John C. Wright's JournalJohn C. Wright's Journal http://www.scifiwright.com Fancies, Drollery and Fiction from honorary Houyhnhnm and antic Science Fiction Writer John C. Wright Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:02:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 FW &SF, or, On Faith and Works in Science Fiction http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/08/fw-sf-or-on-faith-and-works-in-science-fiction/ http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/08/fw-sf-or-on-faith-and-works-in-science-fiction/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:00:15 +0000 http://www.scifiwright.com/?p=11404 The fine folks at First Peter Five web journal (or 1P5 to you) asked me to contribute an essay explaining if and how and why my faith influences my science fiction writing. The editor asked to to answer in a thousand words or less, but we all know that was not going to happen.

The short answer is that I am eager and willing to make Christ the core of my art for two simple reasons: first, readers have asked, demanded, and begged that I do so; and second, Christianity is innately more dramatic that other worldviews, and Catholicism in particular is more mystical, magical and more-visually oriented than our iconoclastic brethren from heretical denominations. Rome invented Romance; Rome invented Science; and so the Scientific Romance is natural to us.

You may read it in it native environs here, or just click below the link.

But there was one area sacrosanct from my proselytizing effort. I did not use my science fiction stories to preach nor promote my worldview. I thought then that the honor of a gentleman, not to mention the pride of workmanship every craftsman should embrace, made it unseemly to preach my worldview when I was being paid to entertain. To use stories to spread my atheist views would be to impose on my customers, who came to me for a rollicking good space opera filled with exploding planets and colliding galaxies and stunning space princesses and stalwart space heroes. To give them a syllogism when they came for a space war, or an editorial when they came for an apocalypse, would cheat them of their hard-earned science fiction-buying dollar. To give them anything of the current world and its current controversies when they wished for escape into the future would be to play my beloved patrons false.

For I was one of those readers who oft had bought a book expecting a science fiction speculation and instead was forced to endure some rant about the issues that once upon a time absorbed the shallow attention of the intelligentsia. Since most of my reading consisted of books written twenty years before my time, I discovered that the only thing more boring than reading about the controversies of the day was reading about controversies long dead and written entirely by people long ago proved wrong.

Naturally, it was with considerable pride at my own cunning that I hid my personal opinions and paid attention only to the Muse, by which I mean I followed the needs of drama and ignored the itch to preach. Unlike other writers, as a newspaperman, I had an editorial page on which to scratch that itch to preach my opinionated opinions to the world.

When the Internet first came into my life, I assumed there was some danger that left-wing readers of mine would discover my journal and hence my opinions on the current issues of the day, but I hoped that I would gain more readers than I would lose, so I was never reluctant to share more strongly held beliefs on any topic.

In October 2003, the very first of my novels, The Golden Age, received its very first review. The reviewer excoriated the work, heaping every opprobrium on it, on the grounds that in the remote far future half a million years hence (which is when the story is set) the godlike beings who are our remotest descendants, commanding a technology which enables them to reorganize mind and matter and energy to any configuration at whim, did not seem at all concerned with environmentalism or racism or gender issues.

(I should mention that both race and sex were optional to the superbeings of this era, as was whether to have a physical body at all, and that death and extinction could be reversed, so that there were no endangered species and no non-artificial species.)

However, the more vexatious vehemence of the termagant reviewing the work was reserved for the climax. The fact that the hero won the heart of his estranged wife and had a second honeymoon was anathema to this particular critic. She did not criticize the plot, character development, word choice, or any other element of the craftsmanship. She took a personal detestation to me because I wrote about romance and marriage as if romance and marriage were good things. This particular critic hated love, romance, marriage, and all good things in life.

This was when it first was driven home to me that some readers were orcs — that is, beings to whom fair is foul and foul is fair — in terms so strong and plain that they could not be denied. There were people who claimed to be science fiction fans who had absolutely no interest in science fiction at all, but merely in the news of the day and in the long-dead abortive philosophy of the Victorian crackpot Karl Marx.

Then in August of 2009, I became the target of a Two Minutes Hate organized by an editor at a rival publishing house.

She combed through back issues of my journal and found a month-old editorial in which I mocked the SyFy Channel for caving to political correctness and vowing to try to put as many sodomite and lesbian characters onto their failing channel as possible, no doubt in an effort to alienate their non-far-leftist fans. The point was not that I cared one way or the other about the sexual misadventures of other people, but that the SyFy Channel, by showing the white feather to the thugs of political correctness, had in some small but real way encouraged an informal political censorship and made it harder for science fiction writers like me to sell my wares.

I did not like people telling me what to write. I thought in my naivety that all red-blooded Americans would feel the same way, and that all science fiction readers — a genre that prides itself on nonconformity — would even moreso. In my response, my joshing was — in my typical fashion — honest and blunt, and I called the perverts perverted.

There is one thing Leftists hate more than honesty, and that is bluntness.

So at the urging of this business rival, some 40 or 50 people who were not readers of mine wrote to tell me that they were boycotting my work. I attempted to point out that one cannot boycott wares one has never purchased. I soon realized that logic and sweet reason would not influence members of a worldview whose main selling point was a false promise to free the true believer from all limitations of reality and all obedience to social conventions, including the conventional behavior of honesty, forthrightness, and sanity. They reacted with the weak and womanish fury of the guilt-ridden, hacked my Wikipedia page, my TVTropes page, and generally made a lingering nuisance of themselves. They pouted and said they would not be my friends no more.

The sheer, shrieking, screaming, dishonest foulness — combined with the putrid crudeness and puerile tantrum-tactics of these orcs — slew forever even the slightest desire I might have had to entertain them or earn my bread from them. I was 41 years old when I heard an argument that convinced me to no longer to support the pro-homosexual position. Logic forced me, very much against my inclinations, to adopt the pro-chastity position. I was not a Christian at the time, nor was I destined to become a Christian for quite some time. But I had mightily offended Christianity’s main rival religion in America, which is a death cult called Secular Progressivism. And Progressivism is a jealous God. A pro-chastity atheist is not welcome there. At the time, to be honest, I thought them large in number, not merely loud in volume. I thought my stance might require some fortitude on my part, or involve me in some financial loss.

This turned out not to be the case.

It was a logical argument whose meshes I could not escape that convinced me to depart from the camp of the sexual liberators and their sexually perverse mascots, but there was something much more powerful than a logical argument which drew me out of the camp of the atheists and into the fortress of the Church. After a series of miracles, visions, visitations, religious experiences, and being hit over the head by a divine two-by-four, I converted and vowed my life to Christ.

That matter was private, and I made no effort to spread the news, but when asked a direct question by an interviewer, I responded honestly, as a man must when asked such a question. I was hardly going to deny Christ before men, lest He deny me before a more august audience.

 

I told one amateur reporter from one amateur school newspaper about my conversion, and in a moment every webpage that mentioned my name now was aflame with hatred and contumely because I was a humble, meek, and mild follower of Christ, and I had vowed no longer to hurt or hate my enemies, but to love them.

I confess this was a little amusing to me, since my previous atheist self had no reluctance to duel or maim and small reluctance to kill or be killed when someone offended my honor, whereas all those expressions of the deadly sin of wrath were absolutely forbidden to me now. Why these strangers whom I had never offended and who know nothing about me, but who like to play-pretend they are my enemies, would be more frightened of me now that I was a milky and meek follower of the Prince of Peace and no threat to them whatsoever is a matter for psychological or theological speculation.

The wheels of the publishing world turn slowly. Several of my books, which I had written when yet a die-hard, dyed-in-the-wool atheist, came out after news of my conversion did. More than one editor or book critic, deceived by my desire to tell a story rather than promote a worldview, were convinced that my atheist books were Christian in tone. One of them even called a book containing a scene that rather unsubtly mocked Christianity a pro-Christian apologetic!

Readers, never tell yourselves you can determine an author’s personal opinions from his writing, unless he is, like C.S. Lewis or his warped antimatter image Phillip Pullman, someone who declares his partisan loyalty from the outset.

I wrote stories with nakedly religious endings of pure hope when I was an atheist because the story logic required such an ending. Likewise, I wrote stories with a nakedly atheist ending of pure despair when I was a Christian because the story logic required such an ending.

Meanwhile, the lamps of civilization are going out one by one. The more useful barometer of the life expectancy of any civilization is the degree to which the populace at large is willing to accept insolent, insulting, bare-faced falsehoods in their midst without umbrage and without objection. The more outrageously obvious the lie and the more tolerant the people are of it, the clearer it is that the unseen bonds of mutual trust on which society — any society — is based are relaxing and evaporating.  The speed at which the society around me became addicted to lies was truly shocking to me, and still is.

The one limb of this rising swamp of untruth which sloshed over into my professional life was when the Science Fiction Writers of America began expelling members or firing employees for being unwilling to bow rapidly enough to the glaringly absurd pieties of the politically correct left-wing.

It was nakedly and openly political, and Christians and conservatives were told to shut up and pretend to be lunatics along with the screaming lunatics or else face the pretend wrath of the lunatics. (Their wrath, of course, is just as make-believe as everything else in their make-believe world, from global warming to Republican racism to the innocence of the Palestinians. In reality, they are cowards.)

I publicly and with great umbrage resigned from that suddenly fetid organization and shook the dust from my sandals, for it stank in my nostrils. SWFA has betrayed everything for which it once stood. These people are Philistines. May the Almighty smite them with emerods.

A time came when a small but bold publisher wrote me out of the blue asking if I had any stories, even one previously sold elsewhere, that he might republish. An anthology of my Night Lands tales — including two of the tales previously mentioned here, an atheist story I wrote while a Christian and a Christian story I wrote while an atheist — was published. And the readers and critics who reviewed the anthology loved the Christian story. (Yes, that one, the one I wrote while I was an atheist.) They wept. They had dreams about it. They praised it and overpraised it in such fulsome terms that I dare not repeat some of the compliments lest I be accused either of exaggeration or hallucination.

It was shocking to me. It was unbelievable.

And I made a sackful of money in a shockingly short time.

In rapid succession three things became clear to me:

First, I have a gift. I did not earn it, and I take no credit for it, but I can write a story that can make readers feel as if an eternal spirit has brushed them with the pinfeathers of her wings.

Second, we mortal men are chained prisoners with fetters on our feet and mind-darkening drugs in our bread and water for so long as we remain in this dungeon of the Fallen Estate of Man. We are patients in the lazaret, our bodies rotting around us, who have forgotten what solid sunlight and shining green grass or the wine of the wind feels like. It is the mission of the muses to remind us of these simple, wholesome, lovely and heavenly things: golden sun and emerald hill, blue fountain and white cloud. And it is the duty of the poet to serve the muses.

This means it would be wrong of me not to use the gift to its fullest measure.

Humans are homesick for Heaven. If I can remind even one faithful brother of his first true love, I might save him from being a Laodicean.

Third, the orcs are beyond mortal reach. Most are already below the feculent bottom of the fen of filth that forms this worldview and busily burrowing deeper, digging a grave.

If I wrote a book like Ayn Rand or Robert Heinlein and argued using merely mortal words and mortal logic, none of my words would reach this sunken soul. There is nothing there to get a grip on. All the normal human emotions, all the human organs to which I might address an appeal are long lost, rotted away.

But no one is beyond salvation. The orcs are damnable fools. It is sound theology to say so. But they are not damned fools. That is a sin to say, and Our Lord straightly forbids it. He can reach them with His pierced hands even though my human arms are too short.

Hence, if I write books deeply informed by the Christian worldview, and write on divine topics following divine teaching and perhaps a hint of divine inspiration, the muse might be able to reach the ear of an orc. An orc that mere stories about space princesses being rescued from space pirates by a space marine cannot possibly reach.

I am a philosopher. I know what philosophy can do. I also know what it cannot do. It cannot reach those who have cropped their ears. The lamp of reason has no light for those who have gleefully prodded out their eyes in adoration of the abomination of desolation, their sad idol.

The Novels of John C. Wright

 

Now, if I use my art to uphold the faith, will I offend anyone?

The question is meaningless. The orcs do not merely hate sunlight and happiness and romance, they think the weather is out to get them. They fear policemen and love wild bears. They think Mohammedan terrorists are the good guys and Jews are not an oppressed and hated people. They think two persons of the same sex can have sex and that this requires the sacrament of marriage to sanctify and celebrate their filthy unnatural sodomy.

They think common sense is a hate crime, and therefore they avoid it at all costs. These people LIVE to be offended. They BREATHE being offended. They LOVE being offended. To avoid offending them would leave them with nothing to do.

Merely by writing a story where the hero wedded the heroine, I offended the orcs. Good stories offend them because they are good.

The only stories they like – well, to measure what they like, see what they reward. Just look at those that won nominations the Nebula Award this year: a tale of despair about a bride imagining her comatose husband (beaten to death by Southern bigots) to be a dinosaur with no science fiction elements in it; a tale of despair concerning priests murdering a child with no science fiction elements in it; a tale of a homosexual offended by his bigoted sister with no science fiction elements in it.

The orcs don’t like science fiction. They don’t like the romance of progress nor the deep fears or high hopes of the future. They don’t like romance at all. Their world is dull and  gray, filled with jagged red stabs of hate and the dripping black of nihilism.

Will I lose sales because I am Christian? I cannot impress upon you, dear reader, how blitheringly stupid that question is. Lose sales, indeed! Sales?

Perhaps those of you who were born in the faith do not realize what is written over the wide front gates of pearl next to the baptistery, those same open doors that invite all infidels to become faithful. I passed through those doors. Do you not recall? Really? TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME. That is what I was promised when I joined your army.

It does not say, “Take up your little pink baby blanket,” does it?

When I was confirmed I took the name Justin Martyr after Saint Justin Martyr, the patron of philosophers, my vocation. He was stabbed to death for refusing to recant his belief in his Lord. His crimson entrails were spilled out over the floor of the jail cell where he departed this world to his reward.

I can imagine some Protestants not understanding the cost involved in crossing that threshold. The Anglicans, after all, never faced persecution. They are always the fools and dandies of the State, for they were and are an established State religion. They were the persecutors, not the persecuted. And certain Protestant sects avoid graphic representation of saints and martyrs or ignore the saints altogether. But not the One, True, Apostolic, and Catholic Church. We cannot forget our roots. The world, and the Prince of this World, will remind us that we are strangers here if ever we get too comfortable.

The conclusion is this: The core of science fiction is stories based in solid speculation about the progress of technology and the nature of man, man’s place in the universe, and so on. They are stories of high hope or deep fear, tales of magic and imagination. The Catholic Church invented and nurtured the scientific method and scientific speculation, and outside the Christian worldview, science becomes politicized, pointless, and turns into Lysenkoism, Nazi race science, or environmentalism — that is, a harlot of the party in power.

Outside Christianity, outside hope of Heaven and fear of Hell, the hopes and fears are finite and watery.

Outside Christianity, the magic is not in life. For the pagan or neopagan progressive, life is pain followed either by endless nothingness or by endless reincarnations of endless pain. No good stories take place in the worldview outside Rome. Rome invented romance, hence the name.

Catholicism invented science fiction. Just ask Jules Verne.

I could not avoid telling stories in the Christian way for Christian audiences in a Christian spirit even if I wanted to. Seeing how aggressive and yet how foolish our enemy is, it would be unwise not to want to. The sky is growing darker and the sea is rising, and only a fool does not see the storms to come. There is no refuge outside the Church and no comfort.

Let me not be accused of being courageous. I am not. The only threat the enemies of Christ have so far brought to bear, despite the fact that I am as loud and clear-voiced about my faith as it is possible to be, has been a few weak-minded dribblers trying to voice witty insults. But their wits failed them, and they can only choke with hatred and humiliate themselves in public. They were not going to buy any books of mine in any case, no matter what. I could not write a story to please them — like their award-winning dino-porn about a homosexual child-murdering priest — even if I wanted to.

And their stories lack magic. I do not mean they cannot write a ripoff of the surface features of Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. I mean that their stories are limited by their dull and claustrophobic world. They live in a coffin called Progressivism.

To them, life is a machine, and morality is caused by statically random mutations in the genes controlling the meat robot they call themselves. They are bodies without souls who live chasing vain pleasures, screaming at imaginary dangers, blind to real dangers, and who return to the elements at death like the beasts they think they are. There is no difference between male and female in their world, nothing is familiar because nothing is exotic, there is no justice and no injustice, there is only a meaningless struggle, a moment of disappointing pleasure-seeking, and death. Yes, it is a coffin. That is where they live. That is the kind of tale they tell. Coffin tales.

 

But I am a Catholic. In my world, every sunrise is the trumpet blast of Creation, more astonishing than the bomb burst, and every nightfall is the opening of a vast roof into the infinite dance of deep Heaven, where the stars and planets reel and waltz to the music of the spheres.

When I was in China, the tour guide saw me stop to give alms to beggars. He watched in wonder and asked me why I was ‘tipping’ the beggars. I told him our God walks the Earth in disguise dressed as a beggar, and any man who does not give alms with both hands is stricken with a curse and flung screaming into a lake of fire.

One might think that an odd reason to give alms, or even an impure or superstitious reason, but no one can say it is a prosaic reason. To see God in a beggar’s careworn and quotidian face is the very soul of romance.

Romance? Let me say something of the wild poetry that now rules my life.

I have a charm chalked on my front door to call a blessing down from wide Heaven. I carry a Rosary like a deadly weapon in my pocket and hang the medallion of Saint Justin Martyr, whose name I take as my true name, atop my computer monitor where he can stare at me.

Two angels follow me unseen as I walk, and I live in a world of exorcists and barefoot friars, muses and prophets, healers who lay on hands, mighty spiritual warriors hidden in crippled bodies, and fallen angels made of pure malicious spirit obeying their damned and darkened Sultan from his darkest throne in Hell. And I live in a world where a holy Child was born a secret king beneath a magic star, and the animals knelt and prayed. And from that dread lord, the small Child will save us.

You might think my world inane, or insane, or uncouth, or false, but by the beard of Saint Nicholas, by the Breastplate of Saint Patrick, and by the severed head of Saint Valentine, no one can say it is not romantic.

My life these days is a storybook story. If there were more romance in it, it would be enough to choke Jonah’s whale. Without Catholicism, there is no romance. Outside the Church, where are the miracles?

Should I hide this? Should I hide a world larger and more glorious than mortal worlds?

It is the only type of story worth a man’s time to tell or heed.

 

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Literary Envy and the Last Redoubt http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/literary-envy-and-the-last-redoubt/ http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/literary-envy-and-the-last-redoubt/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:36:40 +0000 http://www.scifiwright.com/?p=11407 Over at Armed and Dangerous, a topic very near and dear to my heart is being debated. The author, Eric Raymond, begins thus:

I’ve been aware for some time of a culture war simmering in the SF world. And trying to ignore it, as I believed it was largely irrelevant to any of my concerns and I have friends on both sides of the divide. Recently, for a number of reasons I may go into in a later post, I’ve been forced to take a closer look at it. And now I’m going to have to weigh in, because it seems to me that the side I might otherwise be most sympathetic to has made a rather basic error in its analysis. That error bears on something I do very much care about, which is the health of the SF genre as a whole.

Both sides in this war believe they’re fighting about politics. I consider this evaluation a serious mistake by at least one of the sides.

He then identifies the two sides

On the one hand, you have a faction that is broadly left-wing in its politics and believes it has a mission to purge SF of authors who are reactionary, racist, sexist et weary cetera. This faction now includes the editors at every major SF publishing imprint except Baen and all of the magazines except Analog and controls the Science Fiction Writers of America (as demonstrated by their recent political purging of Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day). This group is generally frightened of and hostile to indie publishing. Notable figures include Patrick & Theresa Nielsen Hayden and John Scalzi. I’ll call this faction the Rabbits, after Scalzi’s “Gamma Rabbit” T-shirt and Vox Day’s extended metaphor about rabbits and rabbit warrens.

On the other hand, you have a faction that is broadly conservative or libertarian in its politics. Its members deny, mostly truthfully, being the bad things the Rabbits accuse them of. It counteraccuses the Rabbits of being Gramscian-damaged cod-Marxists who are throwing away SF’s future by churning out politically-correct message fiction that, judging by Amazon rankings and other sales measures, fans don’t actually want to read. This group tends to either fort up around Baen Books or be gung-ho for indie- and self-publishing. Notable figures include Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, Tom Kratman, John C. Wright, and Vox Day. I’ll call this group the Evil League of Evil, because Correia suggested it and other leading figures have adopted the label with snarky glee.

I can speak authoritatively for the United Underworld of the Evil League of Evil, since I (with some help from Batman and Dr Horrible) coined the term. We do not believe we are fighting about politics.

Politics is the least part of the struggle. None of my stories mention it, nor do those of our dishonorable and craven opposition.

We of the United Underworld have said what we are fighting about. Larry Correia wrote our manifesto: We believe story comes before message.

We are entertainers first and crusaders second.

Our opponents are crusaders first, or, to be precise, anticrusaders, because instead of fighting for the holiness and righteousness as the crusaders did of old, these creatures fight against everything holy and right and instead fight for socialism, totalitarianism, feminism, perversions sexual and otherwise, atheism, nihilism, irrationalism, Ismism, and every other ism one can name.

We say you can put a message in your story if you insist, but story comes first. Space Princesses come second, at least for me. I think way cool guns come second for Larry Correia. Message comes third for both of us.

United Underworld02

United Underworld (from Left to Right: Sarah Hoyt, John C. Wright, Larry Correia, Vox Day)

On a more serious note, the United Underworld represents an artistic vision of science fiction that is in keeping with our roots. We write science fiction after the fashion of Jules Verne, John W Campbell Jr, and the Big Three of the 1950s, Heinlein, Asimov and Van Vogt. We write in the footsteps of C.S. Lewis and Arthur C Clarke. We take our inspiration of Milton, Dante, and Homer and other men of vast imagination and startling vision. In our universe, truth is true, reality is real, logic works, fair is fair and foul and foul. We are the men of the mind.

Our dishonorable opponents follow in the footsteps of Michael Moorcock and his New Wave theory that the Academics will like us if only we write incomprehensible trash like Academics claim to like.

I say ‘claim to like’ because Academics read the first and final chapter of a book and pretend to have read the whole book so they can mention it at cocktail parties and impress the people who are not their friends. In their universe, truth is optional, reality is whatever you say it is, logic is oppression, hysteria is your friend, and ugliness and absurdity are paramount.

The writer, Mr Raymond, goes on to say

Alas, I cannot join the Evil League of Evil, for I believe they have made the same mistake as the Rabbits; they have mistaken accident for essence. The problem with the Rabbits is not that left-wing politics is dessicating and poisoning their fiction. … Nor, I think, is the failure of Rabbit fiction to engage most SF fans and potential fans mainly down to its politics; I think the Evil League is prone to overestimate the popular appeal of their particular positions here.

No, I judge that what is dessicating and poisoning the Rabbit version of SF is something distinct from left-wing political slant but co-morbid with it: colonization by English majors and the rise of literary status envy as a significant shaping force in the field.

All I can say is that this is not the stance of the Evil League of Evil, for which I hereby unilaterally declare myself the official spokesvillain.

Our stance is more universal and obvious. We are not talking about politics. We are talking about the universe. We believe in telling stories about the universe, its wonders and horrors, and the Rabbits believe in talking about nothing at all.

The Rabbits are talking about their universe; it is just that, for the Rabbit, their universe IS politics. It is a universe that has already suffered the Big Crunch.

United Underworld

A note on nomenclature: Theirs is a movement which from time to time calls itself Leftist, Liberal, Socialist, Progressive, or Political Correct.

Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day) calls them Rabbits. I pay them more respect and call them Morlocks. We both agree they dwell in underground warrens, so for the purpose of this column, here following I will split the difference and call them Troglodytes.

(If you like, you can call them Progressive Troglodytes, or Prog-Trogs for short.)

The movement changes its name each decade or so, since it cannot afford to be associated with its own works and results, so it calls itself names that are more or less the opposite of its actions produce. Whether this is a product of deliberate deception, deliberate self-deception, inattention, ignorance, insanity, worship of the Crawling Chaos Nyarlathotep or well intentioned yet misplaced zeal can be debated endlessly.

Technically speaking, this movement is a heresy, that is, something that breaks away from the Church, while adopting her social teachings, and elevating some minor principle to a supreme principle then used to sweep other principles away.

There are thirteen identifiable markers of the membership of the tribe of Troglodytes:

1. Theologically, they are atheist and agnostic, or at least laiacist.
2. In Metaphysics, they are nihilist. They hold the universe to have no innate meaning.
3. In Epistemology, they are subjectivists and (ironically) empiricists.
4. In Ontology, they are materialists. They believe minds are epiphenomena of matter.
5. In Logic, they are polylogists. They believe each race and both genders possesses unique and exclusive rules of logic.
6. In Aesthetics, they glorify the ugly and destroy beauty.
7. In Ethics, they are Gnostics. Whatever we call good, they call evil, and whatever we call evil, they call good.
8. In Politics, they are statists, and tacitly totalitarian. They want arbitrary power rather than law and order.
9. In Economics, they are socialist. They want the law of supply and demand to vanish softly away.
10. In Semantics, they are nominalists. They hold words to have no innate meaning.
11. In they psychological stance, they are sadists.
12. In their psychopathology, they are suicidal. They don’t want to live, they want you to die.
13. Emotionally, they are infantile. The emotion that governs them is envy.

Now, these are rough generalizations only, and no one member of the movement believes all these points, and, being a strongly anti-intellectual and pro-irrational bent, few of them even know what these big words mean. Some of these points contradict each other. That matters nothing to them. Logic is not their strong suit.

Nonetheless, we call a man a biped even if Captain Ahab has only one leg, and we call dogs quadrupeds even if Triskele has only three. The members of the genus who lack some of these defining characteristics lack them by accident, not essentially.

The essential quality is envy. These are losers who want to punish the winners for winning.

They are stupid people who want to be called smart and want the smart people called stupid. These are morally corrupt and morally retarded brats who want the laurels of saints and the palms of martyrs awarded them without the moral growth into that selflessness which is necessary for sainthood, and certainly without the suffering which is necessary for martyrdom. They just want the credit for being wise and good without actually suffering the trouble and effort of being wise and good.

In politics, they want the poor to eat the rich, and they will laugh, laugh, laugh at the bloodshed.

But politics is the smallest part of their worldview. Their worldview is a cult. It is religion, or, at least, a pseudo-religion. Like a religion, it has its anathemas and heresies and inquisitions to penalize deviations from dogma. Unlike my religion, the dogma of the Troglodytes are neither written down, nor articulated, nor sensible, nor rational, nor happy, nor righteous, nor good.

Next, the writer at Armed and Dangerous makes this alarming comment:

The Rabbits have the best stylists, while the Evil League has the best storytellers.

Since I only just joined the Evil League of Evil, I am behind in my reading, and so I cannot speak for anyone else. But let us compare, shall we?

This is from one of their award winning efforts:

If all I needed was something blue, I’d run across the church, heels clicking on the marble, until I reached a vase by the front pew. I’d pull out a hydrangea the shade of the sky and press it against my heart and my heart would beat like a flower. I’d bloom. My happiness would become petals. Green chiffon would turn into leaves. My legs would be pale stems, my hair delicate pistils. From my throat, bees would drink exotic nectars. I would astonish everyone assembled, the biologists and the paleontologists and the geneticists, the reporters and the rubberneckers and the music aficionados, all those people who—deceived by the helix-and-fossil trappings of cloned dinosaurs– believed that they lived in a science fictional world when really they lived in a world of magic where anything was possible.

If we lived in a world of magic where anything was possible, then you would be a dinosaur, my love. You’d be a creature of courage and strength but also gentleness. Your claws and fangs would intimidate your foes effortlessly. Whereas you—fragile, lovely, human you—must rely on wits and charm.

A T-Rex, even a small one, would never have to stand against five blustering men soaked in gin and malice. A T-Rex would bare its fangs and they would cower. They’d hide beneath the tables instead of knocking them over. They’d grasp each other for comfort instead of seizing the pool cues with which they beat you, calling you a fag, a towel-head, a shemale, a sissy, a spic, every epithet they could think of, regardless of whether it had anything to do with you or not, shouting and shouting as you slid to the floor in the slick of your own blood.

If you were a dinosaur, my love, I’d teach you the scents of those men. I’d lead you to them quietly, oh so quietly. Still, they would see you. They’d run. Your nostrils would flare as you inhaled the night and then, with the suddenness of a predator, you’d strike. I’d watch as you decanted their lives—the flood of red; the spill of glistening, coiled things—and I’d laugh, laugh, laugh.

I direct your attention to the stylistic (ahem) accomplishment of copying IF YOU GIVE  A MOUSE A COOKIE, the deliberately childish tone, the blurred lack of detailed description for anything in the mention of the bar fight. The lack of style shows in the utterly generic insults used by the assailants: fag, towelhead, shemale, sissy, spic. If the nameless narrator’s bridegroom is an effete homosexual Arab transsexual from Spain or Mexico, the word choice here makes sense. Otherwise, they are selected without any ear for rhythm or assonance. They are, in fact, merely a grab-bag of the epithets which Leftists want to put into the mouths of civilized men, so that the Leftists can falsely accuse us of homophobia, Islamophobia, heteronormative sexism and racism.

Here is one of ours. I select a passage of similar tone and theme, that of a woman grieving for a loved one:

The monsters still howl for him, months after he fell. In the gloom, I can sometimes see one or the other, sometimes both together, wolfish beasts with leathery hides and dark bristles, and they raise their grinning, shark-like mouths to the black clouds above and utter their cries.

Impossible that such horrors could love a child of man, and be faithful; impossible. Yet they do not molest the body, nor even approach it.

My brother Polynices lies in plain view on the baked black salt of the Night Land. The hollow where he fell has a smoke-hole in it center, some five yards beyond his motionless, outflung hand, and the smolder from the hole casts a light across his form.

He lies many miles below the armored windows of our redoubt, but even so, the spy-glasses and instruments of the Monstruwacans (those scholars whose business it is to watch the horrors of the Night) leaning from the balconies, can pick out minute details.

The fingers of his gauntlet are stretched out, as if he were reaching for the little warmth of the smoke hole as he perished. He lays on a slight incline, for a circle of salty mineral surrounds the smoke hole and slopes toward it. His boots are toward us. The smoke hole is to his left. His helmet fell from his head, and rolled a yard down the salty slope. The little trail the helmet made as it fell is still visible. There has been no wind, no earth tremors, to disturb the salt crystals and erode the trail. The haft and great wheel of his disk-ax weapon lay to his right, and the shadow of his body falls across it, making details difficult to make out, even under the immense magnifications of the Great Spy Glass. The hair I used to tousle has continued to grow as the months have passed, and now falls across the shoulder-plates of his armor and spills onto the salt. I cannot see those wild locks without wishing for my comb of nacre to put the tangles right. He was always careless of his appearance.

Because of the angle of his fall, I cannot make out his face. Did he die calmly? Or is a rictus of hollow terror and despair frozen forever on his features?

His right forearm is hidden under his body, as if his teeth were seeking the lethal capsule buried under the flesh of his forearm when he fell. Did he fall too swiftly to bite the capsule, and slay himself wholesomely, before his soul and spirit were Destroyed?

There is no blood visible. There is no sign of wounds.

Yes, dear reader, I select one of my own works because, frankly, writers suffer from inflated egos. My style is ornate yet clear, and the language is elevated.

As said above, the leitmotif of the Morlocks is envy. It informs their every effort. Naturally, in the arts what the Morlocks do is take something ugly, and claim it is beautiful with a beauty invisible to the uncouth and unwashed masses, and they call the ugliness insight, or daring or stylistic. Usually what they call style is a lack of craftsmanship.

The article goes on to say:

Literary status envy is the condition of people who think that all genre fiction would be improved by adopting the devices and priorities of late 19th- and then 20th-century literary fiction. Such people prize the “novel of character” and stylistic sophistication above all else. They have almost no interest in ideas outside of esthetic theory and a very narrow range of socio-political criticism. They think competent characters and happy endings are jejune, unsophisticated, artistically uninteresting. They love them some angst.

People like this are toxic to SF, because the lit-fic agenda clashes badly with the deep norms of SF.

Amen and Hear, Hear. This is exactly right. If the author at Armed and Dangerous will not join us, let me just say that I would be happy to join him, if he wants to start a literary movement of his own.

The Evil League of Evil is fighting the wrong war in the wrong way. To truly crush the Rabbits, they should be talking less about politics and more about what has been best and most noble in the traditions of the SF genre itself.

Again, I mean no disrespect, but you should read our manifesto before you say what we are saying. We are not talking about politics, we are talking about science fiction stories and how to tell good stories of lasting value (for myself, my ambition is to tell great stories of immortal value) rather than the fashionable feculence of the Morlocks, which are concerned only with quotidian things and antique anxieties that beset the writers of the Victorian Era, like Marx.

The right (counter)revolutionary slogan is therefore not “Drive out the social-justice warriors!”, it’s “Peddle your angsty crap elsewhere, lit-fic wannabes! Let’s put SF back in the gutter where it belongs!”

We are the Last Redoubt of Humanity carrying the light of civilization against a besieging host of benighted barbarians who bow and serve the horrid and abhorrent idols of Political Correctness, vast, dark, unliving, inhuman, creatures of unreason. Despite whatever Mr Raymond says, if he is not against us, he is one of us.

Allow me to end with a quote from one Glen Filthie.

Look guys – I don’t give a chit about your politics. I just want something to read … that will entertain me. I don’t want to be lectured, preached at, scolded, emasculated, or otherwise orated, pontificated and bloviated at. I just want a good story.

I want you to imagine this read aloud by Patrick McGoohan, the actor who played Number Six on the television show THE PRISONER, in the same driving tone and cadence as his famous defiance:

I will not make any deals with you. I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own!

.

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The Wright Perspective: Seven Right Ideas (Faith) http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/the-wright-perspective-seven-right-ideas-faith/ http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/the-wright-perspective-seven-right-ideas-faith/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 18:39:35 +0000 http://www.scifiwright.com/?p=11402 My latest is up at EveryJoe: This is the last in my series on the Seven Right Ideas on which Conservativism is founded, and it is the more difficult idea because it is a mystery.

Faith is as impossible to define in fullness as love, but it includes the idea that you owe a personal loyalty to truth, virtue and beauty, and that the mysterious source of truth, virtue and beauty will reward that loyalty and faithfully reciprocate.

Faith is the opposite of nihilism, which is the idea that there are no metaphysical truths, no supernatural reality, no innate purpose to life.

The point of faith is often misunderstood, and, frankly, often lied about. Matters of faith are neither illogical nor do they lack evidence.

The confusion comes because no other decision in life (even such all-embracing decisions as the decision to marry or to join the army) requires loyalty from every part of your soul and every nook of your psychology; including the part that decides.

All other decisions but this one allow you a place to stand, a neutral ground, a judge’s bench, where you can weigh the arguments for and against and make the decision according to rules that are themselves not part of the decision. But in this case, whether you become a Christian or become a Political Correction Cultist, there is no neutral ground.

You cannot make the decision based on the truth of the claims, because Political Correctness rejects the concept of truth whereas Christianity says Christ is truth.

You cannot make the decision based on the virtue of the claims, because Political Correctness rejects the concept of virtue, and says that all moral good or evil is a human invention, or the imposition of mindless genetic processes.

You cannot make a decision based on the beauty of the claims, because Political Correctness rejects the concept of beauty as trivial and trite, and rejects the concept that beauty reflects truth.

You cannot make the decision based on the rationality of the claim, because Political Correctness rejects the idea of objective reason whereas Christianity says Christ is Logos, a Greek term which means, among other things, reason, account or logic. We worship a rational God who created a rational universe in which he placed men to whom he granted the gift of reason.

You cannot even use your free will to make the decision because Political Correctness casts grave doubt on the freedom of the will, or denies it altogether.

Between the Christian universe and the anti-Christian universe, there is no way to be objective and dispassionate between the two universes. There is no third universe in which to stand while you make the choice. Either you are a member of one or a member of the other.

Read the Whole Thing

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Hugo voting ends Tomorrow http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/hugo-voting-ends-tomorrow/ http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/hugo-voting-ends-tomorrow/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:45:41 +0000 http://www.scifiwright.com/?p=11400 Reminder from Larry Correia:

The Hugo voting ends shortly, so if you joined the crusade to combat the scourge of Puppy Related Sadness don’t forget to get your votes in.

Related — Vox Day posts his suggested sample ballot:

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/07/2014-hugo-award-recommendations.html

Myself I have no opinion on the current voting, but on the retro-Hugos, allow me to suggest:


Best Novel

  1. Galactic Patrol by E. E. Smith (Astounding Stories, February 1938)
  2. Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis (The Bodley Head)
  3. The Legion of Time by Jack Williamson (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
  4. Carson of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  5. The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White (Collins) (this is not science fiction at all, so why is it on the ballot?)


Best Novella

  1. “Who Goes There?” by Don A Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Science-Fiction, August 1938)
  2. Anthem by Ayn Rand (Cassell)

I have no recommendations concerning the other candidates, so I do not rank them.

Best Novelette

I have no recommendations here, having read none of the candidates.
Best Short Story

  1. “Helen O’Loy” by Lester del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1938)
  2. “The Faithful” by Lester del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)
  3. “How We Went to Mars” by Arthur C. Clarke (Amateur Science Stories, March 1938)
  4. “Hyperpilosity” by L. Sprague de Camp (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)
  5. “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma” by Ray Bradbury (Imagination!, January 1938)

Best Editor

  1. John W. Campbell
  2. No Award

Left off ballot: Farnsworth Wright, Mort Weisinger, Raymond A. Palmer,  Walter H. Gilling. All of these were punks compared to Campbell, and Wright, despite his fine and wonderful and handsome last name, was a terrible editor, intrusive and lacking in taste. Campbell created modern Science Fiction out of a pulp sciffy space opera slush that previously existed, nearly singlehandedly.

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Fooled by Heinlein for 40 Years http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/fooled-by-heinlein-for-40-years-3/ http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/fooled-by-heinlein-for-40-years-3/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:25:58 +0000 http://www.scifiwright.com/?p=11395 This is a reprint of an article of mine from 2003. I bring it to the attention of my current readers. My opinions on this point have not changed:

Here is my Heinlein tale, which I pass along only to show that one’s most cherished beliefs can sometimes be revised by experience:

There is a scene in Robert Heinlein’s GLORY ROAD, where the hero, Oscar Gordon, is traveling among barbarians from some outer dimension. Their custom is to share their daughters’ love (or wives’) with traveling heroes for a night or two, in hopes of fathering good stock. Oscar the hero unwittingly offends the custom by refusing the copulate with the daughter of the local lord, his host. For this he is tongue-lashed by the heroine for being provincial, backward, rude and stupid; at some personal risk to himself, he returns to the mansion of the barbarian lord, apologizes manfully, commits orgy, fornicates with gusto, and goes on his way with the heroine on his arm, her eyes shining with admiration. This heroine is named Star; the names of the nice young ladies with whom he ruts are nowhere mentioned.

Even as a youth, I prided myself (and my pride was immoderate when I was young, I am afraid, and may not be moderate now) on being a careful and skeptical thinker. But it was not until I was 41, some three decades after first reading that scene, that I thought, for the first time, there was something wrong with the picture Mr. Heinlein paints.

glory-road-2

What if Oscar the hero had fathered a child during his one-night stand? Does a father have no moral obligations running to a child, to love, to cherish, to protect, to see to its upbringing? The mother of Moses sent her babe off in a basket down the river because the soldiers of Pharaoh were coming to kill it; but Oscar here apparently is sending his child down the river because he wishes to enjoy a momentary sexual pleasure with an unnamed woman, and because he does not wish to offend ugly customs of outlandish people.

I look at the perfect face of my own cherubic child, and I wonder, what kind of man would let his child be raised as a bastard by strangers? If the child is a daughter, will she be sent to whore around with other wondering heroes?

If the customs of the land had demanded our hero sacrifice a captive to Tezcatlipoca, would his bitchy girlfriend have brow-beaten him into doing that, too?

The bitchy girlfriend turns out to be an Empress, and she marries the hero. I must laugh. What kind of girl would marry a man (or even give him the time of day) after he has sported with harlots? How did Clytemnestra react when her husband lord Agamemnon come back from the wars, having slept with many a golden slave-girl from Illium? She killed him with an axe in the bath. Compare Heinlein with Aeschylus. Who do you think knows more about how women really act?

For that matter, compare Heinlein with Robert E. Howard. Solomon Kane, puritan adventurer from New England, travels the world slaying troglodytes, vampires and witch-queens descended from the survivors of devil-worshipping Atlantians. He would not take off his hat for a king of Europe or Asia, or bow to an alien idol, even if he might die for his unbending defiance. Who is more the hero?

In a word, I was snookered. Skeptic that I thought I was, it did not occur to me to question the amoral, epicurean and hedonistic philosophy put across by Mr. Heinlein in his books. It seemed so much common sense. I had never stopped to wonder: would Socrates, or Cato of Utica (or Sir Galahad or Kimball Kinnison of the Galactic Patrol, or Frodo Baggins of Bag End) have done what Oscar Gordon did?

I was too young to know, and too arrogant to believe, that hedonism leads to nihilism. It is a dead-end philosophy: a hedonist has no reason to praise temperance; an epicurean has no reason to praise courage; the live-for-today libertine has no use for prudence; man who, like Oscar Gordon, says that all customs are merely arbitrary cultural constructions, and refuses to see the difference between cruelty and civilization, such a man has no sense of justice.

I assure you I was as settled in my beliefs as man can be: I had studied the premises and principles with great skepticism, and subjected the whole structure of philosophy to pitiless logic, and tested and retested every link in my chain of reasoning. But I was inexperienced. Non-Euclidean geometry is also perfectly logical, but only experience can tell you whether or not Euclid’s fifth postulate describes the world we see, or not.

 

GloryRoad001

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Architect of Aeons Cover http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/architect-of-aeons-cover/ http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/architect-of-aeons-cover/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:07:41 +0000 http://www.scifiwright.com/?p=11389 My next volume of my Count to the Eschaton Sequence is scheduled to go on sale, according to one source, in April of 2015. This is not the official announcement from the publisher, so it is possible someone is jumping the gun.

Cover below the cut. Personally, I think this is great cover art:

cover Architect of Aeons

The climactic and wildly inventive fourth volume in a series exploring future history and human evolution.

The epic and mind-blowing finale to this visionary space opera series surpasses all expectation: Menelaus Montrose, having forged an uneasy alliance with his immortal adversary, Ximen del Azarchel, maps a future on a scale beyond anything previously imagined. No longer concerned with the course of history across mere millennia, Montrose and del Azarchel have become the architects of aeons, bringing forth minds the size of planets as they steer the bizarre intellectual descendants of an extinct humanity.

Ever driving their labors and their enmity is the hope of reunion with their shared lost love, the posthuman Rania, whose eventual return is by no means assured, but who may unravel everything these eternal rivals have sought to achieve.

Time to nitpick!

I am not sure who wrote this blurb, but this is not the end of the series, not the climax, and not the finale. (It may be the last book Tor chooses to publish, the if sales are inadequate, however. That is up to you, the readers, to decide.) The next volume is tentatively titled THE VINDICATION OF MAN and the last COUNT TO INFINITY.

Nor is mankind extinct during the course of this volume; that happens two books from now. On the other hand, the current version of mankind is indeed gone, but that has been the case since the opening chapter of volume two, when the Sylphs replace the Giants as the dominant subspecies of man.

The rest of the blurb is accurate, and captures some of the scope and daring of the tale.

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Polyatheism is Disbelief in Many Gods http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/polyatheism-is-disbelief-in-many-gods/ http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/polyatheism-is-disbelief-in-many-gods/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 18:57:28 +0000 http://www.scifiwright.com/?p=11385 A reader with the grandiose name of Zaklog the Great calls me to the witness stand. He asks:

When you were an atheist yourself, did you consider Christians in particular your enemies, or was Christianity merely one (comically wrong) religion among many? If Christians in particular were the problem, why so?

Second, having heard the story of how you became a Christian a few times, I have a question which may be unanswerable, or just silly. If not, however, it may be interesting. Once you had offered your pro forma prayer, had a heart attack, been healed by prayer and had the visions, do you believe you had a choice as to whether to become a Christian, or had the moment of choice been passed? Do you think it was possible, having experienced all of that, to have chosen otherwise?

Like I said, I’m aware that that last question may not have a meaningful answer. You chose as you did, and that may be all the answer we can have.

I am happy to answer. But you may not be happy with my answer, since I will say both yes and no. There is an old saying ‘go not to philosophers for counsel, for they will act you to define your terms.’  Or we are subtle and quick to anger. Or something.

So, on the one hand, the answer is yes:

When I was an atheist, I was an asupernaturalist, which means, I did not believe in anything supernatural, parapsychological, or supernal. (I was not, however, a materialist, because I was not prone to whatever insanity it is that makes a man pretend he is a meat robot, or a poached egg.) So gods, ghosts, witchcrafts, and (aside from stage magic) magic or miracles of any kind I dismissed on the grounds of the metaphysical incoherence of asserting that supernature could exist if nature existed.

After all, no matter what it is, a supernatural realm or being would by philosophical necessity be governed by its laws of nature. A supernatural realm or being would have a ‘nature’ because it had a definition. If a thing is what it is, and is not what it is not, it is defined; and whatever principle defines it, that principle is its nature.

Since I was convince nothing supernatural could possibly exist, I was convinced no gods (defined as supernatural beings) could possibly exist.

So, I was an equal opportunity atheist. On a rational level, I disbelieved in gods as much as I disbelieved in God, and for the same reasons.

Indeed, this got me in trouble with at least once with one of my fellow atheists. I was too fair-minded. Because I disbelieved in Christianity just as much as paganism, in a book starring the pagan gods, I threw in some Christian mythology as well, treating it with no more and no less respect than the other.

Pardon the digression while I talk about my writing. It is the perennial danger of talking to writers.

In my fantasy novel, ORPHANS OF CHAOS, I had my character the warlock boy Quentin Nemo believe in and talk to ghosts and gods and demons and so on, because it was a fantasy. He was unable to enter a church and his dark and airy familiar spirits could not approach the sound of a churchbell, because that is part of the legends and lore of witches. He also, since he was a pious witch and believes in ghosts and knew better than to meddle with them, went to the trouble of burying the corpses of some murder victims, and, being raised as a High Church Anglican, he knew the words to the Compline.

There is also a scene where Amelia Windrose, who (because of her paradigm of the universe had to be an agnostic, rather than an atheist like Victor) in desperation said a prayer, noticed and odd energy reaction in a higher dimension, as if somehow someone was listening and had answered.

And yet again, in a book where all the Olympian gods are real, I had to have some character, raised on Earth, ask about Jehovah. Was he one of their species or not? Just another sky god like Zeus? In my first draft, I said he was, but that did not sit right with my magic system, which basically requires the gods to act as a group to stave off Chaos. I could not make Jehovah a Chaoticist, nor could I make him younger than Chaos without making him a son of Saturn gone mad or something, so I decided to treat him as something mysterious, something the gods were not sure what to make of.

Then I came a across a charming folk tale about Saint Patrick telling a mermaid who craved baptism that mermaids did not have souls, and that she was just as likely to be baptized as the dead wood of the staff in his hand to bloom. Immediately the wood burst into leaves and flowers to the astonishment of the saint, who baptized her. Now, I (being an atheist) saw nothing particularly offensive in the story, because, to me, it is was no different than the parallel story of Buddha preaching to a Naga (a water dragon) and bringing the monster to achieve the enlightenment of an arhat.  I also thought it would be cute, and show the absurdity of the Christian religion, if my mermaid, a siren named Thelxipeia, was a member of a Gnostic or Donatists sect (I the time, I did not know the difference) which had been wiped out in the Fourth or Fifth Century, and was the single and sole one left, she thinking that she alone practiced the true version of Christianity and that the entire earth was heretical. (I have since in real life talked to a Mormon who had a remarkably similar belief).

Well, bizarrely enough, at least one of my fellow atheists reviewed the book and came to the conclusion that I was writing pro-Christian apologetic!

You see, because I only went out of my way to sneer at Christianity in the scene where Colin fights the garden hose, or one or two other places, and did not make my burning hatred of Christianity a centerpiece and core of my book, the critic missed it, and came to exactly the opposite of the right conclusion.

That should tell you a clue about Christianity. I was treating it, in my fairminded atheism, as if it were no more and no less controversial than any other superstition or religion. I actually believed it was no different. But my fellow atheists act as if Christianity is supreme, and that one either had to be one hundred percent against it or one hundred percent for it.

(I should mention my strong suspicion that my fellow atheist learned far to the Left. The simplicity of thinking everything is either all black or all white is not in their mental toolbox. There is no such thing as admiring the artwork of the Bible or of a Cathedral while not believing in God. One can admire the Koran and disbelieve in Allah, but all things touched by Christianity, even the way we date our calendar, is so hateful it must be despised with total and absolute despite.)

On the other hand, the answer is no:

I was willing to admit that I could not prove Thor or Zeus did not exist. Unlike the benevolent yet omnipotent yet God of Saint Thomas Aquinas who permitted evil to exist in His universe and indeed created it to happen that way, there was nothing innate illogical about pagan gods. However, if I ever encountered one, I would regard it as a natural and not a supernatural being, a creature with immense powers, perhaps, but no different in the moral sense, that is, making no innate demand on the loyalty of mankind, than a Martian of H.G. Wells.  So my disbelieve in the God of Thomas was more than my disbelief in the gods of Homer because Thomas made a bolder claim.

But that I have told you is but half the tale, because while that was my intellectual stance, my heart was fully opposed to Christianity but favorable toward paganism. When I looked at paganism, I saw Aristotle and Plato and Euclid and Thucydides, the fathers of philosophy and geometry and history. When I looked at Christianity, I saw the Spanish Inquisition, and I believed that old chestnut about Christians hating, opposing and discouraging science (or, rather, SCIENCE!!) which I saw as man’s only hope of salvation. When I spoke to Christians, I was immensely frustrated, because they seemed to have an answer for every question, but the answers were all illogical. It was a superstition, but one which had grown into a world-embracing and world-absorbing system, a trap into which, once one fell, there was no escape. Intellect was no help to escape: I knew too many intelligent Christians.

And everything that stood between me and my most base and perverse desires, sexual and otherwise, was embodied in the Christian message. Zeus never said adultery was bad; Mars never told me it was wrong to carry off Sabine Women; nor did one-eyed Odin, who subsists only on mead that maddens the senses, ever call it was wrong to cleave the skulls of my enemies and drink their brain and blood like soup.

Paganism is dead. The neopagans are not likely to resurrect it — pardon me, they do not believe in the resurrection — the neopagans are not likely to reincarnate it. There are probably more people who believe in UFO’s than believe Hecate’s consort is Cernunnos, or the Green Man.  Buddhism never once inspired a social change: it is a passive religion of utmost despair. Mohamedanism is barbaric, and can only destroy, not create, and despite the absurd pretensions and outright lies of the Left, the Islamic barbarians never invented anything, not even the zero. Toaism and Confucianism are philosophies with ritualized and mystical overtones, and do not have any power to change society, and hence no power to impose any restrictions on any atheist soul.

Communism, which even then I regarded as a cultic religion no different from the worship of Moloch, or, more to the point, the Cargo Cult of the Melanesians, I also regarded as my enemy, but even in my youth I saw that it was destroying itself and apt to die — although I was surprised as anyone that this happened in my lifetime. All my CoDominium future history books by Jerry Pournelle in the twinkling of an eye turned into alternate future history. But my nation was not Communist, my culture was not seeped in it, nor did Communism have any history old enough to make any impression on my thinking. Everything less than 150 years old, such as female suffrage, I regard as a temporary fad and unlikely to last. Communism is a fad; but Christianity was not a fad.

So it was my archenemy, my only real enemy. I never blasphemed Thor or Zeus, but I blasphemed and mocked God and Christ as often as I could.

As for your second question, you answered it yourself. It was like falling in love. When you fall in love, there is no sensation of choice or decision or debate unless part of your soul is not convinced. Debate and the sensation of decision happened only when you halfway decide and halfway resist. On topics were there is no scintilla of temptation, there is no decision, because the topic never comes up. Likewise on topics were every single brain cell assents to the proposition, there is no need for debate, no need for a vote, no need even for unanimous acclamation, and so the moment of decision passes unawares.

However, once in love, one is faced with the decision whether to be faithful, that is, honest or not. No amount of visions, miracles, or infusions of the Holy Spirit make it logically possible to doubt the obvious. A solipsist doubts the obvious every day, and a materialist denies the obvious each and every time he thinks and thought — and yet solipsists and materialists exist.

However, since I was never a conformist, the attempts by the Lefty atheists, who did not honestly disbelieve in God for good reasons, but merely hate God because He reminds them of their Fathers whom they fear and hate, the pathetic attempts of herd thinking collectivist atheists to shame me into returning to their herd fill me not with temptation but total disgust. The intelligent atheists are very far and few between, and none of them has given me and argument even as strong as the arguments I once gave on a routine basis. Indeed, the atheist I admire most for the clarity of his thinking (and its similarity to my own) has since been convinced to kneel and pray to God for the gift of faith. I pray for him daily.

Is my answer clear? The decision in the lower court was made without a trial, instantly, supernaturally, with no discussion or debate. I have since spoken to many an atheist online, and seen the rapid degeneration of their ability to form their thoughts into a coherent argument. None has given an argument sufficient to bring the case to an Appeals Court for review. But as a logical possibility, no matter what the evidence in the lower court, and Appellate Court always makes a decision, even if the decision is not to revisit the case.

 

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The Official Alphabetical List of Author Success http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/the-official-alphabetical-list-of-author-success/ http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/the-official-alphabetical-list-of-author-success/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:57:02 +0000 http://www.scifiwright.com/?p=11383 I hope any reader of mine will also become a reader of Larry Correia. We do not write the same sort of books, but we have the same sort of attitude.

He has posted a humorous look at the A-List through Z-List of authors, and what are their identifying marks. Some of this is inside joke that I don’t get, albeit you may. I surely recognized the last person listed, however, as well as the first.

The Official Alphabetical List of Author Success

A List – High upon Mount Olympus They Gaze Down Upon the Pathetic Mortals = All the $

  • Authors who are worth more than the GDP of some countries.
  • Authors who build their houses out of gold bars.
  • Characters from their books get their own theme parks.
  • The lady who wrote Twilight.

B List – The King(s) =$$$$$$$$$$

  • Authors who have TV shows about their books starring Peter Dinklage.
  • Authors who sleep on large piles of money.
  • Politicians who get illegal campaign contributions masquerading as advances.
  • Oprah’s Book Club.

C List – The Perpetual Bestsellers =$$$$$$$$$

  • Authors who play poker with Castle.
  • Authors who have lesser TV shows not starring Peter Dinklage.
  • Authors who always get sold in airport bookstores.
  • Authors who are rich enough to have sex scandals and it actually makes the news.

D List – My Wallet Says Bad Motherfucker = $$$$$$$$

  • Authors whose quarterly tax withholdings are sufficient to purchase a new Mercedes Benz.
  • Authors who’ve written a shit load of books for a whole lot of years.
  • Snooki
  • The International Lord of Hate.

And so on in like manner. Read and enjoy.

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Meriam Ibrahim arrives safely in Italy; will meet the Pope http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/meriam-ibrahim-arrives-safely-in-italy-will-meet-the-pope/ http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/meriam-ibrahim-arrives-safely-in-italy-will-meet-the-pope/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:39:53 +0000 http://www.scifiwright.com/?p=11380 Here follows a column by Allen West. I reprint the whole without comment, not trusting myself to speak.

With all the horrible news for Christians in Iraq and elsewhere, there is one bright spot.

While we slept, Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim arrived in Italy. As the UK Telegraph reports, the 27-year-old woman, who was spared a death sentence for apostasy in June for refusing to renounce Christianity, landed in Rome where she is to meet Pope Francis before traveling to the U.S.

I know she will appreciate all of you who prayed for her and her children and her perseverance through an almost year long-ordeal. Ibrahim and her family were flown to Italy in a government aircraft to Rome accompanied by Italy’s deputy minister for foreign affairs, Lapo Pistelli, who flew to Sudan to collect her late Wednesday.

There are many more Christians in Sudan who deserve our prayers. As the Telegraph reports, “Olivia Warham, director of Waging Peace, a UK NGO that campaigns against genocide and systematic human rights violations in Sudan, said millions of Sudanese Christians faced daily brutality and ethnic cleansing by the Sudanese regime.”

“Three years ago President Omar al-Bashir made it plain there would be no room for non-Muslims in his Islamist Sudan. He has been good to his word, crushing dissent and systematically killing ethnic and religious minorities. Regular aerial bombardment by the Sudanese armed forces destroys communities and Christian hospitals, forcing people to flee from their fields to hide in the Nuba mountains,” she said.”

“It is shocking that Bashir’s ideology of elimination provokes nothing more than the occasional words of regret from the international community, when we should be applying targeted smart sanctions on the architects of these atrocities.” As we reported yesterday, there is scant comment on the complete elimination of Christians in the Mosul in Iraq.

The Italian government and the Vatican led the way in securing Ibrahim’s release, something I wish our own American government had done. As we’ve written here, she is married to a naturalized American citizen and therefore her two children are American citizens.

I hope she is given the same compassion here in America – legally — as those who are entering illegally.

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The Logic of Illogic http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/the-logic-of-illogic/ http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/the-logic-of-illogic/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:08:02 +0000 http://www.scifiwright.com/?p=11338 Why is modern Science Fiction so bad? Why are modern comic books so bad?

Why is modern art so very, very, very bad? One would almost think these things are being made bad on purpose.

And one would be right!

But the answer to the simple question of why SF sucks is a complex answer, leading all the way from the zenith of the universe to the nadir, all the long road from heaven to hell.

Even a cursory inspection of modern art shows that beauty, which is the particular province and goal of the arts, is not merely avoided by modern artists, but despised. They are not producing poorly executed works of repugnant nonsense and blasphemous lumpish, retarded, asymmetrical obscenity by mistake or through indifference. The diametric opposite of beauty, namely, the revolting, the ugly, the aberrant, whatever is foul and vile, whatever causes a visceral sense of disorientation and disgust, that and precisely that is the goal of the Modern.

As exhibit A, let me introduce This film on the nature of ugliness. It is much like an essay I wrote recently on the EveryJoe website, but, I think, makes the point more clearly than do I.

Understand this point, and you will begin to understand the downfall and collapse of establishment SFF.

Vox Day, in his illimitable fashion, calls Establishment SF ‘Pink SF’ but whether this refers to the girlish, effete nature of establishment thinking, or their infatuation with Communism, or both, I have never been bold to ask.

Establishment SF is Politically Correct SF, in that it pays slavish homage to all the tired tropes and foolish dogmas of Political Correctness. With its emphasis on collective rights, victimology, and radical egalitarianism, there is no place in the PC SF universe for things like heroes, adventures, inventors, exotic locations, space princesses, or technology portrayed as beneficial.

Politically Correct SF is astonishingly parochial, because it is always assumed that the society of the future will be caught in the grip of the selfsame political controversies as the Victorian Age, which is the age when this worldview was first formulated by Marx. Hence, for all other SF stories, the future differs from the present. For PC SF, the future is just like the past, and nothing changes.

In other words, the stories of PC SF promote the opposite of SF.

SF is about a sense of wonder. PC is about a sense of despair. The two are opposite. Hence, PC SF is a contradiction in terms. What it produces is simply not science fiction.

Two Examples

Here is this year’s Nebula award winning short story, ‘If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love’ which, at the time of this writing, is also on the short ballot for the Hugo: http://www.apex-magazine.com/if-you-were-a-dinosaur-my-love/

It a less that a thousand words long, and I suppose there must be some merit to it aside from the quaint technique of opening each paragraph with a subjective form of the ending of the prior paragraph, which I call the IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE technique.

The situation passively described (in present tense first person stream-of-consciousness) is that of bigoted white southerners at a poolhall, on the eve of a wedding, beat the heroine’s fiancee, a palaeontologist, into a coma from which he may never wake; and as she stands in grief at his hospital bedside, she fantasizes that if he had been a dinosaur, he could have killed them instead. And she would turn into a flower.

I have no enmity against this story. Unlike what some of its critics claim, it is not terrible. Unlike what its fans claim, it is not great, or even very good. It is sweetly sentimental, melancholy, and shows some craftsmanship. It does not, alas, have any characters, merely lazy stereotypes: a bride, generic white bigots, a victim.

I salute the author and wish her the best for having won a prestigious award. It is just that there is not the slightest scintilla of anything science fictional about it. The tale is about a woman’s helpless despair. There is no sense of wonder.

The Ink Readers of Doi Saket by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, for a second example, is the story of a child being murdered by Buddhists priests to cover the fraud of their attempting to grant the wishes written on scraps of paper sent down the river in Thailand. The wry, half-amused, and ironic tone is maintained throughout, and the story is pointless, unless the point is to show the futility of making wishes, whether they are granted or not.

It is meandering, lacking in plot, charm, wit, lyricism in word choice, depth of description, evocation of mood, and development of characterization.

There is one sentence were a ghost or river goddess appears and murders the child-murderer, but does not save the child, and this might qualify it as magical realism if one were generous with the definition to include stories with no magic and no realism.

In short, it is not well written, much less of award-winning caliber, and has not the slightest scintilla of anything science fictional about it.  The tale is about pointlessness and despair. There is no sense of wonder.

Of the other short stories and novella on the Hugo ballot at the time of this writing the majority have few or no science fictional elements. They take place in the present day, on this world. They concern social justice issues, like the plight of homosexuals, or lesbian selkies or somesuch.

Why are stories which are the direct opposite of science fiction winning science fiction awards?

More to the point, why is it that in the fine arts, the museums are filled with crap that looks like a parody of pretentious and untalented modern painting; and now, a century later, the science fiction field is filling up with crap that reads like a parody of pretentious and untalented modern literature?

The Illuminati of Thought

This collapse first in one field and then another is not deliberate in the sense that the Illuminati met in their underground Cathedral of Darkness in the buried city of Agarttha, and voted to destroy first painting, then other arts, and now turned their burning red eyes toward science fiction.

No, there is no conspiracy. There is, however, a meeting of minds, a viewpoint, a outlook, a philosophy which the people who sacked the art world and the people sacking science fiction have in common.

The common philosophy, which is sometimes called Political Correctness, or called Leftism, but which should be called Morlockery, is the embrace of illogic.

Now, one might think that thinking logic is illogical is illogical. That is not so. There is a remorseless logic to it.

That is, there may be no logic inside the philosophy, but the nature of what logically must come from that philosophy can be deduced. You can ignore reality, but what really happens when you ignore reality really does happen; and it will happen whether you ignore it or not.

There is a logic to philosophy, an incentive to human thought that rewards consistency. It takes effort to be inconsistent, and this effort is something thinkers want to avoid. Hence, once one embraces a particular starting point, a particular conclusion  logically implied by that starting point will also be embraced, unless one goes to the trouble and effort to invent an ad hoc reason to avoid the conclusion.

To defend this ad hoc band-aid in one’s thinking requires extra attention, trouble and effort, and so it saves on time and worry merely to follow the idea implied by one’s starting point to its conclusion and believe the conclusion. This is true even the starting point that says ‘logic is illogical.’

There are seven steps by which a man, or a society, starts with a wrong but understandable idea, and ends in gibbering, giggling, shrieking, Lovecraftian insanity.

A caveat: No claim is being made that all Leftists consistently act this way. By definition, no one can consistently practice a philosophy that is openly and insolently hypocritical.

Here I am claiming only that they have all subjected themselves to a powerful incentive to talk and think this way. Incentive is not fate. Any man may who has taken any one of these steps may, at any time, draw back, make up some lame ad hoc excuse why he will not take the next step, pay the price and stand his ground. This is unlikely, but it can happen. The logic of illogic is against you; the ad hoc posture is awkward to maintain, and irks your friends and fellow travelers. And if you had integrity to begin with, you never would have taken the first step of all.

First Step: Scidolatry

The first step is to dismiss all human learning aside from natural philosophy, what is now called science. (The word science originally referred to any disciplined body of learning.)

Considering the astonishing triumphs in the physical sciences, in industry, and in medicine, all ushered in by the application of the scientific method, combined with the chasm that opening in the Reformation between Northern and Southern European civilization, problems which philosophy and theology were powerless to cure, it is no surprise that all the intellectual effort of Europe withdrew in disgust from abstract matters, metaphysics, law, ethics,  and concentrated on disciplines where differences could be settled by clear and objective standards: physics, engineering, medicine.  Geometry, which for centuries had been the shining example of a non-empirical discipline that was both rigorous and real was undermined, at least in the affection of intellectuals, by the explication of non-Euclidean geometries by Riemann and Lobachevsky. Anything not firmly based on observation and experimentation was denigrated.

There are two tactics to dismiss all human learning: (1) pretend any human learning you wish to dismiss is merely a matter of arbitrary opinion or (2) pretend any human learning you wish to acclaim is actually, at its root, somehow a science, or soon will be.

Both tactics are served by asserting that only empirical knowledge is truly knowledge. Unfortunately this assertion (only empirical knowledge is truly knowledge) is not itself an assertion that can be proved or disproved by any empirical experiment, test, or observation; which means it disproves itself.

The end result (See Hume, Kant and Nietzsche for details) is to decapitate Western thinking of the discipline of metaphysics. Despite what you may have heard, the word metaphysics does not refer to New Age speculations about Spirit Guides. It refers to the intellectual foundations needed for other disciplines, science among them, to retain logical consistency.

Ironically, the assertion that metaphysics is not a product of logical reasoning, on the grounds that everything is merely an arbitrary assertion, is something of a self fulfilling prophecy. Absent metaphysics, the claim that physics is based on arbitrary axioms has no coherent refutation. (And physics based on incoherent axioms, such as the idea that nothing can produce something, or that random chance can cause effects, are also allowed to arise).

Second Step: Unreality

The Second Step is when subjective and objective trade places. Fact is fiction and fiction is fact. Reality is unreal. Truth is untrue. Is not is is and is is is not.

Once knowledge has been safely confined to the realm of engineering, everything else, including formal logic, metaphysics, ethics, law and even mathematics, can be exile to the realm of opinion. Everything is a ‘narrative’ that is, an idea that is true if and only if you chose to believe it.

Choice undergoes apotheosis. The mere fact that one man chose something places the something and the man in to a divine and superlunar orbit above and beyond criticism.

Conversation between these isolated superlunar beings flags. Everything is now in scare quotes because no word means what it means.

This immediately alleviates the thinker of the burden of thought. People now choose their beliefs not on the truth of those beliefs, but only on how attractively they are packaged.

Salesmanship replaces logic.

If someone can come up with a cute, quick, or clever slogan or phrase or even a single word (‘sexist’, ‘homophobia’) which has no meaning but plenty of rock-’em sock-’em emotional punch, one can sell one’s belief system to the gullible consumer-of-beliefs.

You, the press, the popular entertainers, the pundits, tell the consumers what you’d like them to believe.  You have no qualifications aside from those of a Madison Avenue ad man. The consumers rapidly glance at what beliefs are on sale that news cycle. Usually they shop by brand names; Leftists stick with Lefty slogans, and so on.

The consumer adopts the belief and acts as if he believes it is true for the duration of his attention span. It comforts and orients him and puts him in good with the gang of correct-thinking people — it does whatever it is beliefs are supposed to do, except act as guides to reality.

Reality bores him. He is lazy, fat, and happy, and reality has not bitten him on the buttocks for years, and so maybe this so called “reality” now only exists as something paleontologists study.

Once Step Two is complete, the basic idea consumed during this consumption of ideas is that ideas are a commodity meant to be consumed. Usually this is not phrased so baldly and boldly. Usually Step Two is phrased as the rather democratic sentiment that every man is entitled to his own opinion (which is true) or that every man’s opinion is as good as every other man’s (which is false).

Things that are actually matters of objective fact, such as the laws of economics or the laws of morality, are dismissed as matters of opinion on the grounds that dispute exists between parties. As if no party were ever wrong.

Things that are matters of opinion, such as the fraud of manmade global warming, are claimed to be matter of fact and settled science on the grounds that no dispute exists between the parties: only freakish witches and devil-worshipers disagree with Big Brother and the New York Times. And the opinion of the witches and devil-worshipers can be dismissed without examination because they are evil people who worship the devil and practice witchcraft. (I am using a metaphor, of course. REAL devil worshipers would be welcomed under the name of diversity by the Political Correction Officers.)

Again, the idea that truth is not true is one that disproves itself, but logic is not the strong suit of such consumers of prepackaged and predigested belief.

Third Step: Derationalization.

The third step is to use emotion rather than cognitive thought processes for cognition.

This step is so simple and so inevitable once the larger step that declares reality to be optional has been taken, that it almost passes without mention, but in my youth there were many writers of the Leftist bent who at least paid lip service to Step Two, the subjectivity of all reality, without admitting Step Three, for they still upheld (or pretended to uphold) the idea of the free exchange of ideas.

The simplicity of this step is breathtaking: since truth is no longer the starting point of the thought process, logic need no longer apply. Truth is whatever you FEEL to be true. The word ‘true’ now refers not to a cognitive relation between symbol and object, but to a sensation of self confidence, of authentic honesty, of powerful and passionate desire to believe from which all vestiges of hypocrisy are scraped clean.

The side effect for using emotions are tools of cognition is that cognition is replaced with emoting. Nothing is true nor false for you; you either feel strongly or not strongly.

No one feels strong about the deep, hidden, or highly abstract roots of things. They feel strongly about surface features, since the surface feature of any object, person, historical event, or philosophical concept is the first thing encountered. Deeper penetration below the surface to find the soul of the person or the causes of the historical event or the logic of the philosophical concept would require cognition, which Step Three has jettisoned. Shallowness is the leitmotif hereafter. Men are judged only by membership in the approved victim group, not by merit. To disqualify any argument now is simplicity itself, since all one need do is claim that the opposing viewpoint belongs to the disqualified group, that is, to the witches.

(Just kidding. Real witches are welcome. The witches in modern thinking, the creatures that cause blights and give the evil eye to cows, they are the Christian White Male. Except when they are Jews in Israel.)

Fourth Step: Shallow

This step is to believe that all wars, turmoil, riots, elections, disagreements, and discomfort comes from people having differences of strongly held opinion.

The First Crusade was caused by the difference between an opinion about God versus and opinion about Allah; the Spanish Inquisition by differences of opinion about justification and the real presence; the Cold War by differences in economic theory.

Naturally, only a very, very shallow person could possibly believe something so mindbogglingly stupid. Naturally, we need to raise a whole generation wallowing in the idiocy of the derationalized schools and culture of Step Three to come to this conclusion.

However, once this conclusion is reached, it offers a very seductive temptation. It offers two promises, both false, and each utterly contradictory to the other.

Promise (1) Since all reality is merely a matter of strongly held personal opinion, you, or any man, are granted the godlike power to invent any reality you like, by fiat, provided you are bold enough to throw aside the shackles of convention. The fact that reality is arbitrary opinion means that each man is free to do whatever he wills, defying convention.

Promise (2) Since all war, tumult, discontent and rudeness is caused by differences of arbitrary opinion (usually about frivolous and unscientific ideas, such as the theological arguments of Catholics and Protestants, or the political-economic arguments of Communists and the Free World) war and suffering will disappear overnight once all men conform to one same standard of Politically Correct thought. Likewise, if there are no possessions, there will be no poverty. The fact that reality is arbitrary opinion means that each man must shackle himself loyally to the strictest possible conformist opinion, and tighten the gyves until his wrists and ankles bleed.

Now, the fact that these two things logically contradict each other does not stop, or even slow, the Morlock in his career. Logic is optional just as reality is optional.

But the logical outcome of these two beliefs is not just an unwillingness to think critically; it is an inability to think.

Any belief defended by Promise (1) is immune from criticism on the grounds that it is arbitrary. You believe in global cooling, I believe in global warming; your reality is your private domain, as my reality is my private domain. These are not conclusions drawn from available evidence, they are acts of the will. Fiat. We can no more have a rational discussion about our arbitrary acts of the will that you can convince me to prefer redheads to brunettes if I decide my tastes go the other way. There is nothing to talk about.

Likewise, and for the opposite reason, any belief defended by Promise (2) is immune from criticism because the critic is an unperson, a heretic, a Crimethinking Ungood Hater McHatey Hatemonger. Whatever the consensus decrees reality to be, is and must be the reality during this news cycle. The science is settled. This is the modern time! Rome has spoken!

Fifth Step: Conformist

This second promise means that any man stubborn enough to continue with his own personal arbitrary opinions rather than accepting the arbitrary opinions of the conformist thought is, whether he knows it or not, a carrier of the disease called war and discontent. He is provoking ire needlessly, ire that will lead to race riots or worse. He is a witch, a demon, a homophobo-heteronorative-cismasculine-Islamophobic-colonialist-sexracist, or whatever the swearword of this news cycle happens to be.

He is a Bad Person; he is Emmanuel Goldstein, the target of a two minute hate.

A sane man, a fair man, a just man, can examine the beliefs of himself or others using the same fair standard, and condemn a belief as false without calling the believer evil. A shallow man deliberately leaves all this behind, not because thinking causes him headaches (which it may) but because thinking is a hate crime (which it is not).

The crucial point of no return in the descent into hell is this point, Step Five, at which hatred becomes a duty, an entertainment and a virtue, not to mention an addiction.

You are told that by hating the bad people, by giving them no platform to spread their poison, war and turmoil and all human unhappiness can be brought to an end. Anyone willing to give them a fair hearing is, by definition, a warmonger and a sadist, a despoiler of our promised Eden.

Ironically, the residuum of Step One also requires the Morlock to believe his beliefs are product of brave and independent thought which he figured out for himself. One of the central dogmas of this cult is the dogmatic belief that his dogmas are not dogmas.

The degree of logical paradox required to unravel a thought system based on totally dogmatic total conformity which calls itself nonconformist and nondogmatic are beyond my powers to explain. One can only stare in horrified awe, as at a train wreck, or the collision of two inhabited planets.

Sixth Step: Nondisprovability

It is perfectly clear that the world is not perfect. As of Step Five, we have reached a mindset where anyone who has any strongly held belief is an Emmanuel Goldstein.

The next step is to argue that, since all wars and turmoil and discomfort is caused by Emmanuel Goldstein, then all discontent and war is blamed on him. He is the Jew, the Witch, the scapegoat, the source of all sins and pollutions afflicting the people.

Finding anything where the world is imperfect, such as a difference in the number of female nudes and male nudes in the Roman statue wing of an art museum, or finding difference in the number of Lithuanians than Negroes among professional basketball stars, is proof positive that Goldstein has worked his evil eye here.

I wish I were exaggerating. As a matter of law, in the United States, in every jurisdiction of which I am aware, finding a statistical disparity from the general population in any field of endeavor, lawful or criminal, is held to be caused by racism or some form of discrimination. And this is true in cases where it is clearly not the case, such as the number of non-German beer brewers.

If I open a cabaret, and the only persons who show up for a job as a sous-chef are French, I am held to be discriminating against Aztecs or Etruscans or whoever. If more Greek Orthodox than Roman Catholics commit sabbath breaking in the town of Zwieback, East Virginia, it is assumed as a matter of policy to be proof of discrimination against Greek Orthodox among the police force, even if most policemen are Greek.

This means that anything, anything, from the grand to the comically trivial (the complaint about the number of nudes in art museums was not a parody) can be used to trigger the Two Minute Hate against whatever Goldstein is targeted this news cycle for hysterical hatred.

No matter what happens, no matter what the evidence on the ground might be, it proves that the Reprobate are racist sexist heteronormative xenophobes, and solar panels can provide for all our energy needs even if the laws of nature make that impossible.

Even if the facts were the opposite, that would also be proof. Electing a black man to the highest office in the land proves only that we are nation of cowards unwilling to have a serious dialog about race, which means, to confess they we are all racist dogs unworthy to live.

No matter what happens, no matter what the evidence on the ground might be, it proves the Elect are our superiors in wisdom, in grace, in enlightenment, in charity. Even if conservatives give four times the amount of charity than Leftists, somehow they are the generous ones to the poor and we are Scrooge.

The hatred must be hysterical because we have dismissed all rational basis for making decisions. And the emotion has to be loud, screaming, shrieking, frothing and lunatic, because in the competition for the consumers-of-belief, the loudest and most garish advertisement gets the attention.

And the belief must be immune to disproof because the  belief is resentment, and resentment drives the entire economic and political program of the Left, which is to take what it not theirs.

They are robbers. Their political economic platform always boils down to one thing. Rob.

Nondisprovability is a necessary, nay, a crucial component to Political Correctness, because it is a necessary precondition for resentment, which is a necessary precondition for this robbery. If the belief were open to proof, the Civil War if not the Civil Rights Act would have been sufficient to soothe Black resentment, and the Nineteenth Amendment sufficient to sooth the feminist. But if the belief cannot be open to question, cannot be open to proof, nothing will ever satisfy, nothing, not ever.

The robber keeps no account books so that your debt to him is infinite.

Seventh Step: Morbid

The victim of Political Correctness starts with a perfectly understandable pride in the accomplishments of scientific thinking and a perfectly healthy mistrust in the ethereal speculations of philosophers,  and ends up in the shrieking lunatic asylum of a belief system that is

  • Nondisprovable — his beliefs cannot be put to any meaningful test; they are articles of faith; hence
  • Conformist — his truths are whatever the consensus calls true; true truth is of no interest to him; hence
  • Shallow — by dividing all beliefs into pure good versus pure evil, no belief is profound; all is a bumpersticker; hence
  • Irrational — the beliefs are not subject to logical examination; hence
  • Unreal — the beliefs are based on emotions, not facts; the more panicky and irrational the emotion, the better; hence
  • Junk Science — the beliefs pretend that they are scientific, rational, modern, when they are the opposite.

We have now reached the lowest level of the airless basement below the asylum, where the most morbid cases scream and soil themselves in their strait jackets and roll in their own filth and lash their chains against the walls, howling. And yet these are elected officials, respected commentators, pundits, authors, professors and academicians on the left, jurists, judges and justices.

How are they able to function? Well, in real life, for the most part, they merely ignore their belief system in the same way Pharisees going to chapel on Sunday forget their belief system and gamble and fornicate on Saturday.

They have to be hypocrites to function in society, and so their belief system is only used on three occasions

(1) when they are voting for candidates, a behavior which they think never has any effect on their real life; and

(2) when they are blackmailing each other for violations of their belief system, a blackmail to which everyone in their system is vulnerable, since it is designed not to be something any can actually abide or abide by; and

(3) when they are criticizing, attacking, undermining, mocking. You see, this whole elaborate superstructure of lies is not really a worldview; it is a virus meant to attack a worldview.

The virus makes no sense and is not meant to make sense. It is meant to attack sense.

The Morlocks think civilization is optional for the same reason they think reality is optional. They think they can saw off the branch on which they sit and that the tree will fall, but they will be safe, sitting on nothing at all.

Here is where the grinding, remorseless logic of human thought sets in. You see, the lunatics believe that their beliefs can be wished into being by an act of will, by fiat, as arbitrary as God saying ‘Let there be light!’ except without His benevolent motive. But, in fact, each belief exacts a cost, and has certain side effects.

Once one has undermined and collapsed into the pit the whole edifice of science, of reality, of rationality, and jettisoned profundity, individuality, and any willingness to put beliefs to the test of evidence, one has lost the ability to solve any problem anywhere, ever, great or small.

They have made themselves completely helpless and completely ineffectual, except for the one thing their mental virus can do: it can reproduce into the next generation and spread.

Seven Footprints to Satan

I did not list the benefits each stage of the descent into madness delivers, the bait resting on each lower and lower stair leading to the dungeon.

They can be listed briefly: the advantage of calling all your beliefs scientific and modern and certain and proven when they are not is that it inflates the pride.

The advantage of pretending all reality is subjective and all opinion is objective is that one can pretend to be a serious intellectual thinker while having a brain empty of all but flab. It indulges the envy of the foolish against the wise and the stupid against the learned.

The advantage of elevating the passions to paramount status is that all one’s lusts, from carnal lust to power lust, can be indulged.

The reward of being shallow is that the intolerable burden of having to think is dropped into the ditch, and throne of Reason replaced by the couch of Sloth.

The advantage of being conformist is one can feast on hatred and ire without limit against all the witches, demons, and Emmanuel Goldsteins.

The advantage of believing one always to be the victim (even when there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone is victimizing you) is that you can lay claim to any of his advantages, privileges, or possessions. It is an excuse to unleashing an overpowering avarice for everything you pretend life has unfairly denied you. If property is theft, your theft is merely returning what is rightly yours. And if your belief is nondisprovable, you never have to defend it. Your Excuse Machine always runs and never runs out of battery power.

But there is just one problem. All these things, pride and envy and lust and sloth and ire and avarice, make life unpleasant, ugly, and produce despair and nausea.

As the broken soul slowly realizes that he is unworthy of life, he begins inching toward self destructive behaviors. He self medicates against depression, or drinks to excess, or takes recreational drugs, or overeats. On the political level, the self destruction takes the form of hating and dismantling whatever protects him, such as police and military men, and loving and encouraging whatever seeks to maim, torment, and kill him, such as Communism or Jihad. The feminist expresses willingness to perform unnatural sexual acts on the groin of Bill Clinton because, not despite, his history of sexual assault, abuse, and rape.

Some Leftists are more direct in their self destruction than others. They advocate for euthanasia because they want to die. They kill children in the womb because the only thing more sacred than a man’s life is the life of a child, the only thing more sacred than love is mother’s love. In terms of generating and expressing self-loathing and self-destruction, only abortion is more horrific than suicide, because it wipes out the entirety of life, not merely the remnant, and unlike the suicide, the child is innocent. Abortion is the perfect Black Mass of self-hatred screaming its loudest.

However, Leftists who are more craven seek self destruction through self indulgence. One can drink oneself into the gutter or overeat oneself into the grave with far less pain than slitting any wrists.

Gluttony is not the sin of eating a big meal. It is the sin of destroying oneself through pleasure. Now, no true pleasure serves this purpose. A man who plays a game of chess or baseball with his friends or with his children in the sunlight, dances with his wife by moonlight, pens a letter, reads a book, kneels in prayer, sees a play, hears a symphony, none of this ruins him. False pleasures are the opposite: the more you seek them, the less pleasure you get, and each dose must be bigger than the last to reach the same high, each perversion must be more daring. It is sticking your hand into a fish trap.

Conclusion: Life in the Void

So the spiritual and emotional status of anyone shutting off his logical faculties to follow the chimera of Political Correctness, depending on how deeply he actually adopts this morbid and empty world view, is morbidity and emptiness.

Humor, for a time, can keep this emptiness at bay. A man on the scaffold can tell the headsman to take a little off the top. But it is always a deliberate shallowness, a humor for the sake of distraction and diversion. PC humor is gallows humor.

And the humor always breaks down shortly. PC people are not funny. They cannot take themselves lightly. They cannot criticize the Elect, and cannot show good humor to the Reprobate. They are out to save the world from the evils of civilization, and that is serious business. So the Puritanical and zealous PC Thought Policeman soon returns to the fore.

The other thing to do to fill up the morbid emptiness is to follow all fashion of false pleasures, including and especially sexual perversion, and call it sacrosanct.

And, of all pleasures, art is the highest, most refined, and most divine. Beasts have no capacity to admire beauty; no cow ever wept over a sunset, no nightingale ever sang an ode to the evening star. Beauty is Heaven’s final answer to all the petty distractions and diversions of man. True beauty causes an ecstasy in the soul, the drawing of oneself out from one’s petty self into a larger world, in just the same way the ecstasy of the honeymoon bed draws a bachelor into life as a selfless father and leader of a family, so that he both grows and enters a larger world.

So why is modern art so very ugly, so deliberately ugly? Because it is fornication for the soul: it is the self mutilation of the faculty by which we distinguish what is profound and beautiful from what is shallow and ugly. The modern art critic holds up ugly and calls it profound, and says beauty is shallow. He commits blasphemy for the sake of blasphemy, because this adds the ugliness of his lie to the ugliness of the untalented abhorrent adherent dung he is holding up for admiration.

The opposite of consummating a marriage is fornication. Sex is being used for selfish purposes of mutual exploitation, and this is one reason why all civilized  societies have rejected and punished it. The opposite of sublime beauty is the apocalypse of ugliness, and it likewise is selfish, cutting one off from life and human feeling.

The world view of the selfish, the gluttonous, the ugly, the self destructive is a world view of absurdity and despair. Turning from the deepest of fine arts to the most shallow of juvenile entertainment, comic books and space operas, Political Correctness for the same reason as it must uproot deep beauty from all the sublime places in the world must likewise uproot shallow fun and happiness and action and adventure and gaiety.

The sense of wonder on which Science Fiction rests cannot exist in that mental environment.

It must be emphasized that no one claims that Science Fiction is only about optimistic, utopian, and triumphalist visions of the future. A nightmare can also inspire a sense of wonder, that dark wonder called awe or terror.

Dystopian and pessimistic cautionary tales have been part of SF from the beginning. Both Frankenstein’s Monster and the Morlocks of AD 802701 are figures of awe and terror just as Eddore, Mordor, and Z’ha’dum are realms of dread darkness, but it is a wondrous terror, unearthly darkness and strange. The hint of the hellish hovers around such names. Airstrip One and the world of 632 After Ford are closer to home but still are beyond the fields we know.

I suppose one could write a perfectly PC cautionary tale against the horror that would ensure if, after a worldwide loss of fertility, evil fundamentalist televangelists would suddenly adopt all the practices of Mohammedanism, including concubinage and burlap-sack dresses for women and executing rape victims, but whether such a Reagan Era piece of paranoia would qualify as Science Fiction would of course depend on the skill of the execution. Likewise, one could write a PC utopia about all-lesbian Amazonian paradise. But dystopia or utopia or whatever, the SF elements and PC elements in the story would be in conflict. If anyone has ever written a story with both, I have never read it.

Political Correctness by its nature is humorless, vapid, envious, bitter, hysterical, unrealistic, small and parochial. Speculative Fiction, including the darkest of dystopia tales, requires intellect, depth, verisimilitude, grandeur and broadmindedness.

Wonder is SF’s stock in trade. Fatigue and exasperation are the stock in trade of Political Correctness, the weariness of the Sisyphean struggle against reality, but where Sisyphus has to pretend he is not pushing the rock.

Life Sucks and Way Cool simply do not mix.

You would think a science fiction story with a dinosaur or a river goddess would have to be way cool, and could only be improved by adding a ninja, or a pirate, or a robot.  But no. The Morlocks hate themselves, hate life, and they see hatred all around them in everything their enemies do. They live without hope and die without courage. Way Cool things like dinosaurs do not amuse them, only revenge fantasies against, well…

… against you.

You are the one they hate, dear reader.

You don’t think they would tell a tale to entertain you, did you?

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