teh stupid

I must say I found myself profoundly depressed about my future as writer after reading a facebook post in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.Some (un-named) but shall we say exceptionally politically correct author put up a post by some… person. I think. Could be a miniture pink elephant controlling a human frame, floating on a cork in the rotting mush that was brain, poking roach antennae into the relevant nerves. You think that crazy? then you never read his article on ‘White privilege‘ – a privilege according to him that means that if the bomber turned out to be white “White privilege is knowing that even if the Boston Marathon bomber turns out to be white, his or her identity will not result in persons like yourself being singled out for suspicion by law enforcement, or the TSA, or the FBI.

White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for your group to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening, or threatened with deportation.” and could just be classified as a nutbar with a long list of other nutbars who according to him were all ‘white’.

At which point I could barely stop myself rolling my eyes. Demographics, maths or even elementary logic never crossed this threshhold. Look, more than 80% of the US population is ‘white’. If you profile 8 out 10 people… it doesn’t help much. You can’t single 80% for special suspicion. If you try to deport 80% of your population, not only will they laugh at you, but if you succeeded the other 20% would starve. And all of this would apply as much to an Indian bomber in India – where, quelle surprise a large majority of the population is Indian, or in Chinese bomber in China, or a black bomber in Kenya. That’s NOT privilege, or white. If red-heads make 0.6% of the population, and red-heads make up 6% of skin cancer victims, can anyone out there who has passed high school math (or hell, junior school maths) NOT work out that red-heads are 10 times more prone to skin cancer and should be watched for it? Would you call that discrimination against red-heads, or an outbreak of logic and common sense? Or would you demand that your limited resources go to screening even people who have lots of melanin and wear hats from birth? Right. Now if a certain religous sect make 0.6%… Do you, by some bizarre piece of cockroach antennae nerve twitching conclude they’re victims of discrimination?

Mind you it’s not just mathematics he has problems with. Genetics isn’t his strong suite either ‘Muslim decent’. Religion as a heritable trait is a frightening idea even for an SF writer.

When it came to this “And white privilege is knowing that if this bomber turns out to be white, the United States government will not bomb whatever corn field or mountain town or stale suburb from which said bomber came, just to ensure that others like him or her don’t get any ideas.”

I had to either throw up or start laughing. Does anyone in their right mind think that if the bomber came from a village in Nebraska, and the locals refused to co-operate, or allow access, and danced in the street handing out candy to strangers to celebrate, and boasted on the internet about it… they’d get ‘white privilege’?

I thought “No one with a grey cell functioning, let alone having passed junior high maths, can possibly take this seriously. It’s so racist, and so stupid, it’s due for pillory.”

And this why I wonder if I have a future in writing. Because it had at that stage attracted 90 likes – presumably at least mostly from readers. And the last few were authors. One person – moi – actually said it was a load of fetid dingoes kidneys.

I can try to write entertaining stories. I can try to make them accessable. But if this is the audience… teh stupid it burns, and I’m toast.

Please tell me it ain’t so.


  1. Frank J. Fleming of IMAO came up with the ultimate tweet in response to that article. Actually penultimate, since he needed one tweak for the pun.

    “David Sirota really shouldn’t have used that Monkey Paw to wish for [Caucasian] terrorists.”

    Thanks to Steven den Beste for the tweak. I’m just the messenger.

  2. Feh, even more stupid, the writer there was plagiarizing wholesale from Salon (or maybe the other way around….) Shows me for not following the link first, but the articles really say the same thing. And fail even more in retrospect as they flame people for jumping to conclusions that HAPPENED TO BE RIGHT.

  3. No, Dave, that’s not your audience. Those are people who are desperately trying to find ways to deny that there are bad people out there who want to tear down western civilization for reasons the Salon/FaceBook posters don’t want to try to understand, or can’t understand. Your audience is made up of decent people who acknowledge that there are evil people and ideas in this imperfect world, and we want to read books about good people who stand up to the little evils as best they know how. And about dragons, their ladies, and their dogs.

      1. Oh, I think the non-sheep just up and walked away, muttering that that much crazy-stupid wasn’t worth trying to argue with. Oh, it’ll get a lot of shares, but mostly people rolling their eyes and passing it on like a youtube video of an idiot too stupid to successfully commit a crime – for the sarcastic laughs, not the bothering to try to correct the idiot in question.

  4. One thing that they miss is that “white males” _are_ profiled as terrorists. I mean look at what folk were saying: Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Michael Moore, Peter Bergen and on and on. Before we learned who was actually responsible the “narrative” was that it was white male christian tea-partiers responsible.

    Just about every time something horrible happens, guess who gets the blame?

    1. Statistically, there is a higher probability that violent crime will be committed by males (although I suspect this has shifted a lot over the last 50 years, just as female drunk-and-disorderly are now far more common). But males have testosterone and evolution against them. When you look at the probability stats for skin color, the 80% actually do less than the 80% you would expect. I suspect when you have a look at the stats and religion too I suspect Christians won’t actually be as large a share as their population share. Age too has a high correlation with the incidence of violent crime out of whack with the proportions – the 16-24 year old males IIRC being the ‘most likely’ cohort with far the largest share (which means, duh, the other cohorts are less likely.). Employment and SMET backgrounds and education are strongly negatively correlated. So: unless I am wildly off beam about who is the tea-party crowd, white male Christian tea-party are actually scoring lower than average probability. It’s not impossible, and pre-judging is a route to having (if you’ve got the integrity and courage) to say you’ve screwed up. But it’s a fair call to label those do put the blame there as bigots because it’s a lot less probable than pure chance.

    2. Yes. The irony lost on these people is that the “privilege” ran quite the other way. For nearly four days, when these people “knew” the terrorists had to be white male conservative extremists, they banged the drum to use this incident to indict all conservatives.

      How did I learn the terrorists were actually Muslims? Nobody even had to tell me. When I woke up Friday morning and my Facebook feed was full of THE EXACT SAME PEOPLE all saying “loners”, “disaffected youths like in Columbine”, “not tied to any ideology”, and “we brought this on ourselves”. Right then I KNEW with absolute certainty that the “sophisticates” had heard the bad news and were preemptively trying to defuse it.

      So “must be white male conservative extremists” meant PRECISELY WHAT THEY SAID IT DIDN’T: all conservatives tarred with the same brush; but Muslim extremists were privileged, because they couldn’t POSSIBLY be indicative of the beliefs of ANY other Muslims.

  5. I’m just going to say this — when these people have managed to p*ss off Dave and I (and I’ve been near “the scream” for days) they’re p*ssing off MOST of the reading public. They’re probably not p*ssing off the publishing establishment or most of organized fandom. The disconnect between these two groups is the problem.

    Dave, I think readers are out there. You and I just have to figure how to get around them. One of my huns is writing a webpage for cross promotion — and we’ll try other stuff. We’ll get there. (Battle fatigue? Yeah, I know. But we must march forward, or we will most assuredly die.)

    1. Well, they really got my goat with this bit overtly bigoted guilt farming. The trouble is, Sarah, that sf-fantasy is rapidly aquiring the reputation among those who don’t read it any more and those who haven’t tried it as a genre for this sort of drivel. And the publishing establishment and their organised fandom, and friends still control almost all the distribution outside of Indie (yes, even Baen gets choked by this, their fan channel is still smaller, and S&S and many book shops treat them like poor relations) and mostly via Amazon. And the problem then becomes how readers find you.
      Yep. onwards. Stopping would please the bastards.

      1. 1. Write books where you can glorify western civilization in the title. I doubt many people will mistake “Mother, Wife, and Part Time Prophetess” for a Feminist diatribe. I also doubt “The Arcturus Tea Party” would be considered anti-US.

        2. Cross promote. At the end of each indie book, have links to other indie books, including by other authors, who are also Human Wave.

        3. Use blogs. Science fiction authors are not the only people who want to return Western Civilization to its rightful place in our society. Try to get reviews or guest posts outside the SF “ghetto”. Sarah’s instapundit posts are a good example of this strategy.

        4. Educate while you entertain. If Harry History Teacher can tell his 10th grade students “we have an exam in two weeks, why don’t you read [insert title here] as review”, you can get a large and influential group to market for you.

        1. One thought I had.

          Dave probably knows much more about the history of gun control in South Africa than most Americans. If there are cases where such was used to murder, to oppress, and to terrorize, these would be very relevant to the interests of Americans who are opposed to gun control. Writing up an essay or two, and getting them in something like an NRA publication might be a good method to pick up name awareness.

          I expect Larry Correia and Mike Williamson might know more about those markets, and their utility for branding and marketing.

          1. You know Bob, the trouble is I don’t know enough. Yes, I have a few guns. But your example of who to talk to is a perfect example of why I’d do a terrible job. I don’t know Larry except by reputation but he’s incredibly knowledgable, and experienced in the areas that interest the vast bulk of people who’d belong to and read their publications, The same with Mad Mike, who I do know and stand in some awe of. The best comparison I can think of is that they’re consumate skilled artists, and the audience are people who want to create beautiful pictures. I admire them, but me I’m a just a work-a-day housepainter, totally unskilled and ignorant and just slap paint on buildings, because they need paint. I take a rifle out every 2-3 days for a wallaby. Usually fire one shot, and unless I’ve been asked for some extra or we’re making sausage, I only take a clip of 4 with me, because money is tight. I’m perfectly happy with the fact that it’s bolt action, and 60 years old ordinary mass production gun, and I’m using a .22 because it’s the cheapest. I keep it clean, and if I start to miss, I swear a lot, and I sight it in on a bench I have set up. Other than that, I don’t take it out the cupboard. The guys who who know their firearms would laugh at me. Mike would probably die laughing at my skinning knife, which I bought at a garage sale for a dollar. It’s old ordinary sheffield steel, gets blunt quick, but is easy to sharpen, and lets me get the job finished in double-quick time. I’ve looked at various gun/shooting/hunting mags and they’re so far beyond me as machine code is from the guy who uses a worprocessor. :-).

            1. Dave,
              Speaking as the wife of a gent who has done the occasional article in such magazines, they wouldn’t laugh at you. You may not have very fancy gear, but you know what you have, and you use it. Competence is a valued thing in those circles!

              Laughter is usually reserved for the tacticool kiddies with loads of gear bought for looks alone, who haven’t sighted in the rifle with five pounds of stuff hanging off the rails.

            2. What I was getting at, is the history of gun control in South Africa. All I really know, is that BOSS was an organization at one time, and that from books. I do not even know for sure that selective gun control was used by factions in South Africa to suppress parts of the population for political gain. I’d guess that it could’ve happened.

              Stories about gun control being used for oppression and murder, backed up by historical knowledge, would be well received. I expect that the average American gun owner may know less about South Africa’s history than I do. South African oral history, if your voice is anything to go by, is something that an American can relate to.

              My concern was ROI. Would the magazines pay rates that would interest you? Would a more politically oriented gun mag pay much? What would the add value be? (Well, that, and that I am excessively ignorant over whether my historical speculation about South Africa’s history is correct.)

  6. Not all readers are that deluded. I personally think that whoever wrote that dreck is out of their mind. As a member of the white, male crowd I can assure you that we are very heavily stereoyped here in the States. I personally have been flat out told that _I_ _Jim McCoy_ was responsible for slavery because of the color of my skin. I was once accused of racism when working the teller line at a financial institution because I asked a black woman how much of her money she wanted to transfer from savings to checking. Keep in mind that I was perfectly willing to do it and had, in fact, typed the beginnings of the transaction into my computer. Yes, I explained to the woman, it was her money. Yes, she had the right to transfer any of the money in the account or none at all based on what she wanted to do. But how in the HELL was I supposed to transfer the amount she wanted transferred if she wouldn’t tell me what it was? After a half hour harangue, she decided to leave the Credit Union and come back the next day to do her transfer with the brown-skinned girl who sat next to me. True story. It happens all the time. And, according to the American Left, she was NOT being racist. I guess I was because *GASP* I couldn’t read her mind.

    1. What I see – that frightens me a little (because I don’t want to be part of it) and damn well ought to frighten most minorities a lot, is that it’s a constant push push push – often as not against people who had no animosity to start with, and can in no rational way be blamed for, often by people who never suffered whatever slight or injury they’re manufacturing anger about… Sort of like a kid who keeps poking a bear with a little sharp stick. At first it’s just a tentative touch. After a while they’re ramming it home with all his little strength, because great grandma was et by a bear. The bear doesn’t notice at first, is too easy going to get angry fast, but after a while starts getting really sick of the kid and the stick. So he growls. And the keeper (who is smaller than the bear, and unarmed, beside his whip) beats him. The kid goes on, and this gets repeated again and again. Eventually the very irritated bear has a choice: bleed to death or do something. He’ll probably rip kid’s arm off, and maybe its head, and kill the keeper if he gets in the way. At which point everyone will say ‘savage bear’ – but it’ll be a bit late for the kid or keeper.

        1. Sarah, I don’t know if I’m less terrified than you, or just that as I look back through history I can’t find a single tyranny that ever stopped itself. I also can’t find an example of a tyranny – and make no mistake that’s where we are or will be soon – that was stopped without a war.

          And if that war is inevitable, when will we be in better shape to fight it?

      1. There is another alternative – ends at pretty much the same point – where the bear says to himself, “I won’t get treated any worse if I actually eat the kid and the keeper… and at least I’ll have a full belly.”

        1. Yes. I must admit I was thinking of a dancing bear on a chain, and after that you’d have to shoot it to get to put the chain again.

  7. “White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for your group to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening, or threatened with deportation.”

    Except, of course, for the President and the Attorney General of the United States, who have both been doing so at least once a year ever since taking office, even _without_ any actual acts of terrorism being committed during the last couple of decades by American citizens whose ancestors were predominantly of European origin and whose religious practices (or lack thereof) fall somewhere within the American mainstream. (It’s a definition of “white people” that I think both sides would probably be willing to accept. The word “white” is far too plastic, as used in discourse about race and culture, to whip out without specifying a more precise definition.)

  8. I read your stories, and love them. I read Sarah’s stories, and love them also. And these cretinous piles of coprolites (is too a word!) have let their smell permeate the atmosphere far, far too long.

    Yeah, I’m kind of out there, not trying to hide. OTOH, I’m perfectly happy going indie. And I think there are whole swaths of indie writers who accomplish exactly what Heinlein described (paraphrased, it’s been years), “Drop two Chinee in an empty Moon crater, and they’ll spend the rest of their lives selling rocks to each other and both will end up being millionaires.” I’ll buy all the rocks y’all have got to sell 🙂

  9. I’d note that the Nebraska example actually has some analogs in American history.

    Which is to say many communities who were significantly, but for the most part quietly, supportive of terrorism.* Quietly, because many of them were losers of the War Between The States, and they preferred using hidden force to acting in the open, which would lead to losing exactly like the first time. Yes, maybe the Feds could’ve burnt out some of the towns and cities which did this. They weren’t particularly hot to restart the civil war either. (Note that Sherman isn’t often held to have been holding back.) Reconstruction ended, Posse Comitatus made it illegal to do that sort of thing anymore, and the Democrat faction in congress effectively exercised a veto. When the Feds grew another organization which might’ve been able to do something (FBI), it seems to have done little for decades. (I presume Hoover preferred to play the factions off each other, and blackmail individuals, to stopping those particular criminal conspiracies.) Eventually, instead of things changing so that the “neo-confederates” had a chance to win, things changed so that terrorism from hiding no longer worked for them.

    White privilege is the organization that carried this out, that profited from this, getting a free pass to carry out similar activities and policies because of cosmetic changes. White privilege is is giving political activists, who talk loudly about white privilege, with ties to an organization that was party to murders decades ago, a pass that we would not give to present members of other organizations with murders decades back organization. (We are getting near seventy years since the Nazis last committed mass murder.) White privilege is saying that people cannot be white supremacists because of the color of their skin.

    In fairness to at least one of the parties behind the current racist terrorist apologism, they (NG) were originally from overseas. As such, expecting them to be entirely plugged into all of the oral history may be a bit unreasonable.

    I’d submit that these are largely the sort of people who were recently behind the effort to, effectively, help enable the murder of minorities. That said effort has partly failed indicates that they do not have a significant majority of the American population.

    They have opponents. Maybe these opponents are not your readers now, but perhaps they could be interested in your work.

    *The obvious are the ones that backed a regime of terror, and other things, by implementing Jim Crow and Segregation. Less obvious are the ones which supported some of the ex-confederate bandits who were nominally carrying out robberies for the purpose of preparing for the next uprising.

    1. History – and I read a lot of it, is a confused mess ;-). Must be the bloody humans they let get involved. If only they’d leave it to us monkeys instead… Seriously, that sounds not so much like ‘white privilege’ as ‘don’t want to start the civil war up again’ and ‘they may outvote us’. But I have often wondered about the change in public perception (I’m not sure it’s more than perception) of the two political parties in the US. As I’ve commented elsewhere and often, ‘liberal’ has acquired a US meaning which is entirely different to that it used to have there, or still has in many places. Many of the values held by tradition (ergo ‘conservative’) in the US – ideas like a universal right to bear arms, the equality of all men before the law, or a right to free speech, and concepts that rise from this like ‘I disgree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it,’ were (and IMO still are) revolutionary, and extremely – for their time liberal. I happn to thinnk they were right, and that the passage of time has if anything made them more relevant and more liberal (in the sense of ‘free’) to the individual than the retrogressive policies you confusing people call ‘Liberal’. 😉

      1. Part of why my comment on white privilege may have given that impression is because I was censoring myself rather heavily.

        A scientist who played a memorable role in my scientific training, among many other projects, spent some time looking for a mass grave associated with a particular atrocity. This event was covered up by the state XXXX party, many decades ago when it happened. Said state party actually has a fair amount of leadership continuity over that time frame, and the state government officially admitting that the crime happened was relatively recent.

        The member of that state’s XXXX party whom you are most likely to know is an outspoken opponent of white supremacism.

    2. “I presume Hoover preferred to play the factions off each other, and blackmail individuals, to stopping those particular criminal conspiracies.”

      From what I’ve been able to put together, Hoover worked against the Klan. Problem was, they were protected by people he had to appease in Congress, and it wasn’t until later that he was able to move more freely.

      The 1959 movie “The FBI Story” was pretty much a propaganda piece approved by Hoover (he even makes a cameo), and it features the FBI going up against the Klan in the ’20s. Perhaps it wasn’t something they advertised at that time, but 30 years later Hoover appeared to be proud of it (or to know it was good PR).

      1. The FBI seems to have pretty efficiently shut things down after the pols whom the Night Rides benefited decided it was more cost effective to pursue other endeavors. Hoover died in the middle of ‘making sure things stay shut down’ phase, without apparently hurting it, and the limits put on the FBI following his death do no seem to have hampered the process either.

        This raises various questions as to how much power exactly Hoover had earlier, and as to whether his counter KKK efforts constitute really trying. I think the answers may be subjective. I tend towards a view of ‘the particular criminal conspiracies’ that is much wider than just the KKK.

  10. I’m impressed. Guilt farming. Hereditary religion. Perpetual notion machine.

    The Hereditary religion is ‘i’m okay, you’re ok.’ The PNM has destroyed SF. It also offers a source of new ideas that are tried out by enthusiasts. Most ideas fail as they don’t map to reality and the inherent reactionary nature of the HR draws people back. But some ideas do map to reality and one of these is the guilt farm, on which tasty luscious fruit grows that lets the eater for a while feel normal human feelings about the guilt they have for what they have done to other people, and then some user of the PNM gets the bright notion that guilt extends to alienation from the Source of Reality. Toss in a lot of other good ideas that sprout up sui generis, and a whole basketful of not bright ideas that got tried and tossed in the garbage half done. the landscape is littered with strange ideas of all sort of amusing thoughts.

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