Hey, lookit that!

Posted December 5, 2014 By John C Wright

I was mentioned by Instapundit:
http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/198927/

Twice!
http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/199048/

Glenn Reynolds put up a link for THE BOOK OF FEASTS AND SEASONS!! Go, me!

Which I just found out is a name that was already taken by someone else. Oops.
http://www.amazon.com/Book-Feasts-Seasons-Joanna-Bogle/dp/0852442173

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Atheist Coffee and Feminist Envy

Posted December 5, 2014 By John C Wright

This post is originally by past-version John Wright of 2011. But see my note below.

 

“I would love to see your thoughts on the current dust-up the Atheist community is having (right now) over coffee.”

For those of you who have not heard of this case, the fact pattern is this:

The young lady in question objected to a man attempting to court her according to what the modern world holds as a perfectly acceptable method of courting: after talking with her until four in the morning at a bar, he asked her to go up to his room for a cup of coffee. She objected, not that his attentions were unflattering or ill timed, but that he was sexually attracted to her at all. In other words, it is the fact that mother nature made her female that the young lady find appalling. With the utter inability to restrict her comments to proportionality (or sanity) typical of the Left, she likened the awkward proposition to rape.

Richard Dawkins, in the scathing fashion typical of the Internet, left a message on her blog mocking her for complaining about what was at most an imposition on courtesy, hardly an act of oppression or male dominion.

Need anything be said? It is one of the few times I agree with Richard Dawkins, who otherwise is a disgrace to the cause of Atheism I once served. He is right to hold the belligerence of the feminista up to mockery, and to contrast it with the real oppression of women by the Mohammedans

If the young lady were sane, or sincere, or in other words not a Leftist, she would be agitating for the return of Victorian standards of modesty, such that men and women would have a set of unwritten rules, known to both beforehand, as guidelines for when a young lady can be courted, and by what means, and when not.

You see, the idea of leaving the rules up to the individuals to agree upon each man for himself contains an absurdity: you cannot court a woman, or even ask her to dance, if you are already in a relationship with her and know her well enough to negotiate your own rules. The rules of courtship are rules on how to approach a woman who is a partial or a total stranger. Strangers can only be bound by unwritten rules that bind the whole society, with few or no exceptions.

And, of course, the hypocrisy of a woman who has been out drinking until 4.00, without an escort, suddenly wanting the protect of Victorian rules of modesty, but without being willing to pay the price demanded, i.e. to act modestly, is rank. If you are in a bar without an escort, and you are young and female, expect to be hit on. You and yours helped make this society exactly what it is: you cannot expect men to act like gentlemen when every single damn word out of your collective mouth for the past three generations has been a denunciation, a mockery, an insult, and a discouragement to gentlemanly behaviors.

In morals as in economics, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Do you regard modesty and chastity to be mere patriarchal restrictions and oppression, O ye ladies of the Left? Then utter no complaint when immodesty and unchastity of yourself and your sisters is answered by immodesty and unchastity by your menfolk.

That all parties involved are atheists makes the situation deliciously ridiculous. So, you think you can create a rational set of moral and ethical guidelines to guide human behavior, based merely on human reason and human appetites? Go ahead.

Behold the result: once group of morality-hating zealot screaming in holier-than-thou perfection of hot temper at another group of morality-hating holier-than-thou zealots. The cool reasoning powers that atheists praise seems not much in evidence.

Read the remainder of this entry »

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No Word Whose Power to Move is More

Posted December 5, 2014 By John C Wright

This is a Guest Blog by a reader who goes by the pen name of Fail Burton. The words below are his (excpet, of course, the quote at the end, which he quotes).

     ***                ***                ***

Starting around mid-century there arose simultaneous ideologies with different issues and goals but with a common theme: reconciling their own failures with reality.

Their failures became someone else’s oppression and lack of morality.

An example of this is Qutbism, named for Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood icon Sayd Qutb. He developed an ideology that reconciled Islam’s obvious technological and societal failures with that of the West. The reconcilement is always similar: one’s opponent is successful by virtue of exploiting others or possessing a type of spiritually empty cleverness (success) at making TV’s or rocketships. In fact Qutb simply didn’t like non-Muslims and Americans, but he can’t just come out and say that. Nevertheless he was hanged by President Nasser for his troubles.

These ideologies are always a form of bigotry and resentments, but are always passed off as anti-oppression movements which are then piggy-backed onto actual women’s and civil rights anti-colonialism movements. One doesn’t like Jews but instead says Israeli’s are colonialists. One has a phobia of men and heterosexuality and passes it off as an oppressive patriarchy. One doesn’t like whites and starts a power/privilege “punching up” theory whereby one can blather racism all day long while calling everyone else a racist.

Another example is queer feminist theory that arose in France mid-century, typified by Simone de Beauvoir and Monique Wittig and later Judith Butler in America, who borrowed French Theory. They reconciled their own estrangements from society by claiming it wasn’t they who are abnormal but heterosexuality (success) itself. They claim the sexes were an artificial construct and that by eliminating them and the family and marriage, women (read lesbians) would be free. In fact these people simply resented the normal world and that resentment today has been successfully and falsely mainstreamed into America as an equal rights feminism that long ago packed its bags and left, happy at its success.

The race-baiting inheritors of the civil rights movement operate within these same confines. They blame their own cultural failures on that of whites. The tip-off there is if one is using logic and reason, one cannot so fully embrace the idea of a failure of one racial culture while dismissing as laughable the idea of the failure of one’s own culture.

All this has been empowered by cultural relativism – political correctness – which mandates all opinions are valid thanks to endless excuses about why one is not successful. The idea of simple failure is eliminated except, ironically, on the part of one’s opponents. In short these are ideologies of childish resentments and even madness and breaks with reality, because success and failure exchange places.

Add your own examples. It explains why heroes are not heroes and villains become noble. It is an upside-down Orwellian world, and one which Orwell unsuccessfully warned us against. His basic claim wasn’t about fascism, but how it would come at you unawares because it draped itself in new identities but that were transparently false yet nevertheless effective perceptual traps. Thus the Ministry of Peace and it’s analogy today to our PC anti-racist racists; just repeat a lie often enough. The PC are not civil rights marchers but just that: racists, and their middle class useful idiot allies are the passive inhabitants of 1984.

So what does that all add up to as the villain? Straight, white and male. The people who hate us can’t actually produce anything but they have nice judgments.

It is a mistake to think of this as liberalism. Rather, the echoes of old and real anti-oppression movements makes liberalism a good hidey-hole.

“‘There is no word whose power to move is more implicitly trusted than ‘progressive’.’” – “‘Nazi Gods’ and ‘Jewish Devils': The Dehumanizing Rhetoric of Nazi Propaganda,” Kelly M. Sutter, A Senior Honors Thesis Submitted to the Department of Communication of Boston College May 2008

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The Superversive Blog — Guest Blog: Makers and Breakers

Posted December 5, 2014 By John C Wright

The Superversives are busy superverting again:

http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2014/12/03/the-superversive-blog-guest-blog-makers-and-breakers/

Here is a taste

 

Makers and Breakers

by Dave Freer

Now of course you want to take anything I say with a whole shovel of salt, because, according to the self-selected arbiters of modern standards, I’m barking insane.

As sanity is a relative concept (take some of my relatives. Please), salt is great preservative, and if I’d rather not be judged sane by their standards, this is all good.

Of course they don’t like you listening to me or reading my folly, but that is, as they say, is hard cheese…

Which brings me around to what I was going to write about.

“‘Hard cheese?’ maybe he is mad after all,” I hear you mutter.

Well, maybe. But what you have to grasp about hard cheese is that, as opposed to milk, or even soft cheese, hard cheese was made as a way to keep food for the long, dark winter months. To store against a possible bleak year and poor harvest.

Making hard cheeses is the opposite of instant gratification. It’s not easy or quick (soft cheeses are, even if you don’t nip off to the shops and buy some cream cheese).

Cheese these days comes from the supermarket… unless of course you’re a nutter like me.

I make cheese. I make bacon. I make salami. I make hams. I make jerky… I preserve, dry, or freeze everything that doesn’t run fast enough to get away.

Part of this is choice and part of this choice-inflicted. I live on a remote island, a once a week ten hour ferry trip off the coast of Australia. Actually, yes, I can buy anything you can in urban America. I can even buy today’s newspapers, as long as I only go and collect them tomorrow. It is just very expensive to do so, and if there is bad weather (and this is the ‘roaring forties’ of sail-ship legend) there is a chance that tomorrow may be somewhat delayed (it’s not quite like mañana. It eventually does come). It does force you to change the way you live, and how you see the world. To plan, to build up stocks and to think ahead. And of course, to delay gratification. It also changes the way you look at that now much maligned and derided hero of yesteryear, the pioneer, the colonist, and those who built on that legacy, so someone urban lout who never got up at half-past predawn to milk, could whinge about government cheese. The farmer, the guy getting a sloppy-with-somewhat-processed-grass tail whipped across his face, the fellow squatting planting seeds he kept from last year, the fisherman on a wild and rolling sea… these are my people, my heroes and my role models. These are the builders, the makers. These are the foundation stone people on which my Australia and the US and Canada (yes there are others, but at least I know a little about those) were built, and still actually stand.

A few paragraphs below, he draws out an implication which I find striking:

And it was books, and identifying a trend in them that I found, well, was making them less pleasurable, that got me writing.

Observation said that there were less books with heroes I could identify with.

Logic said something about them had to be bothering me. It took me some time to work out what it was, because it was counter-intuitive to me.

The center of the books had shifted over the years. Steadily, to the point where it was now bothering my logic and suspension of disbelief, as well as my enjoyment. Fiction is not a how-to manual or even necessarily plausible, as long as it is enjoyable. When it starts to fail the latter part… well, we start to question the first parts.

I realized that the makers, without stopping being the cornerstone of real society, had somehow gone from being mostly the heroes, to inevitably the villains. Somehow we’d gone from FARMER IN THE SKY to only books where humans (particularly white male, Western, heterosexual middle aged ‘country’ people/or those making things) were always villains.

The heroes, weren’t building, they were breaking. And if anything at all, they were striving for or defending the ‘utopia’ we’d narrowly escaped and discovered the horrors of, barely decades ago. Or, possibly worse, humans could be some kind of hedonistic parasite… but making, colonizing, exploring and taming were now evil as were the people (always the same villains) who even thought of such things. They weren’t just evil, they were core-rotten. There was no good in them at all.

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Interstellar

Posted December 1, 2014 By John C Wright

Directed by Christopher Nolan; Written by Jonathan & Christopher Nolan; and starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine Mackenzie Foy, Jessica Chastain.

INTERSTELLAR by Chris Nolan is certainly the best science fiction film, and is equal to the best films of any genre, I have ever seen. I would list SEVEN SAMURAI by Akira Kurwasawa as superior to it, and CASABLANCA by Michael Curtiz or THE BIG SLEEP by Howard Hawks, but the mere fact that I am making the comparison with these giants among cinematic masterpieces should tell you of the high regard in which I hold this particular work.

interstellar-new-poster-wallpaper

I hold it INTERSTELLAR high regard not just as a film but as a science fiction film; and more than this, as a serious or ‘hard’ science fiction film, not merely a space opera or fantasy. Like grand opera, Hard SF is an exacting and highly disciplined form of storytelling where the slightest deviation from the strictures of audience expectations mars or even ruins the story. Hard SF is hard.

Before speaking of the film itself, let me make a comment about science fiction films in general, so that my high praise will be seen as fair-minded and not flattery.

interstellar-30

Read the remainder of this entry »

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Quote of the Day

Posted December 1, 2014 By John C Wright

Commenting on Humanae Vitae , Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission remarked:

“The sexual revolution saw sexuality as something that could be “freed” from the responsibilities of covenant and community. The wreckage is all around us, and the ones who have been hurt the most are women and children. The sexual revolution empowered men to pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha-male, rooted in the values of power, prestige, and personal pleasure. We see this in the divorce culture, in the fatherlessness epidemic, and in the objectification of women in pornography, sex trafficking, and rape.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/393708/keeping-marriage-supper-lamb-mind-christmas-politics-lives-kathryn-jean-lopez

My comment: one reason for my skepticism toward what one might call the ‘Alpha Game’ tactic of dealing with the sexual chaos all around us, that is, of bedding as many nubile, innocent, and willing partners as one can defraud and inveigle and seduce into bed, is that this contributes to rather than solves the problem, and it is notoriously short term thinking.

All the lady’s men and swains I knew from my colleges days are unmarried, aging, and miserable bachelors with less chance than Frosty the Snowman in Dante’s Inferno of finding a mate and fathering children, without which life is a worthless heap of rubbish.

It is a tactic rather than a strategy. The only sound strategy is to attack at its root the idea that legal equality with men, that is, the vote and the right to own property in her own name, means being homogenous with men. The only sound strategy is to return first to the pagan notion of men as masculine as Mars and women as feminine as Venus, then to the Christian notion of men as chivalrous and women as pure.

Women make poor men, and all that happens when they drive the masculine spirit out of their lives as fathers, leaders, and bridegrooms to obey is not disobedience and not independence: they merely use Big Brother, the government, as the bridegroom to obey.

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The BOOK OF FEASTS AND SEASONS is now in season!

Posted December 1, 2014 By John C Wright

An announcement from my publisher. The words below are his:

The Book of Feasts & Seasons

 It being December 1st, we are now properly in the Christmas season and so this seems a propitious time to announce the newest John C. Wright book from Castalia House, a collection of 10 holiday-inspired science fiction stories collectively known as THE BOOK OF FEASTS & SEASONS. This is not your average cup of Christmas tea, as a look at the story titles alone will tell you. Over the course of the year, from January to December, the science fiction grandmaster takes his inspiration from ten different holidays and explores their meanings in a series of stories of marvelous imagination.
The book begins with New Year’s Day and “The Meaning of Life as Told Me by an Inebriated Science Fiction Writer in New Jersey.” The Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin is represented by “A Random World of Delta Capricorni Aa, Called Scheddi”, while “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” represents the Feast of Pentecost. The calendar, and the anthology, culminate on Christmas Eve with “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”.

My personal favorite is “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds”, which rather reminds me of one of Tanith Lee’s best works, “The Tale of the Cat”, and is, in my opinion, a serious contender for the best thing that Mr. Wright has ever written. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Superversive Site

Posted December 1, 2014 By John C Wright

Jason Rennie has his new Superversive SF website http://superversivesf.com/ up and running now.

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Idle Thoughts

Posted November 28, 2014 By John C Wright

The fine folks at Apex & Abyss, Magazine of Speculative Fiction, just published my short story ‘Idle Thoughts’ which is a tale of telepathy and retaliation and justice and murder and why boys never call girls who call boys.

You can see it here: http://www.abyssapexzine.com/2014/09/idle-thoughts/

The opening goes like this:

I’m sorry that I smiled at him when he came in, all dripping from the rain. I know it will make my thought-testimony look bad in court. But when you work the late-night shift at the Recruitment Center, and a handsome stranger comes in, even if he is a little sad and grim, it’s hard not to have idle thoughts about him.

But I wasn’t helping him, even if I liked his looks. He shook his coat as he took it off, sending water everywhere. His hat made a puddle on the counter.

“The operation to become a citizen. Is it painful? Does it take long? I’m in sort of a hurry.”

He looked back to the plate glass window. Maybe he was looking at the courthouse and Town Hall across the street. Maybe he was looking at the rain.

“Brain tissue is not sensitive,” I said, smiling, looking up at him. “The major part of the operation, correlating your individual patterns to the standardized symbols, takes less than a minute. It takes longer to decided what to do first, to go cast a ballot or go buy a gun, they say!”

Sometimes men smile when I say that. Sometimes not. He did not. I wish I understood them. Men, I mean.

Did I mention how blue and deep and penetrating his eyes were? And you could not look at lips like his without wondering what they would taste like, cruel and passionate, perhaps with a hint of lingering champagne, as strong arms picked you up and carried you away . . . .

(That doesn’t mean I was helping him. What girl does not have idle thoughts?)

I hit the button which folded back the wall to the inner room.

Beyond, the chair was a black with padding and shiny with wiring. Above the headrest, like a chandelier, were the probe-arms, the injector, and the surgical array.

“So there it is,”  he muttered, staring.

“There it is!” I agreed, cheerfully.

I got up and led him over toward the chair. “When you sit down, you sit down all alone; but when you get up, you’ve got the whole world with you. No more lies and no misunderstandings! At least . . . ” My enthusiasm stumbled, for his dark, sardonic gaze was on me. “Other citizens can’t lie to you. Other people in the same circuit. And the circuit has to be on . . .”

He was smiling now, but I couldn’t tell if it was a friendly smile or not. “I’m aware that there are limitations, miss. I’ve never thought technology was magic; it doesn’t change human nature, or make the users of it more wise.”

 

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Andrew Klavan on EMPIRE OF LIES

Posted November 26, 2014 By John C Wright

One last post before I depart for the Holiday: This is an interview done with Andrew Klavan, and it is the only thriller style book, not science fiction, that I have ever read with complete pleasure: Read the remainder of this entry »

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