The Uncorrectors are Never Right

Posted May 21, 2015 By John C Wright

The groundlings over at 770 — I am too lazy to provide links —  seem to be baffled that I make the following simpleminded yet goodnatured jest:

“I actually have rather plebeian tastes. Albeit I suppose a real plebeian would not know the word “plebeian”. He would use the phrase “the hoi polloi” instead.”

Joining with our own Dr Andreassen, they rushed in an avalanche of sophomoric vainglory to point out that the article in Greek repeats the article in English, and then excused their remarkable solecism by saying that *I* was the pedant. It was not just one jackanape who made such a remark, but a plethora: a veritable avalanche of gaffe.

One braying jenny congratulated herself on having ‘called me out’ for this alleged malapropism, by which she evidently meant, posting the erroneous correction under an assumed name on a blog I avoid reading, of whose existence I was blissfully unaware until the blog owner, Mr Glyer, started vexing, snarking and snarling at me, for reasons which yet elude explanation. To call someone out means to challenge him, that is, to direct an offer of combat not to a third party in an unvisited location, but to him.

I was surprised how few got the reference to Gilbert and Sullivan, whom, frankly, I did not think so very obscure. Once fellow who did catch the reference further surprised me when he opined that I intended no one to catch the reference, which was therefore evidence of something intolerable or uncomely about my person. Perhaps he thought I was telling a joke I meant no one to get? His reasoning was elliptical and, I fear, eludes my grasp.

PEERS: Our lordly style
You shall not quench
With base canaille!
FAIRIES: (That word is French.)

PEERS: Distinction ebbs
Before a herd
Of vulgar plebs!
FAIRIES: (A Latin word.)

PEERS: ‘Twould fill with joy,
And madness stark
The hoi polloi!
FAIRIES: (A Greek remark.)

I was taught, and experience confirms, that the alleged correction of “the hoi polloi” is the very soul and exemplar of pedantic error and half-learned buffoonery.

No learned man ever offers that correction, and no one ever offers it innocently, but only in vulgar pretense of erudition they do not possess. (A man with a modicum of real education would look in the OED, and see this phase is correct in English.)

 

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The Customer is Always Right

Posted May 21, 2015 By John C Wright

It would be untoward for me to comment on the mental processes of any readers disappointed in my humble work. If I fail to please, the fault is mine, not theirs. Nonetheless, from time to time the causes for discontent are worthy of note.

For example, in the novella ‘One Bright Star to Guide Them’ the characters as children, around age 10, stumble through a magical well that opens to a fairytale world, where they have a strange adventure, but then are returned to our world, where they age and grow into adults. As is the custom in English speaking nations, the children are called by a diminutive of their names, so in the flashback scenes, Thomas is called Tommy, Richard is called Dick, Sarah is called Sally, and so on.

The following exchange was brought to my attention. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Morlockery and Progressivism as Futurism

Posted May 21, 2015 By John C Wright

The SJWs are wolves in sheep-garb when it comes to leftwingers. Leftists believe in a future of peace and equality, and old hatreds between nations, races, and creeds forgotten.

The honest Leftists want to see the bridge crew of the Starship Enterprise, oriental and occidental, male and female, white and black, including a Russian, a Scotchman, and a Vulcan thrown in for spice.

The SJWs want Kirk humiliated and forgotten, and then the rest of the crew dead, until only Uhura of planet Twofer is left, and then only if she has the sexual orientation of the actor who played Sulu, and even she is insufficient, because she is neither in a wheelchair or taking meds for a neural disorder.

Leftwingers are the Eloi for the SJW Morlocks, merely food animals waiting to be exploited, hoping to be eaten last. If they are willing to turn on Heinlein and then Joss Whedon, the loudest and clearest voices favoring racial and sexual equality imaginable, then the Morlocks are willing to turn on anyone.

Read the remainder of this entry »

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From the Pen of Matt K

Posted May 20, 2015 By John C Wright

A comment over at Brad R Torgersen’s blog, concerning the honesty, decency, and morality of voting as a way of making political statements:

“What are the Hugo Awards?

The Hugo Awards, to give them their full title, are awards for excellence in the field of science fiction or fantasy.”

First two sentences of the Hugo Awards FAQ, on the official Hugo Awards website.

To vote based upon any other criteria besides “excellence in the field of science fiction or fantasy” thus is inappropriate.

Voting “No Award” over a work that one thinks has been “nominated inappropriately” is really a vote against the process of nomination, and should take place in a different venue, at the WorldCon business meetings where the Hugo rules can be discussed for possible change.

Voting “No Award” over another work based on your perception of the ideological views of the author is a stand that you should make with your pocketbook, or your own internet pulpit, and not by subverting the Hugo process for your own preferred social or political purposes.

Voting “No Award” over a work because it doesn’t contain the requisite number of women/gays/minorities portrayed in the politically correct fashion of the week actually does superficially start to bear on the idea of the merit of the work. However, only someone who has lost all sense of the real purpose of art could believe the idea that the faddish political checklists of the day have anything to do with “excellence in the field of science fiction or fantasy.” Excellence in the field of social and political propaganda is quite a different category entirely, one with which historically prominent figures named Adolph and Josef were very familiar, back in my grandparents’ day. Many of us are tired of being told that “science fiction” which scores highly on that particular metric is the best that the field has to offer today — especially when it only tangentially seems to be science fiction at all. As has been noted elsewhere many times, political art is to art as military intelligence is to intelligence. In deference to our host, I’ll say that I suspect that comparison may be somewhat unfair to military intelligence.

If you think the field can do better than John C. Wright, Jim Butcher, Brad Torgerson and Vox Day, then prove it next year by working towards getting your preferred works nominated. Any other response betrays someone not really concerned about the Hugo Awards as such, but only about making sure that the “right” people/works win, and it dooms the Hugos to continue their 10+ year slide into irrelevance.

Of course, within the frame of the publicly-stated underlying purpose of Sad Puppies, the Hugos are already irrelevant. Evidence has proven the hypothesis. Experiment concluded. Case closed.

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On Conservative Taste

Posted May 20, 2015 By John C Wright

A reader writes:

I write you as a fellow reader.

I had the opportunity to download the newly released Hugo voting packets this morning. I express my unvarnished sentiments when I say that I find Sex Criminals stupid and gimmicky, Ms Marvel barely disguised ideological tripe, and Rat Queens another piece of ‘watch women do the disgusting things guys do in the name of equality’.

In fact, I actually find Ms Marvel’s attempt at incorporating Hindu elements offensive to the religion.

The only work which I find promising is Saga.

Am I hopelessly blinkered by my conservative tastes?

The answer to your question is not just ‘no’ but ‘hell, no’.

Conservative taste is taste. We stand for standards: melody in music, perspective in drawing and painting, soaring & sublime beauty sculpted in stone for architecture, plot and theme in storytelling, and so on.

We have the Saint John’s Passion by Bach, the paintings of Bouguereau, the Cathedral of Notre Dame, and the Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.

Morlockery is untaste. They stand for scrawling graffiti on standards and urinating and vomiting and excreting on them. They stand for atonal cacophony in music, bleary visual mess in drawing and painting, inhuman blocks of concrete and featureless steel in architecture, dreary incoherent psychopathy in the written word.

They have the music of Scriabin, the spastic scrawls of Picasso, the soul-crushing ulginess of Corbusier, and Ulysses by James Joyce.

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From the Pen of Jeff Duntemann

Posted May 20, 2015 By John C Wright

A balanced view and trenchant insight in a column from an interested onlooker to the ongoing world-shattering Holy War and  foodfight-in-a-phonebooth between the subterranean Morlocks and the lachrymose Sad Puppies

http://www.contrapositivediary.com/?p=3402

Some of the more interesting observations from Mr Duntemann are in his comments below the column.

SP authors have nothing to lose in the conflict, and AP authors have nothing to gain. It’s pretty much that simple.

My comment:

He hits the nail on the head.That is why I reject calls for reconciliation and a return to the status quo ante with umbrage and scorn.

Even with the utmost of humility and meekness I can summon up, I cannot honestly believe my work is inferior to tales which have won awards in recent years, prose poems with not a scintilla of science fiction present, or genre-free drolleries dwelling on politically correct messages but lacking both a sense of wonder and a competence of storytelling craft.

Even if peace terms were offered, what could the Morlocks offer me?

What purpose do semi-unpublished lacktalent lackwits like Damien G Walter of the Guardian or interstitial poetasters like Alex Dally ‘nonbinary’ MacFarlane of Tor.com (whom together, in their whole careers, have sold fewer works than I sold in the last twelve months) — what purpose, ask I, do such peripheral figures  serve in the Science Fiction field, except to drive out the science and the fiction, the storytelling and sense of wonder, to make room for dreary finger-wagging lectures about the alleged glories of yet one more sexual deviancy or other morbidity?

To win their applause is no goal of mine.

I do not want the harpies to cook or wait tables. I merely want them to cease befouling the feast.

No one has offered me peace terms. No one has opened negotiations with me. No one has apologized, retracted, or condemned the outrageous libels offered in major media outlets. Instead, one or two rare voices, speaking in measured tones rather then hysterical screams, has asked for all parties to remain calm, and for the Sad Puppies to concede the field and withdraw, in return for which we are offered … nothing.

What we want is science fiction. That is our demand.

Read the remainder of this entry »

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Guest Editorial: Social Justice as a Sacrament

Posted May 19, 2015 By John C Wright

A commenter named Sherwood Family over at Vox Day said something so well, and so truthful, that it bears repeating in full:

“Social Justice” is a religion. It has saints, dogma, and sacraments. It also has backsliders and apostates. As any religion knows, apostates must be dealt with lest they lead the rest of the flock astray. So any expression that shows them to be in any way rejecting the creeds of Social Justice must be met with a inquisitorial zeal. They must be made to recant…not just for the safety of the flock but for the good of their own souls. If they, like the proverbial village in Vietnam, have to be destroyed in order to be saved…well…so be it.

The interesting thing is that positions that were blessed by the SJWs in the past become rapidly outmoded and outdated and thus…incorrect. Evolve too slowly and one is a throwback reactionary who does not believe in progress, despite the fact that one’s views may be utterly in harmony with the doctrine of the church of Social Justice from only a few years ago.

SJWs cannot evolve too quickly either. That risks alienating the mass of SJWs who are not yet ready for more advanced views. But they do have a vanguard group who agitates for the more extreme positions, knowing that a slighly less extreme compromise will lead the faithful by the nose to the positions staked out by the vanguard over time.

Four decades ago it was decriminalizing homosexuality and legalizing abortion. Suggesting homosexuals should have the ability to marry and adopt would have been unacceptable except among a small group. And pushing for things like partial birth abortion would not even have been mentioned because it would have been too barbarous to be considered. Today, subscribing to these views is a requirement, a holy crusade for equality. Denying these “rights” today is sin. And the SJW church will require one to immediately confess their sin and be forced to undergo a struggle session to get their mind right.

But the interesting thing to watch is the avant-garde views that are slowly assimilated by the mass and made mainstream. What are the avant-garde views today? Where, in other words, are the SJWs headed?

This seems to me one of the reasons that aging liberals often wake up and begin adopting more moderate and in some cases even conservative views…because they were comfortable with progress up to a point but the movement has gone beyond their arbitrarily chosen boundries and they too suddenly find themselves athwart history yelling stop.

It is also one of the reasons why the “former liberal conversos” are extremely dubious, in my opinion. They often fail to acknowledge that it was their own efforts to promote “progress” in the first place that has landed all of us where we are now.

There is no compromise with progressivism and trying to stop it at some line drawn in the sand is a fool’s errand. Trying to hold them at bay cedes momentum to the progressives. Only a concerted campaign to destroy progressives root and branch by forcing the march of history in the other direction will ever have an effect.

Don’t want to be forced to support and defend homosexual marriage? Then arguing for a live and let live approach is stupid. Homosexuals certainly aren’t content with that.

Only forcing the issue the other direction offers hope.

Don’t want to be forced to have your tax money pay for contraception and abortions on demand? Then stop tolerating the existence of abortion which makes that the likeliest outcome over time.

In short, the only solution is to crush the SJWs. Remember…nits make lice. Extirpate them early and often.

 

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A Dream about the Worst Vikings Ever

Posted May 19, 2015 By John C Wright

Normally I do not talk about where I get my ideas, but let me make an exception. I get them in my sleep, which is why whenever the wife finds me snoring on the couch, I tell her I am hard at work.

I had an odd dream this morning, but the idea is one I cannot see how to use in a story.

Its seems the god Heimdall was using the technology of Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash, to travel in disguise among the races of middle earth. He called himself Rig. He visited an elf maiden, a human lass, and a hobbit girl, and nine months later, the three gave birth to the elfin, human, and hobbit races. It is from Heimdall, their divine ancestor, that the hobbits inherit their sharp eyes and cunning ears.

In the dream, Thor came to Hobbiton,  and recruited the hobbits to be vikings, and to conquer Wessex. Unfortunately, even the Tooks and Brandybucks were  shorter than the soldiers of Alfred the Great by far, and the hobbits hated boats, and so they turned out to be the shortest and fattest and generally the worse vikings ever.

So if anyone can make a tale as good as EXPECTING SOMEONE TALLER out of this idea, you are welcome to it, and with my blessings. The Norse hobbits simply amuse me as a concept, and I thought it was still funny when I woke up. Read the remainder of this entry »

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48 Reasons to Distrust the Media

Posted May 19, 2015 By John C Wright

The list is rather impressive when you read and recall each one.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/05/19/scandal-rap-sheet-48-excellent-reasons-to-distrust-despise-the-media/

 

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Hugo Packet Ready

Posted May 18, 2015 By John C Wright

HUGO NOMINEE PACKET AVAILABLE
Spokane, Washington, 18 May 2015

A digital file of many of the Hugo Award nominees is now available for members of Sasquan to download at http://sasquan.org/hugo-awards/packet_download/. This free download is supplied by the creators and publishers of works that are nominated for the awards. It is free to all current Supporting, Attending and Young Adult members of Sasquan, and those who become members before 31 July 2015. Its purpose is to allow those who are voting on the Hugo Awards to be able to make an informed choice among the nominated works.

All of the short fiction and graphic novels are included in their entirety (((assuming Zombie Nation comes through!))). The packet contains the full text of three of the novels: The Dark between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson, The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, amd The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu. Skin Game by Jim Butcher and Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie are represented by extensive excerpts. One of the five finalists in the Related Work category is represented by an excerpt: Letters from Gardner, by Lou Antonelli. There is some material in each of the other categories except the Dramatic Presentations, but not everyone wanted us to include their work in this packet.

Voting on the Hugo Awards is open to all Supporting, Attending or Young Adult members of Sasquan. More information about voting and a ballot may be found at  http://sasquan.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2015-Hugo-Ballot.pdf. In order to vote, you will have to enter your membership number and Hugo PIN at http://sasquan.org/hugo-awards/voting. Sasquan membership and registration information is available at https://sasquan.swoc.us/sasquan/reg.php

And may the best man win.

N.B.: If you are getting a PIN invalid message when you try to download, a reader tells me that the original number issued which looks like a membership number (e.g. SQ89773765280) is actually the PIN number. The Voter ID number (e.g. 7115) is actually your membership number.

 

 

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