and in some cases I don’t even think it should be got. Here’s a relevant example from left field: hermaphrodite. Apparently that is now an offensive word. Apparently it causes pain, has a history of discrimination or something behind it. I did not know this until a couple of years ago, and I still don’t “get it”.

    My formal background is in biology; I was a scientist before I was a writer. To me, hermaphrodite has always been a technical term, value neutral, describing any organism with both male and female plumbing. Further, from the Humanities side of things, it’s a beautiful word: Hermes and Aphrodite, together again. I’d never caught even a whiff of insult from the term. But there I am, sipping a coke on the shores of Lake Ontario, and someone I’ve just met is telling me the word is offensive. Uh, okay. I guess I missed the memo.

    And again, near the top of this very post: two people chock-full of humourless outrage not against my use of “rabid animal”, but against my use of “disease” rather than “disorder” to describe rabies’ effect on the brain. Apparently “diseased brain” is verboten too, again for reasons of in-group/outgroup politics.

    I screw up sometimes. A while back I blogged about nearly dying of flesh-eating disease; I think the phrase I used was “cried like a little girl”. Someone called me on that, on the grounds of sexism. Now I do maintain that little girls cry — and I was a bit irked that I was lying on my back with my calf muscle flayed open, talking about how I’d been three hours from death and “little girl” was somehow the first thing to rattle off this person’s fingers — but I had to agree that “cried like a little baby” conveyed exactly the same information without the sexist slant. Fair call. But hermaphrodite? Disease vs. disorder? People spend all these pixels calling me account to this, and it’s okay to call Scott baker a “roach”, and it’s not okay for a white guy in Canada to call someone in Thailand a “rabid animal” because there’s a history of dehumanising terminology in the US?

    I don’t keep up on this stuff, Kalon. I know it’s important. I know our whole fucking clade is a hotbed of discrimination and oppression; that there’s still a fuckton of work to do; and that having been lucky enough to be born into a rich culture, I can’t really claim to “get” some of the minefields I’m asked to avoid blundering through. But it’s like global warming, or the so-called Intelligent Design movement, or the religious right trying to turn back the clock on contraception of all things. All of these things have to be fought. I don’t generally talk about them on the ‘crawl because the controversies are fake and boring: the science is settled, the issues are real and substantive, stop talking start doing. (You’re a newcomer here, so you may not have noticed; but most of these pixels are spent going on about stuff that is still up in the air; the neurology of religious and political belief, zombie pigeons, cool discoveries from deep space and the deep sea. Arguments about — I don’t even know what to call it: ethnopolitics? class politics? — are very rare, and I pretty much always regret them afterwards for reasons that should be obvious).

    The thing is, as someone who accepts the facts but doesn’t always get the memos, it’s so damn tiring trying to figure out which words are hurtful this week, and why. And I can’t just take it on faith, dammit. I figured out kike and nigger on my own; I correct slip-ups like “cried like a little girl” when they’re pointed out to me. But “disease” vs. “disorder”? Rabies is a disease. It’s a brain disease. That’s just a fact. If the correct use of a technical term is a trigger for someone, I am sympathetic but we’re talking about one person who needs therapy; the onus is not on society to eliminate the word “priest” from the language no matter how many altar boys have been raped at their hands.

    I understand legacy issues; I agree they’re relevant. But honestly, I’ve seen and heard “animal” applied to people my whole life, and my best recollection is that it’s mainly been to folks who are white (southern rednecks, mainly). I have to agree with others who’ve posted here: it’s a pejorative that gets used way too often, in way too many contexts, to justify the race-specific weight you’d apply to it. “Roach” is also vile and dehumanising no matter who uses it (the Hutu/Tutsi thing being an extreme case in point).

    I think we agree on intent, on substance. We’re arguing over hood ornaments. If we could just agree on some definitive catalog of verboten terms, I might not like it but at least I’d know where I stood; if I used a term that everyone understood was racist, I’d do so knowingly. The problem is, the landscape keeps changing; and given that static maps are useless under such conditions, at the very least I want an algorithm I can use to figure out degree-of-offence on the fly. Degree of dehumanisation looked good for a while, but then, no: animal is still worse than roach even though roaches are less human. Because animal is primarily used by whites against nonwhites, and roach is only used by blacks against blacks. Except neither of these things are actually true.

    What’s left seems to be a select group of people who claim the right to turn certain words into land mines, bury them on the path, and wait for other people to step on them. When travellers ask for a navigational chart they get rerouted to Derailing for Dummies or are simply told to damn well educate themselves. (Which might not be bad advice if the hot words themselves didn’t seem so damned arbitrary.) In the meantime, it looks like the cosmological constant is stable after all; the Russians have drilled into an Antarctic lake that may have more in common with Europa than with anything on Earth; and some guy overseas has just made the funding finals for a bottom-up computer model of a human brain which might actually wake up in a decade or two. And here we are, going round and round. It drives me up the fucking wall.

    As to insults: Bakker calling a woman ‘dude’ is another wonderful form of smackage from men towards women; there’s a long history of denying women their gender in that sort of thing (down to pronoun use). It’s a stupid thing for him to say and even worse to keep harping on like it doesn’t matter.

    I too am a bit perplexed as to why he would keep using it, but not because I find it offensive; I find it entirely neutral. I frequently address mixed groups as “dudes and dudettes”, or even “fellow mammals”, and I know that “dude” generally connotes male, but then, so does the singular “guy”; and I often say “you guys” when I’m talking to a mixed group. I would have just assumed that “dudes” could be used the same gender-neutral way.

    You don’t have to take anything. However, you certainly also don’t have to stoop to various slams that are tied to privilege — I’ve stated multiple times that neither you nor Bakker deliberately intended to offend this way at least to start

    I hear that, and appreciate it.

    By all means, call ACM an asshole. Call her a rude piece of shit. Call her a shitstain. None of these things, to my knowledge, have any specific connotation with privilege

    You know, I thought of that. I thought of referring to acm as “a loathsome piece of shit” (and perhaps, with your blessing, I will in future). But I didn’t because I thought that was going too far, being too insulting. “Rabid animal” is a mammal; “roach” is at least a metazoan life-form. Calling someone a piece of shit isn’t even granting them life, per sé. It’s calling them, well, a piece of shit. To me, it ranks far higher on the scale of offensiveness; and while you might disagree with that scale, you have to admit that it’s at least internally consistent.

    Also, I wonder if maybe you’re being a bit circular here. The privileged don’t just use arbitrary strings of meaningless syllablage as tools of oppression: they take words that are a priori dehumanising, and apply them to their targets. Such words don’t gain their power because oppressors adopted them; oppressors adopted them because they dehumanise. The offence predates the group; and to my way of thinking, that makes them offensive no matter who slings them. I do not give acm a pass on this.

    — just like her insults about you or Bakker did not.

    Uh… Kalon, have you read that woman’s blog? Even the titles use terms like “Privilege” and “White Man’s tears” as epithets. The very fact that she expresses such outrage about my use of the term “animal” hails from the fact that it was used by a “nerdy white boy”. She denigrates entire demographics as a matter of course.

  304. @Kalon

    @01: that’s a fair point about grabbing a word just because they want. I do think ACM tends to latch on whenever she can. However, she has a point and it would have been exceedingly easy to deflect her; simply apologize for calling her a rabid animal and call her something else instead. Why is that so hard?

    This isn’t my thread, but just on principle I’d advise against engaging acm directly; in my experience she’s capable of feigning constructive dialog just long enough to stick in the knife (you really should read that blog post I linked to a while back, Kalon; it quotes you, actually). There’s a thin sweaty patina of literary/social justice floating like soap scum up on top, but the agenda beneath seems fuelled by little more than personal vendetta. She’s simply not worth the effort.

    To be fair, Sheila, that was PoC using the term against PoC and never actually using the english word ‘cockroach’. This doesn’t seem to be that comparable to me, but I’m willing to be persuaded. Not that it wasn’t trying to dehumanize someone; to me that’s the point of racist/sexist comments in the first place. That allows humans to rationalize that they’re not doing horrible things to other humans and are doing it to some Great Other instead.

    I’m having a hard time reconciling the first and last parts of that quote: the point is dehumanization in both cases, which to my way of thinking makes them entirely comparable. There’s no functional difference between black/white and tribeX/tribeY: it’s all ingroup-outgroup stuff at the base. I’m actually kind of astonished that you’d think it was somehow different because it was used black-on-black in that case; surely you don’t really think that this kind of hatred only counts if it crosses some kind of melanin threshold?

    And what in Ceiling Cat’s great green realm makes you think it at all relevant that that the Hutus used the Kinyarwandan word for “cockroach” instead of the English? What possible difference could that make, unless somehow English is now the exclusive official language of “real” racists everywhere?

    @Y.T.

    I caught the link while it was up.. briefly. He looks like this:

    Ah, crap. Forgot you had a dual identity. Shit shit shit.

    Oh well. It’s out now. And one more name added to the ol’ moderation list…

    Anyway.. seriously. After the flamewar, don’t we all deserve a bit of artsy photography that tickles the mammalian brain?

    Actually, that tattooed woman looks hot enough to have been thoroughly airbrushed.

    I’ve been doing blog comments for three fucking hours now. Time to leave.

  305. @Kalon:

    You assume I’m white.

    I KNEW at one point someone who sided with CM would assume I’m white if I opposed their arguments.

    I’m half Japanese.

    So tell me again about ASKING a person of colour.

    You think I wasn’t persecuted in Highschool for my background? You think I wasn’t threatened? My mother was phoned on a daily basis and her life was threatened because of racists at my school.

    And yet I come down on the other side of the argument don’t i? Don’t assume that because I don’t endorse the type of insanity that people seem to be spouting here that I will support it just for having dealt with racism in my life okay? I dealt with racism in my own way, and that was NEVER the way ACM approaches it.

    @Whoever:

    I see you didn’t bother to read my post. I noted Gitmo because the minute it got out what was happening there it was SHUT DOWN. I’m not saying the US policitco’s and military leaders are blameless…I’m saying that the MASSES don’t allow that shit to go down once THEY find out about it. As a society we are no longer inclined to simply allow our govt’s and militaries to run ragged….we check them at every moment we can. That is the power of the age we live in, and THAT is why the atrocities of WWII won’t happen again. Because Gitmo and even Iraq and Afghanistan prove that the world is watching. In WWII the nazi’s got away with things because the world didn’t find out a lot of things till it was long too late. It was that very twitter trending that STOPPED Gitmo from existing. It was the public saying “No! That is NOT how we handle things” Are humans capable of atrocities? Absolutely. Are the billions of normal, well-rounded people on the planet going to allow that to happen now? no, not if they know about it…no.

    Look at the riots in England. Entitled, shitheaded kids causing havoc and wreaking damage and injury everywhere…but because the world was immediately watching the British gov’t had to reign themselves in and not bust out the rubber bullets and fire hoses from the outset (something they probably should have done in hindsight) and don’t kid yourself that the ONLY reason that happened is because of the fact that if they had the media (and therefore the world populace) would have eaten them alive. It wasn’t until the thing had been raging for 4 days that they began to allow the prospect. That’s a progress, in a wold where only 30 years ago they’d have thought nothing of water canon trucks in the first ten minutes.

    So DON’T TRY TO TELL ME THAT THINGS AREN’T DIFFERENT from WWII. To say so in the same paragraph where you mention twitter just makes you irredeemably naive.

  306. Just wanted to chime in and say that “01″‘s posts are basically my thinking.
    Most especially about word use. Being part Japanese I’ve been called some names in my time, but if someone calls me an “animal” I don’t assume it’s a racial slur. If I call someone an animal, it means I think they are an animal, I don’t give a flying shit what your skin colour or sex is…if you’re behaving like an animal…then you’re a fucking animal. End of story. The appropriation of the term by those in this thread who feel it is a “specific racial slur” pisses me and every other penguin I know off. Being both black and white, the penguin will knock you out if you do it again, because it’s silly. The argument that “it exists” is a false bottomed one. Yes, I am sure that racists have used the term before and meant it in a racist way even…but that person is 99% of the time also going to use other ACTUALLY noted racist slurs.

    You see by that silly rationale, if I (as a non-racist person) call a white person an “animal” for behaving like a supreme shithead, then by the terms laid out by Kalon I have offended no one and animal means simply animal, its oxford dictionary definition. Right? But that same word, when used (again BY A NON RACIST person) to describe someone of a different ethnicity who is being a supreme shithead, it all of the sudden becomes a racially charged slur? Do you see what is wrong with that notion? This isn’t rocket science here. This would be further complicated by the idea that perhaps a person of a different ethnicity than myself calls me an animal, and does not mean it in a racist way, but that I am simply behaving like a supreme shithead and they are letting me know.

    So, to sum up: To take a word and make a NEW definition/connotation for it based on who uses it and who they use it against is moronic.

    Lastly: “whitewash” is what is used to paint (a fence lets say) to prepare it for a coat of color. It is actually the farthest thing from a “loaded” word if you truly sat and thought about it.

    About the “gay” definition…yeah I’d pick another word as 01 said. I have a significant number of gay friends..and you know what they all call themselves when terming their sexuality? Gay. It’s not offensive to them/ In fact if you walk up to a gay person and say “You’re gay.” they’ll most likely say, “Yes…and?”. It just so happens that it also roots back to the definition of something being “lame” and is still used as such. Many English words have more than one meaning depending on how they are used. It happens, our language is confusing. I doubt if I said soemthing that “gay” around my gay friends and meant “lame”, that they would bat an eye.

  307. IIRC, there was a now-deleted thread during the old LiveJournal firefights in which Winterfox (back when he was still calling himself Winterfox) came right out and ADMITTED that he was, in fact, a guy, who was deliberately trying to hurt feminism by taking kernels of legitimate complaints and acting like a gaping asshat just to make people with legitimate complaints look bad by association.

    Of course, Winterfox doesn’t realize that MRAs/racists/Libertarians don’t NEED this kind of ammo in order to marginalize and dismiss feminism at large, they’re going to do that anyway, and forcing them to invent excuses would barely qualify as an inconvenience for them, so Winterfox is preaching to the choir.

  308. @Requires Love

    I’m afraid you’re wrong again. Gitmo has not only not been shut down, they have recently appointed a new commander because what was happening under the old one is about to hit the fan.

    Further, I assure you I can pepper this page with example after example of what I’m taking about. It’s not “Twitter” for example, telling the news. It’s the many reporters I follow who follow it and report on it. Frankly, when I saw a report had come out about numerous suicides at Gitmo I wasn’t the least bit surprised and therefore wasn’t that curious.

    However, knowing that it’s been previously reported, for example, that a Navy admiral approved testing of drugs on detainees (this also happened at Abu Ghraib and had already been reported in the New York Times and the whistle was blown in part by Doctors without Borders), I can’t help but wonder if some of the suicides aren’t a coverup so that there are no witnesses.

    Finally, I have to take a strong disagreement with your characterizing the Occupy movement as simply entitled kids. They are risking their own necks and speaking out (like MLK?) because of a very simple economic mistake that looks more like capitalism committing suicide to me than anything else. As we *should* have learned after the Great Depression, when you don’t pay you workers enough to buy what they are making, you are destroying your own customer base. It really is that simple.

    That anarchists or corporate sock puppets decided to join the fray, well maybe they are just like ACM: just want to watch the world burn.

    In any case, I would rather continue this discussion elsewhere because apart from it being rather George Orwell, the connection to Peter Watts and Blindsight and the next novel whose name I keep forgetting (but am confident will not be borrowed by the gaming industry for one of their quick-to-market-what-do-we-call-this-shoot-’em-up?) is tenuous at best. You have a place we can do that? I’ll meet you there. :)


  309. Look at the riots in England. Entitled, shitheaded kids causing havoc and wreaking damage and injury everywhere…but because the world was immediately watching the British gov’t had to reign themselves in and not bust out the rubber bullets and fire hoses from the outset (something they probably should have done in hindsight) and don’t kid yourself that the ONLY reason that happened is because of the fact that if they had the media (and therefore the world populace) would have eaten them alive.

    Speaking of that, would it have been ethical to allow shopkeepers use the same means as in LA during the ’90′s riots?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgCiC6qTtjs


    That is the power of the age we live in, and THAT is why the atrocities of WWII won’t happen again.

    Gitmo was only Red Fish.. pardon me.. Red Herring. CIA still operates a deniable, secret network of prisons worldwide.

    They still ‘torture’ people, though not that it’s not ‘torture’, if the aim is to extract information. And the torturers are not US gov’t employees but either some other country’s, or outsourced.


    …but because the world was immediately watching the British gov’t had to reign themselves in and not bust out the rubber bullets and fire hoses from the outset

    Gun owners whom I know spoke quite eloquently not in favour of rubber bullets, but simply shooting people who do so.

    Because, frankly, looting and setting buildings on fire is attempted murder. I doubt the rioters checked whether no one was inside.

    And nothing makes runaway, special snowflakes with delusions of immortality melt away faster than the sight of brains splattered all over the pavement.

    Ordinary people, were scratching their heads and wondering where the hell is the British army, and how the fuck can they allow such kind of chaos in their cities..

    I know, I spent some time asking. In no way a proper study, I just asked random people what’s their take on the UK situation.

    I doubt any of you are familiar with the Roma situation in eastern Europe, but my bet is that once there is some kind of breakdown in government control(say, bankrupt state, riots against gov’t, economic crash), there will be well.. small scale, locally organised genocide against them. Or they’ll be rounded up, put onto cattle trucks and sold to whomever will pay, or whomever will take them.

    Although most central Europans are decent people(look at the crime statistics), you’ll find very few people who would be willing to defend Roma, whom they don’t like, to the death.

    Roma themselves are not able to unify. It’ll all end up in blood, because, there is no way in hell anyone is able to fix the situation before some gov’t runs out of money, antisocial Roma stop getting welfare and start freaking out, like a parasite that’s been deprived of it’s host.

    By then, US will no longer be able to ‘project’ power, Roma don’t have no oil or geopolitical value. I expect everyone will tutt-tutt, huff and puff, but Germans nor the French won’t send troops to stop something most of their population would secretly applaud.

  310. ^
    Just my jaundiced vision. I’m planning to live in N’Am, whichever country will take me.

    Less people, more resources, better memes.

  311. @Peter Watts: “I understand legacy issues; I agree they’re relevant. But honestly, I’ve seen and heard “animal” applied to people my whole life, and my best recollection is that it’s mainly been to folks who are white (southern rednecks, mainly). I have to agree with others who’ve posted here: it’s a pejorative that gets used way too often, in way too many contexts, to justify the race-specific weight you’d apply to it. “Roach” is also vile and dehumanising no matter who uses it (the Hutu/Tutsi thing being an extreme case in point).”

    I think that’s reasonable. I think that if someone says that ‘this offends me because of its connection to terms x’ that perhaps instead of spending 50 posts using dictionary defintions to refute their offense you could simply apologize and use a different term?

    Because here’s the thing, Peter – ACM is attempting to troll you when she does something like this. She isn’t interested in any special discourse with you. She’s not interested in your dialog while you’re questioning her. She just wants to provoke you into revealing what a racist you hypothetically are.

    So why step into it? Why double down? Why not when confronted with this say ‘okay, I’m sorry I offended you; I didn’t mean to based on any racial connotations. You’re an asshole. Is that better?’ and just leave it at that. There! Problem solved.

    Similarly,
    “I too am a bit perplexed as to why he would keep using it, but not because I find it offensive; I find it entirely neutral. I frequently address mixed groups as “dudes and dudettes”, or even “fellow mammals”, and I know that “dude” generally connotes male, but then, so does the singular “guy”; and I often say “you guys” when I’m talking to a mixed group. I would have just assumed that “dudes” could be used the same gender-neutral way.”
    Sure, it could be – against some random person. But it was clear that Bakker did know the sex and chose to do this because it would offend, and when it was brought up that this was problematic by people he kept on doing it.

    I guess that’s the main point I keep bringing up in these things – who says something matters as much as what they say. The meaning of a word or a phrase has as much to do with who is saying it as the context it’s being said in. And yes, saying ‘the dude’ to refer to a woman isn’t necessarily bad; saying it to refer to a very aggressive feminist with anger issues is clearly a lot worse.

    “Such words don’t gain their power because oppressors adopted them; oppressors adopted them because they dehumanise. The offence predates the group; and to my way of thinking, that makes them offensive no matter who slings them. I do not give acm a pass on this. ” I disagree completely. Words without power are just words. They’re just insults. That’s…well, that’s insulting, but it’s not powerful. Black people using the n-word is not the same as white people using it, and this is a core reason why.

    I agree that they’re all attempts at dehumanization; I just don’t see them as equivalent. I don’t see a white guy being called honky to be equivalent to the n-word because of this. In a perfect world they would be equivalent, but again – context and personal statement matter here. It’s not a perfect world, it’s not a vacuum.

    Tell me, Peter – do you feel offended as a white person for ACM’s views? Does it hurt you to be called white racial slurs? Were you beaten up as you were called these things? Were you denied entrance to a location because you were white? Were your parents marching on Washington to gain rights for white people? Similarly -
    “Uh… Kalon, have you read that woman’s blog? Even the titles use terms like “Privilege” and “White Man’s tears” as epithets. The very fact that she expresses such outrage about my use of the term “animal” hails from the fact that it was used by a “nerdy white boy”. She denigrates entire demographics as a matter of course.” I read it quite often. It’s pretty funny at times. Yes, she absolutely denigrates demographics. Skin tones, even. Ethnic groups like neckbeards, who apparently are a protected group somehow.

    Do you think that a Thai woman calling white people white slurs is the same as a white man calling a black man racial slurs? I’m not asking if you think it should be equivalent – I’m asking if you think it IS. I do not. I would like it to get to that point, at which point racism is a pretty stupid thing in general (it’s much like the ginger kid hate or something like that). But it’s not there.

    Now why she does it is to get people to respond in kind, I think. except that when they do that, it’s a hell of a lot worse.

    “you really should read that blog post I linked to a while back, Kalon; it quotes you, actually”
    I’ll see if I can find what you’re talking about. I’ve found engaging ACM to be fairly easy, actually; I’ve commented several times on her blog without any issue. It’s not that hard provided you have some notion of where she’s coming from.

    “I’m having a hard time reconciling the first and last parts of that quote: the point is dehumanization in both cases, which to my way of thinking makes them entirely comparable. There’s no functional difference between black/white and tribeX/tribeY: it’s all ingroup-outgroup stuff at the base. I’m actually kind of astonished that you’d think it was somehow different because it was used black-on-black in that case; surely you don’t really think that this kind of hatred only counts if it crosses some kind of melanin threshold?” I had to do that one quickly, so I apologize. You’re right – it has nothing to do with hot PoC on PoC action.

    It does, however, have to do with who said it. I’d imagine calling someone a cockroach would be fine normally. If you were calling a Tutsi person a cockroach, that’d probably be pretty offensive. If a Hutu was calling a Tutsi a cockroach, that would probably be grounds for a beating. Does that make more sense?

    @Requires Love:

    “You assume I’m white.

    I KNEW at one point someone who sided with CM would assume I’m white if I opposed their arguments.

    I’m half Japanese.

    So tell me again about ASKING a person of colour.”

    Actually, I never assumed anything about you, one way or another. If I did I apologize. And I didn’t say ask A PoC – I said ask some. Talk to a few. Get some opinions. They may differ from yours. I’d even suspect that the experience that you have is very different from other PoCs. That doesn’t invalidate your experience, but it doesn’t mean you speak for everyone either.

    “And yet I come down on the other side of the argument don’t i? Don’t assume that because I don’t endorse the type of insanity that people seem to be spouting here that I will support it just for having dealt with racism in my life okay? I dealt with racism in my own way, and that was NEVER the way ACM approaches it.”
    Yep. So does Morgan freeman, apparently. that doesn’t mean your opinion is invalid. It also doesn’t mean others’ opinions are invalid.

    And it doesn’t mean I have to agree with you. It just means I need to listen to you and shut up a bit more.

    “You see by that silly rationale, if I (as a non-racist person) call a white person an “animal” for behaving like a supreme shithead, then by the terms laid out by Kalon I have offended no one and animal means simply animal, its oxford dictionary definition. Right? But that same word, when used (again BY A NON RACIST person) to describe someone of a different ethnicity who is being a supreme shithead, it all of the sudden becomes a racially charged slur?”
    You realize that you basically just summed up the situation with the n-word, right?

    Again, who says what to whom matters. I just don’t see how this is remotely at odds with reality and how this is at all confusing. A black guy calling another black guy an animal? Probably not a big deal. might even be a positive thing. A white guy doing the same thing? Really depends on the relationship. Rush Limbaugh doing it? Almost certainly incendiary.

    How is this remotely confusing? I’m genuinely connfused here. I understand that all words should always have the exact same meaning and connotations, but they don’t. They can’t. Linguistically and psychologically this just isn’t true to humans. We don’t work that way.

  312. @Lanius

    Just some small corrections on the torture issue. You are overall correct.

    There are multiple levels or categories to the torture program. There certainly was torture being conducted by Americans. John Kiriakou, recently arrested under suspicious circumstances, was one such person who conducted waterboarding. There are others. One book was recently released by an interrogator who said once he discovered that the guy he was sent to extract information from was innocent, that they had made a mistake, he was ostracized, isolated and labelled a troublemaker. This from the Agency whose motto is: “The Truth Shall Set You Free.”

    Then there’s extraordinary rendition, which is when the US has Poland or Egypt turn the screws. One hilarious article about that was when four CIA agents were caught by Greek authorities in a van all wearing blond wigs attempting to abduct and ship off a Muslim man (no idea if the target actually had any real terror ties). I read it on a website run by a former counter terror agent. He LOLed and linked to a compilation of scenes from the Police Squad/Naked Gun films of OJ Simpson’s character (Noidberg was it?) getting into all sorts of physical trouble. I could not understand why he found it so funny at the time. Now, I do.

    There was also torture going on at Abu Ghraib and I don’t mean the “limited hangout” that sent some grunts to jail. In addition to the photos we have all seen repeatedly (Englund, thumbs up, naked men stacked, leashes, etc.) there were photos of men in black uniforms. Those were CIA. The outcome of Abu Ghraib was the demotion of a female highranking officer who was not even allowed to visit Abu Ghraib because she was in charge of it as a prison and not as an intelligence operation. Everyone else got off without a slap on the wrist. That entire episode hurt America’s standing and, unlike Bradley Manning, actually did get Americans killed for abusing so many innocents (on top of the small percentage they maintain actually were guilty of something related to insurgency or terrorism).

    Then you have Guantanamo Bay, “Gitmo.” As I said, experimenting with a drug (ETX) that makes something as simple as what we shrug at (playing loud rock music, bright lights, etc.) torture because (to tie it back to something that is tangentially related) it removes or opens up the “gatekeeper” between the conscious and the unconscious. In eassence, it’s torture by sensory overload. If a visiting US senator doesn’t know about the drug, what he sees doesn’t seem that traumatic to him.

    Which brings us back to why. I say it isn’t to extract the truth. It’s to extract lies in order to justify what it is you want to do: justify invasions and sustaining the military industrial complex. It has long been known that torture is unreliable. It’s that so many people get their information from, for example, *24* that makes lies like that sustainable. (Merry Christmas, Jack).

    See my comparison between OBL and Dick Cheney. That is it in a nutshell.

  313. (Note: the Greece incident was six or so years ago. Not an Obama reference, more like Keystone Cops).


  314. Which brings us back to why. I say it isn’t to extract the truth. It’s to extract lies in order to justify what it is you want to do: justify invasions and sustaining the military industrial complex. It has long been known that torture is unreliable

    You know, Gestapo knew better, from I gather.

    The only analogous policy was the Soviet one. There torture was not used to extract information, but rather to manufacture traitors for execution.

    US, to me, at least seems either blind to the voices of numerous LE/intelligence professionals who claim torture doesn’t work, or willfully trying not to get the right information.

    I’ll take incompetence on the part of officials, perhaps mendacity on part of the contractors..

  315. Wow. Naked Lanius (probably fake, but who knows). Peter’s blog is evolving into a dating site :D

    Anyways, as to subject matter, I kinda don’t get when Thai folk were routinely called “animals” and beaten by white people, but maybe USA used Thai slaves at some point and I just failed to get the memo. Or is ACM a Thai-afroamerican now ?

  316. @Lanius

    Does this strike you as incompetence or mendacity?

    http://reason.com/archives/2007/06/27/romney-torture-and-teens

  317. @03

    How many ounces of gold would you bet on it being fake? I’d bet at least five ;-)

    @Whoever
    Tough love connection. And I so really wanted to like Romney’s Mormon privileged hide… :-(

    Anyway..that’s his finance co-chair. Personally, I don’t think it matters. What matters is someone restoring fiscal and security sanity to the US.. tough love camps for rebellious belter’s kids are not that inportant..

  318. Christ. They tried running such a camp in Czech Republic. Closed after nine months after it was raided by state security service in conjunction with police.

    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/1999/0322/6306112a_print.html

    You know, I’m wondering about the efficacy of such programs. Maybe they help some people.

    James Clavell said he thinks he owes some of his success to surviving four years in a Japanese run prison camp..

  319. Did you read the article? Some of those kids were not troubled at all. And if being forced to live in a cage, eat your own vomit, etc. is your idea of tough love…

    And you’ve got to be kidding about the co-chair thing. Romney said he wants to double the size of Gitmo.

    Anyway, there are some studies that state that trauma at an early stage can cause one to be conservative. Don’t know if that can be altered that easily in adults, teenagers.

    And then there’s the notes at the end of *Behemoth* and elsewhere. You can “make” sociopaths through torture. It’s like how they beat dogs to make guard dogs out of them. Simple psychology. Make someone remorseless and point him at your enemy, sit back and enjoy the show. You know, Manchurian candidate stuff without all the specifics. They aren’t necessary when you can do it on a large scale. Then you have an army.

    And then you can throw in Romney’s current slate of people he intends to put into government. One is on the board of Blackwater, the founder of which is currently hiding in the UAE building another mercenary army because he is under investigation here. Erik Prince’s father created the Religious Right Movement out of the wealth he built making and selling auto parts.

    Dude, these people are serious, scary, radical, and too well-funded to call it a fluke or flash in the pan. He might win.


  320. And if being forced to live in a cage, eat your own vomit, etc. is your idea of tough love…

    Late puberty isn’t early. Weren’t those unusual cases, as in, one idiot from fifty?


    Anyway, there are some studies that state that trauma at an early stage can cause one to be conservative. Don’t know if that can be altered that easily in adults, teenagers.

    Seems we need to throw a fucking war to make more trauma. In case you haven’t noticed, fuzzy, feelgood hippyism is making a come back.

    In fact young, people in the US of A are more ‘socialist’ than here. Here, when uni professors openly made fun out of our ‘social demagogues..sorry..democrats’, not one student seemed to disagree.

    Conservative in Czech Republic means hidebound commie who expects the state to do everything and rarely takes personal fucking inititative. (used to be heavily discouraged during periods of ‘democratic centralism’)

    Rural areas are the most commie. In cities, the only left-leaning people are the not-so-bright. A few contrarians or hopeless romantics abound, but seriously, leftism here likely correlates with lack of education, and liberalism (that is, accent on less state control of everything, more civil liberties and so on) correlates with income and education level.

    I could look up numbers, bound to exist.

  321. Also, I mean, even if he wanted to expand Gitmo? US is running out of money, wishes don’t mean shit.

    I mean, if he is the best candidate in other ways, why the fuck should I care about some third world loser medievalists who may or may not get tangled up in idiotic intelligence operations?

    I never understood that Omelas story by that broad.. what was her name? Leguin?

    I mean, if you can ensure prosperity for a great number by having someone suffer, the utilitarian viewpoint tells me to not give a fokk..

    And it’s not like Gitmo is full of innocents. By conservative estimates, at least half are people who ought to be re-educated, and the rest is a mixed bag.

    People who pissed off the wrong Afghans or were just easy to snatch, troublesome family members, etc.

    Maybe Romney would figure that out. I mean, the guy stole companies with leveraged buy outs. He has to be aware of how sleazy US power structures are, how it’s all about appearances, how stupid or nasty people are in charge in many places and all that..

    My bet is that Paul will be VP, because, that will draw out a great number of independents for voting. Unlike Gingrich, or Santorum, or these anti-charismatic people. Paul is a little nutty, but he wants to end a lot of wasteful spending, end the war on drugs, end the war on terror. Who cares he may be a little racist?

    I’d vote for Sheen for one term if he promised to end the war on drugs, legalise prostitution and gambling.. besides, it’d be entertaining to know bolivian white is snorted in the white house too.. (Obama is just off his tits on antidepressants. )

    You should’ve seen the video of Paul totally trashing the Bernank on inflation in congress..

    **for dunno. Either being credulous fools, or nasty medieval throwbacks.


  322. It’s like how they beat dogs to make guard dogs out of them.

    I thought that guard dogs simply utilize the territorial instincts natural to dogs. I’ve seen a great many guard dogs, but not once heard someone beating their dog to make it more guardy..

  323. (heard about)

    And seriously, while these programs are kinda stupid, are they any worse than say army bootcamp?

    Which, I believe, everyone should go through. At least, nearly every adult male I know of considers that part of his military service to have been beneficial. You meet and are forced to get along with people from all kinds of background, you recieve some training that may come in handy, you’re forced to try hard and endure uncomfort .. (half of the problems of the world are there because of bloody comfort zones)..

    .. I’ve read women* stating they liked boot-camp, because they found out they could do more than they imagined, their sporting performance increased and that they found out spending eight weeks without cosmetics** or a daily shower is nothing tragic.

    *aspiring police officers in former Czechoslovakia have to go through boot camp to be able to serve as police.

    **heh. just had it confirmed out this girl I really like doesn’t use cosmetics at all and never had. Apart from shampoo and soap. I admire that, she has her priorities right..

  324. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/teens-choosing-death-in-russia/2012/03/01/gIQADrhPwR_story.html

    Second and third paragraphs. (WaPo would seem to have JavaScript preventing copy and paste from mobile devices)

    But that’s what we are talking about. The purposeful destruction of nonconformity. And when the people doing the enforcing are militant Christian fundamentalist zealots, well that’s bad news for anyone who even likes Darwin.

    That you lack empathy for people forced to live in cages, subject to physical and sexual abuse, starved and denied medical treatment (and then compare that to boot camp…maybe in Russia), fine. That kind of means I engaged the wrong person on that score.

    That apparently the idea of an armed, militant group that is Christian (instead of Muslim) but just as radicalized and murderous of those who don’t agree with them doesn’t bother you either, again, no point in continuing the discussion with you really.

    But you do strike me as someone who likes doing what he wants. Imagine if they take your porn away because that’s just “what’s best” for you. Would that matter?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fellowship_(Christian_organization)

    Think of the sperm, won’t you? :)

    This is the same organization that runs C Street, which is where GOP politicians go to have prayer meetings and bang prostitutes. Imagine what you could accomplish if you got that on video…

  325. By the way, assuming there are bootcamps that do that sort of thing, why do you suppose that is?

    To transform them into remorseless killers.

  326. @Kalon:

    I think that’s reasonable. I think that if someone says that ‘this offends me because of its connection to terms x’ that perhaps instead of spending 50 posts using dictionary defintions to refute their offense you could simply apologize and use a different term?
    Because here’s the thing, Peter — ACM is attempting to troll you when she does something like this. She isn’t interested in any special discourse with you. She’s not interested in your dialog while you’re questioning her. She just wants to provoke you into revealing what a racist you hypothetically are.
    So why step into it? Why double down? Why not when confronted with this say ‘okay, I’m sorry I offended you; I didn’t mean to based on any racial connotations. You’re an asshole. Is that better?’ and just leave it at that. There! Problem solved.

    Well, two things. First, acm is a troll: and on that basis I have no interest in any further interaction with her of any sort. The only reason I engaged with her in the first place was because I thought she might not be. I’m arguing with you here, not her; I’ve already scraped acm off my boot in favor of actual debate.

    But more importantly, what you’re advocating would allow any troll, anywhere, to arbitrarily appropriate whatever words suit their agenda of the moment. I might say that someone has the brains of a cantaloupe, only to have them fire back that cantaloupe is an offensive term because oppressed minorities have traditionally been compared to vegetables. Sure, I could simply apologise, say I meant no racist offense, let’s call you an asshole instead. Maybe the troll would let it drop, maybe not (the latter seems more likely in acm’s case). But either way, I can’t use “cantaloupe” any more. That’s not solving the problem. That’s surrendering the language.

    I disagree completely. Words without power are just words. They’re just insults. That’s…well, that’s insulting, but it’s not powerful. Black people using the n-word is not the same as white people using it, and this is a core reason why.
    I agree that they’re all attempts at dehumanization; I just don’t see them as equivalent. I don’t see a white guy being called honky to be equivalent to the n-word because of this. In a perfect world they would be equivalent, but again — context and personal statement matter here. It’s not a perfect world, it’s not a vacuum.

    Jesus, Kalon, sometimes I don’t know why we keep at this because I completely agree with you on this score. I gladly acknowledge the weight of legacy. You don’t have to convince me that “nigger” <> “honky”. I know that “what should be” <> “what is” — and while I’d dearly love to reset the pendulum at midpoint and start fresh, I can certainly see how wiping the slate clean might not go over that well with those who are currently owed so much. We’re not only on the same page on these issues, we’re moving our lips in synch.

    But nobody used “nigger” here. That’s a word with a specific and undeniable connotation; if it’s not used specifically on blacks, it’s used to describe groups that have been treated in explicitly comparable ways. “Animal”? That gets slapped on everything from muppets to drunken frat boys. When the Muppet Show features a drummer called “Kike”, we’ll talk. Until then, acm is simply trying to dip a personal insult into a yummy racist coating for extra mileage.

    (Also, I edited your comment to make it clear that your later rejoinders were directed at Requires Love’s comments and not mine.)

  327. @Peter Watts:

    But more importantly, what you’re advocating would allow any troll, anywhere, to arbitrarily appropriate whatever words suit their agenda of the moment. I might say that someone has the brains of a cantaloupe, only to have them fire back that cantaloupe is an offensive term because oppressed minorities have traditionally been compared to vegetables. Sure, I could simply apologise, say I meant no racist offense, let’s call you an asshole instead. Maybe the troll would let it drop, maybe not (the latter seems more likely in acm’s case). But either way, I can’t use “cantaloupe” any more. That’s not solving the problem. That’s surrendering the language.

    I think that’s fair, but I think it’s too strict. Sometimes it’s okay to surrender that specific point and move on. Sometimes it’s just better to allow people to hoist themselves by their own petard and say ‘okay, I’ll no longer call you a cantaloupe’ (side note: I actually do think this has some racist connotation, though I don’t remember what it is off the top of my head) and even go so far as to state in no uncertain terms that you find them an asshole.

    I mean, what’s the problem with ceding a really tiny part of the point? Why get involved in that at all? Especially in a public conversation where you’re ttyring to convince bystanders as much as you are the other person. Right now you sound like the US stating a zero tolerance policy or that you’ll never negotiate with terrorists. Oookay…that’s pretty draconian, and ultimately as harmful to you as it is anyone else.

    The thing is that the animal thing? She was right in my mind about that. I know you weren’t trying to, but I think you getting called on that was correct. that doesn’t mean you’ll always be wrong or people will always be right or whatever – it means in this case, in this instance, that was the wrong thing to say. Other people thought this as well; it was not just acm, or as Require’s Love would say her sycophants. Sometimes it’s okay to just say ‘yep, I fucked up’ and move on. Or ignore it completely and destroy the arguments instead; while ACM is funny at times and astute occasionally she’s also not the best arguer quite often, and it’s quite easy to just appear to be the reasonable person and let it go.

    But nobody used “nigger” here.

    Lanius and RM3154 both did. Repeatedly.

  328. Kalon, “(side note: I actually do think this has some racist connotation, though I don’t remember what it is off the top of my head)”

    I think you might be thinking of watermelons with respect to class snobbery?

  329. Actually, was apparently thinking of the line in True Romance that Walken says.

  330. So, you think someone like Simo Hayha, who killed 700+ hapless soviets conscripts is not a hero, someone who helped his nation defy a monstrous tyrannical neighbor, but a monster…

    Finns too. A nation of remorseless killers. A despicable place to live. Check out the murder rate. It’s worse than Colombia.

    I pray to Odin he’ll notice your plight and enlighten you.

  331. Not the point at all. Why is it if anyone defends anyone that the Right thinks is “bad” you immediately get called a communist.

    The truth is, it’s liberalism that is threatened here now. The political spectrum looks like this:

    —————
    R D
    —————

    Conservatives are represented twice. The liberals feel they have no choice but to choose the lesser of two weasels.

    I’m not even sure what your point is, but I’m going to assume it has to do with Islam somehow being the enemy. There are 1.3billion Muslims in the world. If they all wanted to kill everyone else it would be very, very obvious based on the numbers alone.

    It is not the case. It is our dear, sweet, innocent, “why doesn’t everyone love us?” military industrial complex who Dwight D. Eisenhower (that pinko!!!) warned us against because he saw how wealthy some people got off of WWII.

    It’s not that militant, radical Islam is *not* a threat. It is. Just like communism was a threat. It’s just waaaaaaay overstated. Exaggerated. Overblown all out of proportion. Like Peter’s list of dangerous occupations with regards to law enforcement’s hazards vs. reality, terrorism doesn’t even come close to being the leading cause of death in the world.

    So, doubling the size of Gitmo is not about making anyone safer. It’s about increasing profits. Another thing you can damn well bank on for Mr. Romney. “Vulture capitalism.” It’s all about the CEOs and screw the employees, the customers and even the stockholders. It’s all about *appearance*, not reality.

    For example, whenever a company ships jobs overseas, their stock goes up. Why? Because they believe they are cutting costs and therefore going to increase profits. What actually happens? The labor may be cheaper, true, but the *actual* cost of making the widget goes up for all sorts of reasons, not the least being how annoyed customers become dealing with people on the phone for help who cannot speak their language. There are also cost from distance issues.

    So, it’s not that conflating the current situation with WWII is wrong in itself. It’s that people who do that haven’t figured out that in this case, the US is Germany. I suppose Britain is Italy.

    Expansionist. Hateful toward intellectuals, gays, and foreigners. SS flags. Rape. Human experimentation. Torture. Book burnings. Big Lie campaigns. Disappearance of civil liberties. Abuse of foreigners. Increase in spying activities domestically. Liberal politicians picked off one-by-one (Goodbye Kucinich, victim of redistricting and failure of his own party to help him).

    It practically writes itself. What’s amazing to me is how little of that gets MSM attention even in this fucked up country.

  332. @Kalon:

    Lanius and RM3154 both did. Repeatedly.

    Uh, yeah. Bad wording on my part. I meant those terms weren’t part of the original kerfuffle that set everything off.

  333. @Whoever.

    Did you read the post?

    I said the “riots in England” NOT the Occupy movement. Riots in England WAS entitled kids. End of story. That’s FACT.

    Thus your entire counterargument is pointless.

    As for the talk about Gitmo…if anyone thinks that it’s not being watched like a hawk now that the torture revealed there came out, then you are utterly nuts. The minute something like that is revealed and glommed onto by the media, it ceases to be a secret and proceeds to be watched. That’s what I meant, though I worded it poorly.

    Is shit still going to happen there? You bet it is. Is it going to be as bad as it was, nope. Should it stop altogether? Yes. Will it? Probably not.

    I’m not defending the US, I’m simply saying that the difference between Concentration Camps/Gas Chambers/Experimental Torture ect…and what is happening in the US today are pretty far from one another. Tell you what, when the US starts to round up all the *insert ethnicity here*’s in the country and throw them into camps and begin to systematically kill them….then you can come to me with that analogy, until then don’t even try.

    As a student of history I can’t even properly fathom anyone who would make such analogies.

    On the other side of the coin, and in reference to the American media: What always baffles me though is that the American Media paints muslims with the “all-bad” brush…because of a number of zealots. And everyone conveniently forgets that Europe..en masse… Crusaded into territory that wasn’t theirs 10 times over the course of like 200 years and exterminated them on sight. It baffles…oh it baffles. Like I mentioned earlier, if you can get your hands on Al-Jazeera as a news source, it’s about as unbiased as it gets.

    I guess my point with that would be that believing that same media when it comes to info about places like Gitmo and expecting it to be true and not at all overblown or underblown is probably not the best plan. Pay attention here: The media wants you to listen to them. So they embellish EVERYTHING.It’s not about being accurate or truthful any more than it is important to have Justin Beiber getting a haircut is front page news. It’s about selling (for lack of a better term) newspapers. That said, it IS important for places like Twitter and FB to rally onto certain news topics because it will cause the people responsible enormous pressure.

    Again, with the riots in England (see that? Riots not Occupy) the kids were using BB Messenger to organize…and when that spread around then RIM said they would open the BB Messenger servers for police to clamp down with…which got around twitter again quickly to the rioters and they threatened that they would strike back at RIM for that. THIS is the world we live in today and EVERYONE is held accountable for actions almost immediately. So in Hitler’s day, do you think it would have been as easy as it was to do what was done…if they had today’s world view and technology transmitting things in seconds? Hell no.

    It the same thing if you got further back in history. The Catholic church and Phillip II arrest and execute the Templars in an Order 66 style notice opened around Europe at the same time. Now image that the Templars had had BB Messenger….they MIGHT have gotten a few of them arrested, but the rest would have run, organized and then held the church and king responsible for murder. The people might have even revolted. No, modern society has changed things and most especially technology has changed things. So you CANNOT argue that today is anything like WWII. It’s not by simple accountability being a whole different ballpark today.

    Also, who said I resorted to Nationalism? The hell? Just because a person argues that an heartless ill-thought out analogy defames people who fought in a war does not make someone a Nationalist.

  334. @Requires Love (having to shorten this… too long the system says).

    London. Privileged kids rioted why?

    Gitmo. You are making my point for me. Because someone blew the whistle maybe it is now being watched for things that also occurred at Abu Ghraib. It’s called a limited hangout: that’s where they only give up what has been exposed and continue to protect what remains. You are still left with “why” and you are not addressing that. I have. These people know good and goddam well that torture is unreliable. Then why do it? BECAUSE it’s unreliable must therefore be the only logical conclusion to draw.

    I’m sorry (really, I still like you, you seem like a decent sort) but you can shove the “at least we aren’t using gas chambers” argument where the sun don’t shine. “At least we aren’t as bad as Hitler” hardly seems something to aspire to. As a student of history I cannot fathom anyone who would make such excuses.

    The people I follow on Twitter would mostly agree with you fully on Al Jazeera in fact some of them fought to get Al Jazeera on the air in the US. But Al Jazeera was painted as Al Qaeda’s mouthpiece shortly after 9/11. This is a typical Goebbels/Karl Rove/FOX News tactic, to characterize your opponents with your own worst attributes: in this case, liars.

    It’s precisely because of modern society, because of scientific advancement, that it is and will happen again. Imagine how dependent we are on news video alone. See what James O’Keefe III did with ACORN? He edited himself in dressed as a pimp and got it shut down.

    (cont.)

  335. Now imagine if the video is completely false, computer generated. We are almost to the point that experts will no longer be able to tell the difference between original and edited footage. It’s going to be LESS clear as to what happened due to technology than more so.

    Perhaps tech will also be part of the solution.

    I was pushing your buttons on the nationalism thing. However, that is a sort of typical authoritarian reaction.That these generals would never do something so diabolical for their own financial gain. They absolutely would:

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/

    You have to dig in a few pages of that FOIA response to get to the best part: Pentagon willing to shoot down a plane full of American college students (and lots of other false-flag attacks) in order to justify invading Cuba. That’s your psychological profile. And that calls into question every goddam thing we see where this war is concerned.

    So forget the “we wouldn’t do that” argument (if you hold it, not saying you do) because we would.

    Further, the recent discussions of assassinating an American citizen in Yemen. Another idiotic thing that only serves to stir up trouble. Why stir up trouble? Because it makes mercenaries and defense contractors money who then fund election campaigns and give perks to people who use their services. This is nothing new, just a lot bigger than our last Pentagon corruption scandal where we were paying for $100 screwdrivers and $500 toilet seats.

    Then you have lies like when Pat Tilman was killed by friendly fire and the Pentagon tried to use that as a recruiting tool. It took a long time to draw out the truth. What does that say? It says they lie and a lot and about anything they think they can get away with.

    Defames people who fought in a war? No, they defame themselves.

  336. @ Lanius

    Speaking of Odin…

    “If I had a mjolnir, I’d mjolnir in the morning…”

    Why the murder rate in Finland?

  337. @Whoever.

    London kids. Privileged. Riots. If anyone there was being at all righteous about a cause (like Occupy was), then they wouldn’t have been simply looting stores and assaulting people. They were thieves plain and simple. There’s no getting around it. Watch the videos of them.

    You’re simply not thinking on a global scale. You keep mentioning a person or people. In an ideal world every person or group of people would be treated fairly, and not worry about death or torture or the like. Yes, when we break it down into the people at Gitmo, or that sort of place where heinous stuff is going down then it absolutely looks like we can be capable of atrocities, and sure some people are…but what I need you to do is look at the global picture. Hell, even just look at the National picture i the US if you like. When you look at the global picture, what is happening is no less bad, but it’s not on a genocidal scale. Sorry, but it’s not. You may not buy my argument…but numbers don’t lie. No one in the US (or anywhere else) is currently commenting the genocide of an entire race. That’s the global argument to me. When you really break it down, there has always been and will always be atrocities committed form one human to the next. Sadly it will never stop, because in every dozen there are a few bad eggs. That’s just how humanity is. It sucks, but that makes it no less true.

    Let’s take Europe for example. No let’s take Britain. Britain (Albion) was initially populated by warring tribes of Celts and Picts. This gave way to conquering Romans. The Romans waned and that gave way to King after King who ruled the country with an iron fist, and every last one of them had to contend with insurrection and rebellion from Wales, Eire, Hibernia ect. The Normans, the Saxons, The Danes all warred with one another on a continuous scale. Hell, the uniting of the kingdom as a whole took 200 years between warring Saxons and Danes and the like. Basically the entire country was one big brawl for CENTURIES. I can’t fathom the amount of atrocious acts that were committed. Then when they FINALLY got themselves into a kind of peace around the 9th Century…they decide to take back the Holy Land and spend the next 200 years fighting abroad with others. Europe was a bloodbath and most of that was for land or religion for hundreds and hundreds of years.

    There will always be nasty people and warring factions and zealots and torturers. That said, what we CAN do is prevent people like Hitler from rising and committing genocide against an entire race. And if you truly think about it (on a GLOBAL SCALE remember)…we live in a time of relative peace (in comparison from where we came) albeit with wars on various fronts, but nothing like the way it used to be. My point being that humanity is no more capable of reigning itself into utter and complete peace than bands of rival wolves. There will always be assholes, the best we can do is try to stop them. City police can’t stop every criminal, but they can do their best to stem the flow.

    If you wish to try to police the world and make utter peace I wish you luck, but it will never happen. Is that a nihilistic worldview? Indeed. But I’d also call that realism.

  338. @Requires Love

    I see your points and agree with many of them.

    As for no genocide, I have to disagree again. I think that is precisely what *is* being said. That they learned and used different language is what we call progress. The Islamophobia (akin to the Red Scare as I pointed out above) is exactly that. They *are* promoting killing as many Muslims as they possibly can because it is the cynical route to reducing world population, removing a force that opposes Christianity and Judaism (they say… Muslims use the Old and New Testaments in their worship as well, they just don’t believe quite the same as the other Abrahamic traditions, as if those groups all believed the same thing as each other anyway). They have run a huge psy op on US citizens painting a picture that all Muslims are murderous. It is not only untrue, but by the percentages (1.3 billion Muslims in the world) it’s easy to point out that that number is higher among Christians and Jews. Timothy McVey. Eric Rudolph. That list goes on. There’s currently quite a to-do in NYC over a film called *The Third Jihad* designed to do exactly what I’m saying, to paint all Muslims as extremists when it is clear as a clarion bell that the same is true of so many other groups (if not more so).

    And I have to say that same thing about relative peace as I do about relative morality (gas chambers vs. fake suicides at Gitmo and heart attacks at Abu Ghraib). We kill sixteen innocent people with unmanned drones to get at *one* whom we claim is not. It doesn’t take a genius to see that that is not going to end peacefully. It propagates the problem. I think the difference between me and many other people is that I see the motivation and therefore refuse to believe them when they do this over and over and say it was a mistake. It isn’t. They are much smarter than people give them credit for.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/another-runaway-general-army-deploys-psy-ops-on-u-s-senators-20110223

    What is also so ironic about this conversation is *where* it is taking place. Technology, psychology and pharma have advanced since the 1940s. Quite a bit. The US military running psychological operations on the US Senate. I don’t know how anyone can shrug that off.

    Additionally, we have been drawn into a number of other conflicts that don’t always make the front page. Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and even a recent attempt to send troops to Nigeria. How is that not *global*?

    And as for city police they have become a tool of these same people. They take their directions from (everyone-who-visits-here’s favorite) the Department of Homeland Security. Which in turn pools its intelligence from the other fifteen (sorry, now it’s *sixteen*; TIME magazine pointed out that there is yet another answerable only to the Joint Chiefs) intelligence agencies, many of which are in the Department of Defense or work closely with them. They in turn rely on many private contractors for their work. Is it any wonder that Nigeria has oil, natural gas and arable land AND winds up yet another place that DHS tries to drag Obama into?

    Hitler also targeted gays, foreigners and intellectuals, not just Jews:

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/01/04/397378/tennessee-conservatives-seek-protections-for-religious-bullies/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-leadership/post/rick-santorum-and-the-snob-comment-why-anti-college-rhetoric-is-the-wrong-anti-obama-tactic/2011/04/01/gIQAwSZ3dR_blog.html

    Removal of separation of church and state in the country that spends more on defense than the next seven combined. Wonder where that could go?

    It IS happening. Quibbling over whether it’s about a race or some other way of defining a group is just living in denial. It’s about “the other.” Why does the label matter?

    http://nobeliefs.com/hitler.htm

    Indeed, one of [Hitler's] most revealing statements makes this quite clear:

    “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

  339. @Whoever, who said, Why Finland?

    Because he is making shit up. Probably thought someone here was from there. Columbia, if you believe the mighty Wikipedia, had an intentional homocide rate of 33 per 100,000 population last year, and Suomi had a lousy 2 per 100,000. So much for those remorseless murderous Finns. Jesus.

  340. Re:Lanius Re: Finland

    Do you add suicide rate to homicide rate or something ? Also, those conscripts had it coming, though not through a fault of theirs. Don’t mess with Finns lol :)


    No, seriously, don’t.

    Re: animal shtick

    I kind of resent racial minorities appropriating the term. It seems entirely arbitrary (while I admit that minorities were sometimes called that, I doubt there ever was a single vaguely offensive term that was never used against a minority. If we go down the route of “if minorities are occasionally called that, then it’s a minority slur”, I’ll simply be out of goddamn insults. And I want to have some non-race related insults in my language, for fuck’s sake ! :) )

  341. Another good one I just stumbled upon:

    “All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be.” – Adolf Hitler

    And Finland news:

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2012/03/06/Finland-Refugees-face-spying-threats/UPI-54581331033400/

  342. Once in a while there’s a headline makes you squirt water up your nose:

    http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/12/dick-cheney-cancels-toronto-trip-says-canada-is-too-dangerous