A Bumkin’s view

Now, as Mike Glyer informed me that moral people would accede to the writer’s request to publish the entire work, unfisked, I am putting him to the test. I would like anything I write that they quote, quoted in full by File 770 and any Puppy Kickers.

Firstly a little message for Easter: Hu’ta’ QISt! Hu’bejta’!

You can call me a country bumpkin if you like (call me anything you please. I don’t really care. I’d hardly call myself ‘monkey’ if I was worried). I can wear that one with pride, because you’d call a lot of men I look up to and try to emulate ‘country bumpkins’.

On Friday I was part of select group of such men, men where being accepted and liked means a huge amount to me – more than any award ever would or could. We were slaughtering pigs, processing eight of them for 4 different families. It’s totally un-commercial – these are pigs raised for home consumption, by people who farm sheep and beef for your consumption. It’s hard physical work, and for the record, probably the most humanely acquired meat, short of growing it in a vat. I’m the only one who isn’t a full-time farmer, and the age ranges from 17 to 70. We have a chiller, and shoot the pigs, but pretty much everything else is like stepping back a thousand years. Yes, even the jokes.

I’m the smoker, and do the bacon and hams. The old guy who used to do it for them died, then they tried to send them ‘away’ to get done, but I do it better, which is my contribution, along with my share of the pigs. Curing and smoking a craft bordering on art, and I’ve got thirty years of experience at it. One of the others does the brawn, sausages are Norm and I, and the slaughtering and butchering get divvied up. Honestly, you send Bernie along, he’ll learn more about real socialized effort and reward than you could outside of an Amish barn raising, and yet a less urban socialist set of people would be hard to find.

Couple of other things are, well, interesting, from writing world perspective. The first is, we’re all men. Not all white men – two of the five guys working would qualify as that. Like my mutton-birdin’ friends, this is real traditional life, which yes, has some degree of separation by sex, in quite a lot of cultures. The reasons are entirely pragmatic, and no-one gives a toss if you have balls or not. It’s just a case of can you lift a hundred and fifty pounds and carry it? The job is hard, hot, dirty and not without risks. You get there by being willing to do it, not by some mennist plot. It’s hard to find folk who will (same with the birdin’). A first invitation is easy. A second one, isn’t. And honestly those who don’t get a call ‘we need to kill some pigs. You in?’ probably don’t want to be there. It’s backbreaking and easier to go to the butcher. You don’t know how it dies, it’s not the same quality (our pigs all live well, mostly free-range, and die unstressed, content until the last), but it’s only money you have to put in. I’m through to my fifth now (and sixth birdin’).

I noticed (because noticing is what I do. Good writers notice and remember, and I want to be as good a writer as possible) that of the five men, I saw all bar one (and I’ve seen him do the same other occasions) take minor, un-necessary steps to make the animals they were going to kill more comfortable. Petting a pig (yes, pigs like being scratched. They’ll also cheerfully eat you. The two are not exclusive) giving it a food-treat, fetching water for it. They were able to put themselves in the pig’s trotters, if you like. Feel empathy, but divorce themselves from that enough to do the job that had to be done.

The other thing that is fascinating – particularly after Snowcrash’s comment last week on MGC — is just how the guys think. Now the youngster – one of the guy’s sons, is the only one there who hasn’t come up from hard-scrabble, who hasn’t looked farm-disaster, losing everything in the face (that’s me too. I was managing a fish-farm when our feed price, our major cost… trebled) and survived. Their timescales tend to be at least two years, to generational. These are supposed to be ‘slow’ country bumpkins, but in disaster (and in farming – and killing pigs, something always goes wrong. As sure as in combat) they sure do think fast and inventively. There’s no point in waiting for the fire-brigade, the plumber, or the snake handler, or even the ambulance.

With me rock-climbing and diving (and for both, being old, and still, last I looked, alive) these are easy and natural ways for me think. Risk and response to that go hand in hand, as does assessing the risk, thinking through the disasters when –and before they happen, working out the odds, that’s like breathing. I’m not even aware of doing it, just as my farmer friends are not. That certainly was true for a lot across the world back in human history. If you just did stuff because it seemed like a good idea, because you felt like it, for emotional reasons, without working out the consequences… well, think of it as evolution in action. On the other hand you have react fast, decisively and YOU have to do it, when you can see it needs doing.

Things have changed, and with a lot of our of our population being urban, fixing problems yourself and thinking long term about what effect your actions have are probably near Darwin Award stuff in many a city. The cops, and the plumbers, and politicians (really, there is a difference between them) take a dim view of you horning in on their jobs. In crowded environments it does make a degree of sense, because your bit of evolution in action can be hundreds of other people dying or being injured.

Of course you don’t select for long-term thinking, empathy, personal action and personal responsibility both in culture and genes for millennia to have that vanish overnight. It’s still common and I believe still useful in places where these things are no longer life-essential necessities. I do believe it’s frowned on by most politicians and ‘leaders’ (community, thought and otherwise) and those in positions of power and authority.

It does mark a growing divergence, though. There used to be a pretty solid continuum between grasshoppers and ants. If you’re one side of that, be aware the other side exists. This, I suspect, is particularly true if you want to write their characters, understand their motives. You might still wish or need to have whatever nasty fate they’re destined for – bacon or sausage, but it still helps you as a writer. And yes, I mess it up too. There are certain occupations – farming, diving, diving, rock-climbing, are obvious to me, but there are many more – running your own business — that NEED the ability to look at the viewpoints of others, and to think about consequences. But the one that needs this most is writing good fiction.

For me the most difficult phases of plotting a book are early ones, when actions – possibly small actions – can cascade, and change the direction of the book. Working through those possible scenes, working out how or what your character will do is like playing many games of somehow interlocking chess, many moves ahead. I plot first, but those plots change with the actual story and depth of the characters developing.

As a writer – looking at it as a story. There have been three telling things about ongoing Hugo debacle.

Firstly: the Puppy Kickers – even the brighter ones, not mere camp-followers, have entirely failed to grasp what the Sad Puppies were about. We’ve still got puppy kickers saying ‘Oh it’s about getting Larry Correia/Brad Torgersen or Vox Day a Hugo.’… because that is what would be the motive for them. I set out my position here. I think just about everyone in Sad Puppies has done so. And everyone who is in the obvious running for the Novel … have recused themselves. Yes. They have said – Not like John Scalzi ‘out for now’ — They’re OUT. (Yes, that includes me. I’m the most minor and irrelevant of the Sad Pup authors. Which makes resolving the situation… tricky, to near impossible.)

Then we get ‘Oh they only want manly men doing manly things and oh they’re all misogynist racist homophobes etc etc. Mind-numbing stupid slanders that don’t stand up to two seconds robust examination… but they still keep on bleating the same dumb. And those among the Puppy Kickers who know they’re wrong and easily debunked are silent and complicit.

At least the more intelligent Puppy Kickers do understand what we’re about and were trying to do. But they don’t WANT to believe it or accept the trouble their precious WorldCon, Hugo or the genre in general is. They don’t want to accept that to survive they need to move toward demographic representivity and the center. They hope it’ll just go away and they can continue just like they were… which was dying, but it was not as painful as trying to be revived. Of course some do know exactly what is going on, and how the pond is shrinking. But it is their personal short-term interest to encourage the wilder insanities instead. Some of them are very nasty pieces of work, who don’t care, as long as they’re all right, for now.

This is denial – which is a very important thing for an author to understand, and be able to write about.

Secondly: consequences, consequences, consequences. The grasshopper way of voting is not to think about those, or to only think of absolute immediate. It’s more about that immediate gratification than ‘will this help us get through winter. I suppose some Pansters write like that… The situation traditional publishing sf/fantasy finds itself in right now, is one where the author body (and, indeed the editorial staff) are just WAY off the demographics of the possible readers. If you take the Gallup poll of who consider themselves ‘liberal’ – 24 % of US population does. On the other hand if you did a count – especially among the newer authors in Trad Publishing, it probably runs 95%. That 95% can only survive by selling to the part of the audience who do not share their social and political views. The opposite is not true. 5% can do pretty well out only selling to 76%. Better with less competition, really, if they were going to be as mean as the Puppy Kickers. The 24% never bought their books before anyway. The Puppy Kickers have generated a lot of polarization (and before you say that was the Sad Puppies too – ask the hard question: who had everything to gain by NOT generating polarization? Who has nothing to lose? Work it out.) If – and this is an election year, when things are heated – this polarization spreads further among the readers, who loses? If Sad Puppy supporters decide in the light of last year and the Hugo committee’s decision to take sides and hand over the data to people from Making Light, to vote in the noms… and then unless they have candidates they REALLY want to support, to simply withdraw their interest, who loses?

Thirdly: We have the writer’s typical dilemma. We have characters on both sides of story with very different points of view. We have had (and will have) actions which have consequences. How do you resolve all this? Or is heading for further collapse with implacable certainty? That’s not a fun story to read, especially for those with most to lose. If I was writing the book I’d change at least some of the actions of those with most to lose. The Puppy Kickers face hard decisions, need forethought they have never displayed. They need to provide some large motive for the Sad Puppies not follow the most likely courses of action. I said last year after Sasquan that the price for that would be high. It’ll only get higher and harder.

I am glad I don’t have to write this novel. I’m only a country bumpkin, who needs to work out his bacon cure per weight.

217 Comments

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217 responses to “A Bumkin’s view

  1. Laura M

    It’s been years since I read it, but Barbara Tuchman’s March of Folly comes to mind.

  2. I haven’t read the whole thing yet because butchering hogs brings back memories. We raised hogs, and one year my father decided we were going to butcher our hogs ourselves instead of trucking it to the abattoir. That’s the way he’d grown up doing it, and he saw it as a way to save money.

    Now, in general, if you’re a farmer you’re not squeamish. Between cleaning fish and game and participating in a certain aspect of livestock raising that city folk tend not to want to think about, dispatching the hogs with a .22 and bleeding them out wasn’t all that impressive. What did stick out in my memory is the scalding. For city folk info, you remove hog hair by scalding. There’s a certain art to it, though. Scald too short and the hairs won’t scrape off easy. Scald too long and the hairs set and sure don’t scrape off easy.

    To this end, my father did what his family used to do: utilize a syrup kettle. This was a large, round, shallow, cast iron pan designed to evaporate sugar cane juice down to syrup, and was large enough to drag a whole hog carcass through. We filled the pan with water and built the fire first, and by the time it was hot enough the hogs were dead and ready. One dunking wasn’t enough. Nor was the second. It took several tries and ended up with the hairs partially set. After that, my father decided it was worth it to truck them to the abattoir.

    We didn’t run a smoke house because here the weather for it tended to be iffy. My grandfather did, but even he got out of the practice. There were a few commercial places around, and they also happened to be some of the best smelling places on earth.

    For the city folks, Mr. Freer does not jest about the dietary habits of hogs. I once had to use wire stretchers to persuade a boar of the error of his ways. Then got scolded for losing a spring off the wire stretchers.

    • I’m 90% city kid, but it was ingrained in us very early on, every time we went to a farm on a field trip (by teachers) or whenever we visited relatives with livestock that we could go look at the cows, sheep, and horses, but pigs were off limits because they were deadly. Shortly before I took a job in 80% Flat State, one of the farmers in the county got eaten by a sow because he missed one little piglet that had burrowed back into the straw. He stepped on piglet, it squalled, and here came mama pig.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        I don’t remember seeing an adult pig “in person” but I know those critters can be BIG.

        Besides not know “how nasty” pigs can be, I suspect most city-dwellers don’t know how large pigs can get. 😦

        • Their entire experience is seeing the little potbellied pets and Charlotte’s Web and Babe.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Or Porky Pig or the Cartoon Three Little Pigs.

          • My daughter and I have a very dear English friend, who grew up in (English) suburbia, and was for a time, care taking another friend’s place out in the Hill Country. Place had several horses, an emu, some geese, chickens, ducks, dogs and cats … and a smallish pig with a very bad temper. The English friend was absolutely horrified to discover from me that pigs were omnivorous and not above eating human flesh , when I casually let drop the saying that I heard from my farm-raised grandmother, “He went to take a leak and the pigs et ‘im!”
            I don’t think she ever went into the pig’s pen again after that – he was only one of those 60 pound ornate breeds. I might have been raised suburban myself – but Gran was straight from a farm, and Dad was a zoologist and quite unsentimental about animals,

          • That’s true too. It’s just not ALL of the true. You have to be pretty well off to be able not to eat Wilbur the pig.

        • Sara the Red

          I once heard that pigs, in some ways, are not unlike goldfish: they will grow as big as the space/available food allows. Which means you can, if you have the right combination of space/food/forage, end up with terrifyingly huge pigs. (This also depends on breed.)

          We raised pigs once when I was a kid. My sister was the one who took care of them (I had the several-hundred rabbits). And when they came home from the butcher’s…she was not in the least bit sorry and ate them with great relish.

          And they hadn’t even been terrifyingly huge pigs, either…

          • Feral pigs in East Texas and the US South can reach 800+ pounds. 400 pounds is not all that rare. And the reproduce like rabbits, which is why Texas has a no limit year-round open season on feral hogs.

            • We wake up here and we can see tracks where the ferals have passed right by the house. Had to beat feet one night back up on the deck when something large came snorting thru the high grass. Gonna have to sit up some night with the Mosin.

            • They’re right smart porkers, they are, too. Wild hogs don’t generally take to trapping. They wander a bit, and will eat bloody near anything, including their own young (not a lick sentimental).

              Hunting them can be a touch dangerous at times, too.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                I remember reading about the description of the spears used in boar hunting.

                Big cross piece on the spear to keep the boar from “going up the spear” to get at the hunter. [Shudder]

              • My boss went hog hunting (a friend was having hog problems) and he and his hunting partner decided to try a trick to bring them out (sardines). They set up their branches (figuring they wouldn’t be up there long) and then set out the sardines. Got up in the trees… Then came the hogs. So many hogs the two of them didn’t think they’d brought enough ammo to kill them all and then have to spend the night in the tree (which it wasn’t set up for). They killed 15 before the rest of them decided to head off somewhere else, and that they weren’t going to get anything out of the tree.

              • I had a neighbor once who like to go bow-hunting for javelina. They are not as big as domestic (or feral) pigs, but still! I thought he was nuts. I had the same thought about some tourists I saw feed javelinas in Big Bend National Park.

                • Hah – I’m doing a book now for an old ranch owner in South Texas who had a pair of pet javalinas in the 1930s, when he was a small boy living in suburban Brownsville. His father had to take the javalinas back to the ranch property when the pair of them learned how to raid the neighbors’ milk bottles.

                  Anyone else remember home milk delivery? When it came in glass bottles, the delivery guy would leave in a wire carrier on the back porch? Yeah. If you remember this, you’re officially late middle age.

                • cirby

                  An old buddy of mine used to go out wandering in West Texas, with just a .270 and a few extra bullets. There’s not a lot out there that he couldn’t knock down with even a dinky little rifle like that.

                  One time, he was a mile or two from his truck, and saw a javelina. “Hah, cute little pig. Oh, look, there’s another one over there. And, um, several more. And they’re looking at me.”

                  So he started working his way back to the truck, but the rest of the little monsters showed up and started chasing him in earnest. He managed to get up a not-very-big tree, and they settled in below him. He had six bullets for at least twenty angry little piggies. That’s disappointing math.

                  So he was there all night. Every once in a while, he’d think about climbing down, but there would be a quiet little “hrrnk” from somewhere in the bushes, and he’d climb back up.

                  By the next morning, they’d gotten bored and left, and he hoofed it back to the truck. And from that point on, he never went out into the brush without a couple of boxes of bullets in his backpack…

                  • A couple friends of mine drove up into the mountains of southern Arizona one fine Saturday morning, to see what they could see. A couple of miles after the trail they were following petered out, they saw a lone javelina in front of a line of brush. One friend got out of the truck with his camera to get a closer picture of the creature, when it scrambled back into the brush. He was about to follow it into the brush when the other stopped him, and told him to get back into the truck. They waited about five minutes, and the little porker came back out.

                    They both took a couple of pictures from inside the truck, then friend number one got out of the truck again. Once again, the javelina ambled back into the brush. This time, both men had the sense to not follow it. Instead, they went carefully and quietly around the brush line.

                    Once they got around one end of the brush line (it was about 50 yards across, 5 yards deep, and roughly ‘U’ shaped), they stopped and stared. There were at least thirty javalina there, quietly watching the front of the brush line, where the men would have come out had they followed the smaller pig. After a minute, a couple of the larger ones prodded the photogenic little javelina back into the brush, to go try to lure lunch back to them again.

                    My friends quietly returned to the truck, turned around, and never went out on foot that far into the mountains again.

              • Actually, barrel traps like they use for bears works well. At one time hunters would trap hogs and move them to other locations to increase their numbers. It worked too well.

                Some sows turn cannibalistic and eat other sow’s pigs. That always meant an immediate trip to the sale barn. Iron deficiency will also cause hogs to bite off tails.

            • Sara the Red

              I’ve heard (though I don’t know if it’s true) that feral pigs are also starting to redevelop the tusks of their forbears…::shudders::

              • Draven

                In the case of southern CA, they are interbreeding with boar populations

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                I hear someone brought a bunch of wild boar from Russia, and released them for hunting, and those genes are in a lot of feral hog now.

              • There have been rumors of someone bringing Russian Boar to the US to try and raise/domesticate. Those suckers get up to 1500lbs and BOTH male and female have tusks. I haven’t heard confirmation but if it’s true… pig hunting will get very nasty indeed.

                • Sara the Red

                  Yeah…one of those cases where whoever’s idea it was originally keeps their mouth shut, lest they be hunted down by a mob with large, large sticks screaming “WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!”

                • bearcat

                  Actually Russian Boar (AKA razorbacks) are smaller than most feral pigs. They seldom get over 150 lbs, but it is a very lean, well muscled 150. They don’t look at all like your typical rounded piggy; also they are fairly hairy. It is the crossbreeds, the Russian/feral crosses that get big and nasty. Also I have heard it takes three generations of domestic pigs gone feral to start growing tusks, but am unsure if this is strictly true or not.

                  And yes I have a friend who raised Russians, DON’T turn your back on them.

                  • “Actually Russian Boar (AKA razorbacks)” – bearcat

                    Regional thing, maybe?

                    In Arkansas where I used to live, “Razorbacks” are considered to be Russian Boar or European Wild Boar and feral hog crossbreeds (usually over generations.) At least that’s what the local hunters and guides along the Arkansas/Missouri border have told me. Pure European Wild Board are kind of rare up there, but you still see them on occasion.

                  • Then I wonder what that monstrous thing in Siberia was (size of a small vehicle in space occupied.). *Ponders* To the research!

                    • ironbear055

                      I agree. The game’s afoot, wyrdbard! We’re off!

                      Okay, according to the internet (I know it’s true because I read it on the internet!), American Wild Boar – derived from European Wild Boar and Russian Wild Boar introduced on at least two (and probably more) occasions run around 150 to 200lbs, with “uncommon individuals of up to 300 pounds”. I wonder how they define “uncommon”, as 300 pound American Wild Boar aren’t unknown in Missouri, but…

                      http://www.suwanneeriverranch.com/wild-boar.htm

                      http://wildpiginfo.msstate.edu/history-wild-pigs.html

                      The misstate is a bit off in a couple of respects: the earliest European Wild Boar introductions I’m aware of were in the mid-late 19th century, not early 20th. And they range in Oklahoma as of 2010/2011 all the way up to the Kansas borders, not just the lower Texarkana area and the Ouachitas like their distribution map shows. (Ferals and Razorbacks, not necessarily Europeans.)

                      Stone Creek and High Adventure disallow shooting Russian Boar in the 150-200lb range, and they regularly set hunters up with boar that are 300lb and over.

                      http://www.highadventureranch.com/boar.html

                      Razorbacks are Wild Boar crossed with feral domestic hogs:

                      http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2125

                      The Encylopedia Arkansas is not 100% accurate on their weights: as I said, I’ve personally shot two that dressed out at well over 400lbs, and there’s bigger ones up in the high Ozarks.

                      That’s a quick and dirty research job. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on it.

                    • There’s an 800 pounder in Stillwater with a bounty on his head because of the damage he’s done.

                      I’m finding some indication that there’s a Siberian species that averages 200 KG (440lbs) which is at least heading the right direction but the source on that is generic and I can’t get a species name yet.

                      http://rbth.com/articles/2011/04/26/the_twelve_most_dangerous_russian_animals_12694.html

                      Not exactly reliable but a start for hopefully a rabbit trail. I may have to grab my russian dictionary and start searching through the Russian sites.

                    • ironbear055

                      *nod* If you want to. I’m not too concerned, really: it’s just academic curiosity for me.

                      The longer term locals here in the Texoma area tell me that the ferals in the vicinity generally run between 200 and 400+ pounds, which is enough for me to keep the truck gun *in* the van when we’re out and about, and loaded with 300gr Hornadys for just in case we have a flat or breakdown outside town where they tend to roam. I’ve had enough close calls with hogs in my life that I don’t want to be hunting for a climbable tree suddenly in the middle of trying to change a tire. 🙂

              • They don’t have to redevelop them. Domestic hogs get tusks. It was my job to catch them with a nose holder while straddling the loading chute and immobilize them while my father snipped them with long handled lopping shears. Did the same thing for putting in nose rings, though that usually was in the corner of a pen.

                • Sara the Red

                  My father told me the same thing on the way home from work yesterday. And that it only takes four generations (or less) for escaped pigs to go back to being feral.

                  Basically, they aren’t actually domesticated animals, and it is not wise to forget that…

              • Laura M

                I have heard the same thing. But is it rural legend?

                • Unfortunately it’s not just a legend. They tend to adopt European hog characteristics even though they are hybrids.

                  FWIW, fenced in hogs didn’t come about until, well, wire mesh fencing. In the early 1900s, local families were still notching the ears of their hogs and letting them roam where they would. They would only shut up some for fattening. Each family had a distinctive hog call. FWIW, the Rebel Yell had characteristics similar to a hog call, which is one of those “Hmm” things

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              I think I heard that when they were raised for lard, they could end up in the ton range.

            • Oklahoma, too. We’ve got one 800 pounder out here that’s actually got a bounty on his head because of how much he’s destroyed.

            • TRX

              Same in most of Dixie.

              They’re probably more dangerous than bears.

      • Bibliotheca Servare

        Farmer…eaten. By pig. … BACON STRIKES BACK!! Run awaaaay!

        Okay, now I feel bad…but seriously, that is just…disturbing. I knew wild hogs were nasty bastiges, but I didn’t realize “normal” pigs were dangerous aside from the danger of getting trampled. Damn. *shakes head, speechless*

    • Heh. Kevin, that’s my ‘job’ (we’ve all done everything, but tend to gravitate to do what we can do best for the crew. I get the piss taken out of me as ‘boffin’ etc:-)) Scalding isn’t simple – we us a large iron bath. The water temperature needs to pretty close to 65 C with the pig in it. I worked out the volume and temp needed at the start (which is 200 liters at 70 degrees,)The pig needs to go in warm (so as soon as it is bled). Done right, the bristles and hair just rub off. Done wrong,.. Oh. MY. Word. you’re in a world of disaster. And you can’t do it twice, and too hot and the skin cooks on.

      • Anonymous Coward

        Coming soon to Amazon … “Pig Butchering for Dummies” .

        • The Foxfire Book has a good how-to on butchering hogs. When deer became plentiful, we strung them up the same way, except you skin deer.

          Historic fluff: During the American Civil War, it took too much time to scald and scrape purloined hogs and they were skinned. “Peeled Pork” was considered an indicator of stolen hogs. Some officers endeared themselves with their men by being “unable” to notice such.

      • Which now has me questioning my memory. Since it was done exactly once in my lifetime, I don’t know if we ran them through more than once or if it was multiple hogs. Distinctly remember it was the set hair problem that squelched further attempts.

      • Laura M

        What kind of disaster, if I may inquire? There’s one dead feral hog in my WIP, and there’s definitely no hot bath available. Do you just lose all the skin?

        • Feral hogs tend to have a stronger taste than domestic, and here they are usually skinned. That strong taste brought on the following conversation with my wife:

          “If I killed a wild hog, would you cook it?”
          “If I cooked it, would you eat it?”

          Didn’t kill one. 😉

          I think hogs are scalded to preserve as much fat as possible for rendering. Given that the smell of the process usually made me nauseated (guess who had to stir it), I’d hate to imagine what it smells like to do that with fat from a wild hog.

          If they don’t have a singletree, they can cut a largish green stick, run it through the leaders on the back legs, attach a rope, and hoist. Alternate method, which was used on cows, was to make a tripod out of smallish logs, suspend the carcass from the center, and raise it by everyone pushing a little on each leg in turn.

          Really, if you have access to The Foxfire Book, it goes through it in detail. The way they scalded the hogs, they poured hot water over them.

          Depending on where your feral hog is at, be aware that in some places a considerable number carry disease. There’s Swine Brucellois, and trichinosis, just to name a couple. There’s a reason pink pork on the plate is a bad idea.

          • Kevin – check these out and see if you change your mind.

            http://honest-food.net/wild-game/wild-pig-recipes/

            I’ve had some really good wild hog in Louisiana, in chili, stews, and sausage. That said, it’s like moose: you really want the fat yearling, or at least the sow, definitely not the tough old boar in must.

          • The really large hogs down here develop a nasty taste when they get above a certain age and size began of scent/musk glands. The younger, smaller ones are vgood eating unless uoubsasmage the glands in dressing out.

          • “Given that the smell of the process usually made me nauseated (guess who had to stir it), I’d hate to imagine what it smells like to do that with fat from a wild hog.” – Kevin J. Cheek

            Just bloody awful. Trust me on that one.

            *voice of experience*

            But the meat tastes wonderful, if you marinate it long enough.

            And @whomever posted about the size of feral hogs in parts of Oklahoma, oh hell yes. They get even bigger in the High Ozarks in Arkansas, and they *are* mixed with wild boar. (Definition of razorback: feral hog/wild boar hybrid, or so I’ve been told and have read.)

            One I shot dressed out at 450 pounds, and soaked up a full cylinder of .44 magnum 240gr softpoints into the big mass of fat and gristle above the neck and shoulders. (All of them expanded and flattened out without penetrating to vitals, or flattened and glanced off of the skull.) Was flattened with a twelve gauge slug about the time I was experiencing “First you say it, then you do it.” Another dressed out at 500, and was anchored with a 250 grain Nosler from a .358 Norma Mag. Both running ahead of dogs, and… irritated by the fact.

            I was told that they weren’t the biggest ones in the area. My response was along the lines of, “Oh, crap,” only in slightly more colorful language.

          • Laura M

            Thank you kindly. Foxfire it is.

          • Some hunters trap the smaller hogs, then feed ten up for two weeks and that is supposed to make them tastier. This was in Florida, where they eat palmetto, etc. I have heard tell of it in parts of Texas.

            • It does help. Feeding out everything from hogs to turtles used to be standard. Back in the days before fencing, farmers would shut up the hogs they wanted to butcher in the fattening hog lot and feed them out.

  3. In general, urban dwellers have very little idea of just how artificial and fragile their environment is, nor of how much daily labor is required to keep the lights and water running.

    Humans have the tendency to accept what they see around them as “natural”. They see food in the grocery store and assume (at a level deeper than the rational) that it just grows there. Electricity comes out of the wall like rain comes from the sky.

    So they see ease and comfort as something that everyone should be able to have as a right. The idea of somebody’s work as being vital to their continued existence is foreign to them.

    • aacid14

      There are too many that do not realize that for something to be a true right it must be innate. You have the right to your actions but not to forcing others to provide something. From the latter mindset comes slavery, whether outright (ownership) or insidious (taxation).

      • Exactly. I have tried to get across the same point by asking what would happen if everyone chose to exercise their “right” to basic support without working for it. The usual answer is that people will work to get more than basic support–which dodges the question. The fact is that State can award to some people the privilege of basic support only so far as it is able to force others to work. Slave labor is not an optional extra for socialism, it is an inherent part of it. The leisure class, who form the backbone of any socialist movement, are insulated from understanding that by their ignorance of what goes into maintaining an industrial civilization.

    • Wonder if they’ve ever done a study as to how many people it takes to keep one metrosexual in the style they consider normal.

    • Misha, That’s one of the more insightful comments you’ve made, and your comments are usually worth reading and thinking about. Thank you.

    • In one sort of nearby city that’s still small enough to have some rural roots but large enough to have pure city folk, some neighbors complained when they found some Hispanics had a goat. Can’t have livestock in town, you know. So the cops came out and explained it to the newcomers, and they went “Oh, okay.” So when the cops left, they proceeded to butcher the goat. That didn’t sit well with the neighbors, either, and the cops had to come back out and explain that you didn’t do that in town, either.

  4. Christopher M. Chupik

    “Puppy Kicker” is lower-case the first time you use it, caps the rest of the post. Other than, very good.

    And I’d be frankly shocked if Glyer reposted it in full.

    • Wait and see, I suppose …

    • corrected, thank you.

    • Mike Glyer

      I’d be shocked if I reposted it in full, too. Trying to inflate that into an issue is just Dave’s dishonest way of blaming someone else for how he mishandled the McCarty letter.

      • Draven

        Unlike your angelic self, who has never ever ever mishandled a quote from anyone in any way that someone might find objectionable, right?

        Ok, maybe not ‘objectionable’, but at least ‘not legally actionable’.

      • Randy P.

        Always an excuse.

      • mikewrytr

        So now we have a confirmed no. Good to know.

      • Sara the Red

        Funny how it’s always “Sauce for the goose” but never for the gander with you…

      • You’ve made several mistakes here. In reverse order: That Dave mishandled the letter; That he’s blaming someone else; That he’s being dishonest in making a point about how you selectively quote people to distort their positions. Which, by the way, is dishonest.

        It’s sad. When I was but a Pre-internet Neofan, I had heard about some of the great ‘zines, Hugo winners, like File 770 and Ansible, to name two. And now, thanks to the internet, I have seen the reality, and the reality is severely disappointing. Mr. Glyer, your reputation exceeds you.

      • Nathan

        Repeating allegations of mishandling don’t make it so. What personal ox got gored with that fisk?

      • Snort. Glyer is squirming, evading, twisting. I am shocked. Next you’ll tell me there is gambling in Rick’s Casino. You claimed I was not moral for quoting in full (which you never do) when asked to do so. That’s YOUR standard, Glyer, not mine. You can’t even live up to your own standards, which is no surprise to anyone. Now suddenly it’s my ‘dishonest way’ in an attempt to spin and twist your pathetic attempt at manipulation.

        You know I remember a nasty little kid back at junior school. I’m sure we all remember one just like him. We’ll call him ‘little Pants-on-fire.’ – typical scene: Joe is the school running champ and Fred the school discus champ. Joe goes off to State champs and comes second. Fred says to one of his friends “Pity Joe didn’t win.” Little Pants runs to Joe and says “Fred says you’re a loser.” And Joe, somewhat irritated says: “He should get off his fat ass and run himself then.” Little Pants scurries back to Fred and says “Joe says you have have a fat ass,” And Fred says ‘Ah come on, you little squirt, Joe would never say that.” And Pants squeaks ‘He did, He did too. Ask Mikey. He was there. He did say fat ass.” And Mikey, too dumb to know little Pants is manipulating him and Fred and Joe, says: “Uh, yes… bu…” Fred is sensitive about being a bit large, and explodes “Who the hell does that stupid jackass think he is?” And gleeful little Pants runs to tell Joe, manipulating the two into a fight.

        Ever wonder what happened to that kid when he grew up?
        Well, there’s one of life’s little mysteries solved for you.

      • Robin Munn

        Mr. Glyer,

        I will repeat what I said on a previous thread.

        On a trivial matter of no importance, you chose to misrepresent your opponent’s position when it could gain you nothing. It is therefore quite clear what you will do when you do gain something by misrepresenting your opponents.

        You have proven yourself a liar, and I do not believe a word you say.

      • Mr. Glyer,

        I will join in this little dogpile and point out that you are, in fact, a whiner, a hypocrite, and either an incompetent reader or pathological liar.

      • The Other Sean

        Isn’t there a bridge you should be hiding under?

  5. Airboy

    I have my grandfather’s hog gun – a rolling block .25 Remington. One of my prized possessions.

    One of my buddies raises pigs for the Swine Unit at a Cow College. My tailgate & drinking group regularly roast a whole pig.

    Food animals deserve a good life and a quick death.

    • “Food animals deserve a good life and a quick death.”
      Whether they deserve it or not, that’s what I believe in giving them as best as possible.

      • Sara the Red

        True. I’ve a rooster who is just possibly Satan incarnate…but when execution time comes he will get a quick death…

        • You got one of those, too?

          • Bloody Mary wasn’t a rooster. She was an old, tough, stringy layer who did her best to remove your flesh from bone when you got near unto her eggs. But she was a darned fine chicken soup!

            Revenge is a dish best served steaming hot with a side of garlic bread.

          • Sara the Red

            I am very glad to have moved to a different location, and so he’s not my problem any longer (the chickens not having been mine, technically).

            I think my brother has taken to stepping on his head and (gently, he’s not a monster) pinning the little s**t down when he goes in to feed them. I usually contented myself with whacking him repeatedly with the feed bucket.

            His days, I hope, are numbered…

            And he was such a sweet young rooster too, for all that we were expecting to get ten hens, not nine-and-a-rooster. At some point this winter…damn.

      • Where do I sign up to be a food animal? That’s a better deal than I can get as a building engineer.

      • I was taught not to make an animal suffer if you killed it. That went for hunting, too.

    • Joe in PNG

      To quote one of my mentors, “a happy critter is a good tasting critter”.

  6. Draven

    well, 25% liberal, and then whatever portion of that is SF fans, and whatever portion of that reads… and you end up with their Incredibly Shrinking Market.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      He didn’t mention that, because because those fractions may or may not be the same across the political spectrum. Addressing that variation would’ve taken more time, and diluted the rest of the piece. A lot of the puppy kickers would be skeptical of the claim that conservatives read, and that reading conservatives like science fiction.

      a) Part of the shrinking market is that even leftist readers don’t necessarily match their tastes to what the leftist fashion is among leftists as focused on books as the puppy kickers are. (Does every conservative who likes John Ringo make a point of enjoying Tom Kratman? Do Baen fans force themselves to enjoy every book Baen brings out?)
      b) There are a lot of bizarre assumptions and magical thinking accepted as science or consensus in our culture. The flat earthers and young earthers are relatively tame and harmless.
      c) What do I know? I’m right of center, and hence must be illiterate and innumerate.

      • Sara the Red

        Heh. There was someone–I think it was here? Might have been elsewhere–in the comments who seemed to be convinced that ‘conservative’ and ‘fundamentalist Christian of the possibly-suspicious-of-the-printing-press’ variety were one and the same. I restrained myself from pointing and making duck noises anywhere but in my own head, but sadly, that attitude is disturbingly common among far too many of the left-leaning…

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Yeah, there was a Fruitcake like that posting here. IRRC, Dave booted him.

          Over in AccordingToHoyt, the idiot accused a Jewish Hun of wanting a theocracy. 😦

        • And then you get some people like me who aren’t Christians at all, or even Americans, but… 😀

          • Reality Observer

            Oh, but they know the truth – you’re only pretending.

            You’re actually a white patriarch of an “old style” Mormon with a harem, holed up somewhere in the Wasatch Range.

            Can’t fool them…

            • Sara the Red

              *cackles* Minus the harem part, I actually KNOW an Old White Guy Mormon who fits many of their boxes. He’s in my ward. And, thankfully, he is very, very much in the minority nowadays (and most of us in the ward can’t stand the man, but are nice to him because, well, Christians…)

            • Oh, but am I a rich white man, or the poor trailer trash/redneck/something-else-supposed-to-be-derogatory version? Of course they seem to be equally bad so maybe it makes no difference, but anyway. o_O

              • Well, I do have to admit the “white” part though. 🙂

                • Robin Munn

                  Move to Texas! You’ll quickly go from white to either brown or red, depending on your genes. (Me, I’m on the “red” side of that one. Never could tan, but boy, can I sunburn.)

                  • Would be mostly red. I don’t tan much. I used sunscreen rather religiously last summer, on my southwest USA roadtrip, and ended up looking like a lobster anyway because of an half an hour in direct sunlight close to midday without it, or mostly without it because I hadn’t put on new stuff since early morning, and was in fairly high altitude on the Rockies. I got stuck talking to a couple of people standing next to my (rented 🙂 ) camper van, and didn’t think to get the damn sunscreen from it.

                    Was rather painful too.

        • aacid14

          Because they are on the right side of history (TM) there is no need for them to understand what makes the other side tick.

          I had to bite my tongue at a con where they were saying how people with a different viewpoint never reasoned their way into it and there was no logic to what they thought. While they talked straight about how you had to punch down in literature. People both reason and emote themselves into their beliefs. On both sides, and mainly the latter overall.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            This weekend I was having a discussion- err, lecturing on a variety of topics that many would consider disturbing. It was a fairly rational and cold blooded analysis of whether situation x would necessarily address the potential vulnerabilities of person y. I unwisely choose a personal counter example over the general counter example to a certain argument.

            Unwisely, because the personal example was based on attitudes that I hadn’t reasoned myself into, and the subject was too unsettling for me.

            Fortunately, I was able to back track, and get back to a rational analysis of why people who are at least complicit in what may be institutional child abuse probably are not all that mentally healthy for vulnerable adults either. 🙂

            • aacid14

              It’s annoying because it is a poor answer to the question posed, namely how to understand and write an opposing viewpoint. Without understanding the reasoning and emotions that drive people to an opinion you simply mimic their sayings at best. At most, and more likely imo, you make a straw man. Even psychopaths have a reason they twirl their mustache as they place the child into the chili. And it is not always something where you just need to show them how great Mary Sue Minority is.

  7. The thing I really notice is how terrified certain SJW authors are of being on any SP list. Not because of anything the SP’s would do to them, after all, they liked them enough to want them to have an award, but because of what their own kind, the SJWs, would do to them. When you have to fear the people on your own side doing bad, career-ending things to you, you just might want to consider that you may be on the wrong side.

    • Sara the Red

      It’s sad, really. I’ve even noticed some authors I’ve read in the past–who, while SJW in their politics still told really entertaining stories–I’ve noticed have doubled down on the ‘goodthink’ in their most recent books. To the detriment of the book.

      One urban fantasy series in particular that I was fond of, I doubt I will buy any more in future, because the last book that came out had next to nothing in the way of decent plot and read as one long, rather dull politically correct screed. A pity, since prior to that point, the series was very good. Notably, that author was one of the more vocal in the past couple of years on the virtue-signaling front. I’m afraid it affected their writing badly.

      • TRX

        > doubled down

        I thought it was just me… but I’ve noticed the same thing with a couple of authors I used to like.

      • Sara, I have noticed precisely the same thing. I’m not sure if it’s a fearful ‘we have to virtue-signal harder’ or ‘we don’t have to bother to hide our colors, we’ve won’. I’m not buying their books, that’s all.

        • Sara the Red

          In the case of this author…I suspect it’s a bit of both, but really more of the former than the latter–likely this author fears being turned on and eaten by their own if they don’t virtue-signal hard enough.

          I may give this particular series ONE more chance, in the hopes of improvement–but I will read the next book before I buy it, where in the past I happily pre-ordered it.

    • Seriously – THAT! How can you want to walk away from a nom for an award like the Hugo? What is being done to these authors, that they should shrink away, cringing, from the fans who love their writing and have suggested by putting them up on the Sad Puppies 4 Suggested Slate – nosorryit’saLISTandhopetodie – Seriously, the subtle pressuring to ask for an ask-terisk must be epic. How can you, as an author, essentially say – ugh, I don’t want to be read, or backed, or acknowledged by those horrible wrong-fans?

      Makes me ever so glad to be an indy – and writing in another genre, If I were somehow picked up and lauded by a body of fans with which I am uncomfortable, say Oprah or Glenn Beck – I would have the confidence to say, “Thank you for thinking of me” and console myself by regarding the checks for hugely expanded sales of my books which would result.

    • snowcrash

      Out of curiosity, who are these authors who “fear the people on (their)own side doing bad”? Because from what I know, of the 6 people who have asked to be withdrawn, only 4 have publicly advised their reasons – one was a withdrawal from all nominations, while the rest expressly stated that they wanted to disassociate themselves from SP because of past actions and behaviour.
      If you’re conspiracy-theorying that they were so in fear that they were lying about their reasons, sure, fine – you do you. I’d just like to note that it is not consistent with what people have *expressly* stated.

      • And to try the logic filter, the putting yourself in someone else’s shoes filter, Snowcrash – would you dare to state your reasons as “I don’t want the kind of pogrom you Puppy Kickers have initiated repeatedly coming down on my head?”

        • snowcrash

          @Dave, like I said, I have no issues with conspiracy theory-ing, and speculation is the very foundation of Teh Interwebz anyway. I was just noting that the good Dr.’s speculation was not just unsupported by actual events, but in fact contradicted by them – there may be further speculation built upon this assumption, and, IMO, it’s worth noting before people start taking as TRVTH.

          BtW, @Paul Howard – regarding your final question: This is why it’s conspiracy-theory-ing – it’s one of those theories where any absence of evidence is taken as supporting proof (ie,the “that’s how deep the conspiracy goes man” / “they got to him” sort of approach).

          Your other point regarding “what’s the harm?” – you’re assuming harm, when (as per their actual words), they’re (regardless of your views on the Kerpupple) disassociating based on past actions (ie, “antics”).

          Just an aside – I personally don’t think that Alastair Reynolds has much to fear from any sort of “shun-the-unclean-one” sort of response.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Yep, it’s just the Sad Puppies paranoia at work here.

            We’re the evil ones and thus no Good Minded People want to be associated with us. [End Sarcasm]

          • Robin Munn

            Damien Walters stated on Twitter that “[John C.] Wright must be particularly bitter, as last year basically ended his pro writing career.”

            See http://monsterhunternation.com/2016/03/22/the-guardians-village-idiot-declares-another-career-ruined/ for screenshot evidence. Also note Larry’s pithy paragraph, which happens to rebut snowcrash’s point:

            It is kind of funny though, how they keep saying there is no political bias in publishing, while simultaneously declaring careers ruined because of people having the wrong politics.

            If you are curious just how lopsided this industry is, check out this link that divides professions by political persuasion. http://verdantlabs.com/politics_of_professions/ Go down to the details, hit Expand All, and then check out Publishing, and specifically Book Publishing. I don’t know about their methodology, but basically in this Manhattan based industry the number of republicans is so small that it is statistically insignificant. But there is like totally no bias in this completely paved island echo chamber, and SJW pundits would never try to cow authors into falling in line with accepted group think with muttered threats against their careers! That’s crazy talk.

            Yep. It’s crazy to think that John Wright’s professional career would be affected by his political opinions. Hy Rosen certainly hasn’t EVER mentioned Wright’s opinions in his posts. And that’s TOTALLY not what Damien Walters was referring to. Nope, we’re all a bunch of conspiracy theorists seeing what isn’t there.

            • snowcrash

              @Robin

              On one hand, Walter’s is an opinion columnist, and Hy Rosen is a poster here. I would suggest that if those were your go-to’s for @Dr Mauser’s “career-ending threats”, your sensor settings are a wee bit too sensitive.

              On the other hand, Wright’s career seems to doing OK, even in terms of pro publishing – he’s got 2 books coming out soon. But then again, they’re from that famously apolitical publisher, Tor. It’s a good thing he’s being published by them, and not someone with a clear liberal bias.

              On the gripping hand, my point still stands – the good Dr.’s claim was not just unsupported by actual events, but in fact contradicted by them.The people asking to be removed *not* saying they are concerned with some hypothetical blacklist, they are actually saying something completely different.

              If people want to speculate that this was all people lying due to some nebulous yet far-reaching EssJayDubya cabal, well, fine I guess, if a bit meh. It’s a fun enough postulation.

              • Two words: Irene Gallo.

                That is all.

              • Robin Munn

                … Hy Rosen is a poster here …

                One who is arguing the Puppy-Kicker side of the argument. Saying that he’s a poster here, without mentioning that salient detail, is utterly misleading. He’s not here to agree with the Sad Puppies, he’s here to claim that we’re all bigots and terrible people, and that the vast majority of fandom agrees with him. See also his comments on Sarah Hoyt’s post at http://accordingtohoyt.com/2016/03/19/the-gangll-know-i-died-standing-pat/ (and note her argument).

                So yes, I think it’s fair to take him as representative of the Puppy-Kicker side of things. Which does not bode well for your argument.

                As for Wright’s novels, coming out soon means those contracts were most likely signed a year or more ago, and are not particularly relevant to your current argument. It’s whether Tor gives him any more contracts that’s in question.

                As for a “nebulous yet far-reaching SJW cabal”, try that link I posted from Larry Correia’s quote:

                http://verdantlabs.com/politics_of_professions/

                Click on Publishing to expand it to Book Publishing. Note the “100 Democrats for 0 Republicans” numbers. That meant that there were fewer than 0.5% of Republicans counted in the book publishing industry, hence why the percentage rounded down to 0.

                But no, the fact that Irene Gallo, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, AND Teresa Nielsen Hayden all spoke out to condemn the puppy movement (deliberately conflating the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies in the process) carries no veiled threats of “You’ll never work in this town again.” Nope; to think so is merely amusing conspiracy theorism, which merits a patronizing pat on the head.

                Ignore the mad rush of traditionally-published authors to disassociate themselves with the Sad Puppies, which SURELY cannot be for any reason of fear. There has never been ANY reason to fear that your publishing career could be ended because you espoused the wrong politics. Nick Cole can personally testify to that fact; his book CTRL-ALT Revolt! was published on schedule, by his publisher, despite the fact that they didn’t like his political opinions. Yep, no political bias in evidence here.

                • snowcrash

                  RE: Irene Gallo – @60guilders – you’re absolutely right. I completely forgot about Ms Gallo, who like Wright, made comments that some people found incredibly offensive and reductive. Unlike Wright, she someone who was certainly on the receiving end of actions that threatened her career.

                  @Robin – As to Nick Cole, what? Srsly, what? IIRC, he’s the guy who didn’t quite understand what an editors job was, and that’s a hella problem given that he didn’t quite understand what the word “banned” meant. Hint: it’s not a publisher declining to publish your works.

                  Also Hy Rosens “side” is irrelevant – that he is just a poster is. As I said, if those were your go-to’s for “career-ending threats”, the sensor settings are a wee bit too sensitive.

                  Regarding your link – Firstly, political leanings are an awefully weak evidence of a cabal, and secondly, are Americans completely broken down to only Democrats or Republicans? I guess there are no independents, as the link there is completely silent on that.

                  With regards to Wright’s contract, compare it to what you claim happened to Cole – why did Tor not decline to publish him like S&S did with Cole? The overwhelming bias in publishing is not EsJayDubya-ism, it’s will-it-sell-ism -judgement to which differs from person to person.

                  Again, this tangent is amusing and all, but it remains a tangent – The people asking to be removed from SPIV are *not* saying they are concerned with some hypothetical blacklist, they are expressly saying something completely different.

                  • Oh, puh-leeze, snowcrash. You seriously think Irene Gallo’s career was threatened? Really?
                    You really don’t get what we’ve been saying, do you?

                  • Snowcrash once again a direct and simple question: Do you find it acceptable to label a group – particularly if that label is not true for most of them, by a term that carries social penalties? As an example of what to me would be unacceptable would be the statement ‘Women are thieves’. Some women are, but such a label for the group is unfair and inaccurate, and, if believed (or even thought possible) will lead to women not getting jobs in positions where you wouldn’t want to take a chance on a thief. Acceptable: yes or no?

                    • snowcrash

                      This is probably as far down this particular tangent as I’m interested in going, but…

                      @60guilders – Is “career-threatening” an incorrect summation of a boycott – albeit a futile one – that explicitly demanded her resignation?

                      @Dave – Firstly no. An action like that, even at the very least does nothing except fan the flames and turn up the rhetoric. As you say, if an offensive label – regardless if that label was “racist”, “neo-nazi”, or “Marxist” – applies only to a few, if any, and tarring everyone with the same brush is by any standard unacceptable. Sure it can be cathartic to go hog*-wild with the labelling, but it’s still doesn’t excuse it.

                      Secondly, given the last two questions, I’m beginning to wonder about the difference between “simple” and “simplistic”

                      *= Hah!

                    • Snowcrash -sorry about the delay, work and being sick intervened.
                      So: we agree on ‘No’
                      These questions once again are not a trap, just I don’t understand your thinking on it?
                      What would be a fair response to man who said ‘women are thieves’ from the women affected? The man in question knows it is not true, knows it is libelous and is pushing the employment of his male client, by this attack/
                      What would be fair to expect from man’s employer, considering that he sells to and employs both men and women?
                      Please could be kind enough to keep it to a line or two on each. I should be working, but I am fascinated.

                    • @snowcrash: Um, yes, actually. Boycotts don’t work on the ideologically motivated.

              • Christopher M. Chupik

                And Wright’s tenure with Tor began before he ended up in the crosshairs of the Usual Suspects. Nice try, though.

          • Robin Munn

            Whoops, my comment just now went into auto-moderation. Until it comes out, I’ll just summarize it:

            Damien Walters stated on Twitter that “[John C.] Wright must be particularly bitter, as last year basically ended his pro writing career.”

            See http://monsterhunternation.com/2016/03/22/the-guardians-village-idiot-declares-another-career-ruined/ for screenshot evidence.

            It’s crazy to think that John Wright’s professional career could be negatively affected by his political opinions. Hy Rosen certainly hasn’t EVER mentioned Wright’s opinions in his posts. And that’s TOTALLY not what Damien Walters was referring to. Nope, we’re all a bunch of conspiracy theorists seeing what isn’t there.

          • Golly. I guess we all just imagined identical hit pieces appearing in Entertainment Weekly, Popular Science, and Library Journal , all in the same week.

            All of which claimed, contrary to the available evidence that the “sad puppies” story nominations were racist sexist and homophobic.

            Reality challenged much?

          • “The long-term result will be that anyone too closely identified with the sad-rabids, anyone who benefited from this slate-mongering, anyone who did not publicly withdraw, will be indelibly tainted … Those who have been tainted will find that they have put unnecessary obstacles in their own paths. There are editors who will not want the stink that certain authors will be tracking with them. There are conventions that will not invite them to be on panels. There are awards they can never be considered for”
            -David Gerrold
            Yep, purely imaginary paranoia.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        I agree Snowcrash that nobody is saying that they are declining the nominations because they fear the Puppy Kickers.

        However, I don’t think it’s conspiracy-thinking to believe that they are lying about their reasons.

        To be blunt, we are wondering if they fear the Puppy Kickers because we see no reasonable reason for them to decline the nomination.

        We know that we aren’t the evil monsters that the Puppy Kickers claim so what’s the harm to these authors if we nominate them for Hugos?

        So the reasonable answer seems that some authors fear the reaction of the Puppy Kickers if they accept the nomination.

        Of course, let’s be reasonable Snowcrash, if you took some action because you were afraid of what somebody would do if you didn’t, would you publicly admit it?

      • You’re looking at it from the wrong side. Look at what the Puppy Kickers themselves have said in the past about boycotting authors on the list, No Awarding them, etc. What author would not take threats like that to their careers seriously? How about the hate certain nominated Fan blogs suddenly found spewed forth on their comments by Puppy Kickers before they even knew they’d been nominated? Examples are numerous, and I’d wager with enough looking, one could find some veiled comments you’ve made about the woes due to befall SP Nominees.

        Puppies didn’t engage in hate and intimidation of authors, the Kicker’s did. The SJW Message is perfectly clear. Toe the Line or we will ruin you.

        • snowcrash

          … I’d wager with enough looking, one could find some veiled comments you’ve made about the woes due to befall SP Nominees.

          Heh. As I’m sure you’ll agree, with enough looking, one would be able to find veiled comments about *anything*.

      • Well sure YOUR past actions and behaviour have given these were afterwards in the cold grueu.

        We agree on that. The solution is for you to apologise for the lies and the mass media slanders. That would go a long way towards fixing things.

        Until then, we have asterixes.

      • Gah. Touch screen typos: ” these poor authors the colld grue.”

  8. Bjorn Hasseler

    c4c

  9. hyrosen

    I live in New York City. My local Barnes & Noble has twenty bookcases, each with six shelves, each shelf thirty inches wide, devoted to science fiction and fantasy. They have an additional 28 bookcases of the same size devoted to fantasy gaming and media tie-ins, manga, and graphic novels. I didn’t check the romance section, but I believe a good portion of that will be paranormal. And the children and young adult section doesn’t segregate by genre, but science fiction and fantasy is widely represented.

    So I don’t believe the genre is in trouble. If Worldcon is in trouble (here are attendance numbers, and I don’t see a clear trend, http://www.smofinfo.com/LL/TheLongList.html), it’s most likely due to age banding; a cohort rises who is into something, but they fail to groom a replacement generation, and so the number of organizers dwindles. On the other hand, I went to Arisia in Boston this year, and saw a wide range of ages among the attendees, so a new generation may arise after all. My son, who is 15, enjoyed himself there.

    The problem with the puppies last year was the results. You had your list of goals, but what appeared on the ballot were six minus one nominations for a writer who is a virulent homophobe. I do not think that having John C. Wright win a Hugo would have helped accomplish any of your goals.

    You characterize authors as being afraid to appear on the puppy lists. That is a very self-serving and comforting view; they don’t really hate you, they’re just afraid to say they like you, but if they could, they would agree with you. Every loser believes that. You should really, really try to understand that the reason people don’t want to be associated with a puppy movement is that the result of last year’s puppy movement was to nominate a virulent homophobe over and over again. They don’t care when you say “that was the rabid puppies – we’re the sad puppies”. That’s the distinction between the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea. Last year’s nominations tainted the puppy name, possibly forever. People no more want to be on a puppy list than they would want to be on the reading list of the KKK, because having repellant people recommend you is no compliment.

    It does look like Kate Paulk did a good job assembling the SP4 list, so if there’s no hijacking of the nominations this year, the stink might start to fade. But that will take years, and that’s without snarling about SJWs and CHORFs and conspiracy theories.

    • Bjorn Hasseler

      *why* can’t people distinguish between Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies? Are they too lazy to bother or do they have a vested interest in not doing so?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      The Troll is back. 😦

    • 10 lines or 5 comments Hyrosen is your comment limit. I have limit to how well I can put up teh stupid. Your daydreams that NYC is the world and your inability to deal with mathematical reality – or denial of the same are too tedious to dismantle again.

    • Robin Munn

      Again with the “_____phobe” idiocy!

      Look, call John Wright anti-homosexual and I’d have less objection. But for the love of little green apples, QUIT IT with the redefinition of the English language to mean what it never meant! “____phobe” means being afraid of _____, which is NOT the case here (nor with most people whom you would call “homophobe”).

      “There’s glory for you!”

      • hyrosen

        Several thousand people joined Worldcon precisely to vote against you. Those people are not going to care about your dictionary arguments, redolent of “Arabs can’t be antisemites because they’re semites”.

      • Anti-homosexual is still not true. He’s loudly and unrepentently anti pervert-promiscuous-sexual license, but neither he nor anyone I know assumes that to be necessarily more true of those attracted to their own sex vs “straights.” Morlockery is up to the individual.

        Only vileprogs assume that what folks believe is genetically pre-determined by their race or sex.

        That’s what makes ’em VILE.

    • You are obsessing over Homophobia, I wonder why….

      Is that the reason the Kickers denied a Hugo to two of the hardest working female editors in the field today? Because I don’t see the connection.

      • hyrosen

        Is that really a schoolyard taunt? “You care about homophobia so you’re gay, haha!”

        The connection is that thousands of people decided that they didn’t like homophobes nominating slates and voted all the slates down.

        • Isn’t that a little like saying that pogroms happened because Christians decided that they didn’t like Jews mixing blood in the matzoh?

        • I didn’t say that. But you did find it necessary to repeat “Virulent Homophobe” several times. It’s like you are, as Susan Ivanova put it, “Speaking in Macros” – The true sign of an unthinking believer.

          So either you’re gay, but won’t say so, or you’re not, but either way, for some reason (SJW Code) it is SO much more important than anything else that that’s the only thing you can say about Wright. Which would mean you’re just parroting, since you apparently know nothing else about him, and probably feel you don’t NEED to know anything about him, because your betters have told you he’s a “Virulent Homophobe” (Meaning it’s contagious?) and therefore nothing else matters.

          But it still means that an award about Writing is being considered by your side for non-writing issues (proving the SP point, thank you.) and that you all have organized a No Award Slate, an even bigger one than anyone else in the history of the awards, and punished someone like Toni Weisskopf because she was on the same slate as Wright – proving my point. Thank you.

          • TRX

            > speaking in macros

            I don’t remember that line… I found a couple of hits on some German language newsgroup articles from 1997, and in a Google Books preview from some book with Straczynski.

            What the heck. It’s a good excuse to watch the series again…

            Ivanova: “I’ve always had a hard time getting up when it’s dark outside.”

            Sinclair: “But in space it’s always dark.”

            Ivanova: “I know.”

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      So, if the puppy name is “tainted”, would you guys love us if we rebranded?

      Of course not. You’d just accuse us of running away from the puppy name and trying to deceive people with our new brand. Really, the only thing that would truly satisfy your side would be if we all shut up and went away.

    • (Starts laughing uncontrollably)

      You hated SP when there were only one or two noms per section, and now you’re carping about “hijacking” the Hugos?
      Pull the other one, it’s got bells on it.

      Let’s be real here, Hyrosen: “because having repellant people recommend you is no compliment” is why your complaining, and that of the Nielsen-Haydens, N.K. Jemisin, Mike Glyer, et. al. does not faze us. If you liked us, we’d wonder what we did wrong.

      • hyrosen

        You can broaden SF or you can fight a culture war. You may succeed at the former. You will always lose the latter, as you did last year.

        • Given that y’all have no interest in the former, we’ll do the latter. We see no reason to do otherwise. And, frankly, given that the SP campaigns have been seeing increasing levels of success, I wouldn’t be patting myself on the back, if I were you.
          I would also point out that we are the ones who understand the Gods of the Copybook Headings.

          • hyrosen

            We understand “A Pict Song”.
            http://www.bartleby.com/364/307.html

            • Not well enough, apparently.

            • “We understand ‘A Pict Song’.” – hy

              *psst!* You guys are the Romans, not the Picts. We are the Little Folk, we.

              I swear. A Clue Fairy could die of exhaustion around you, wear her Clue x 4 down to a nub, and still not get anything worthwhile accomplished.

              • He couldn’t catch a clue if he stood in a field of wild clues during clue mating season drenched in clue pheromones.

                • Snerk.

                  Hey, I really like your user nick, Doctor. Mind if I swipe it to use as a character name at some nebulous future point?

                  “Doctor Mauser” would make such a great pseudonym for a character in a Cape Punk story, either good guy or bad guy. 🙂

                  • I have a whole series of stories on my DeviantArt account of Doctor Mauser, an Evil Mad Scientist. Actually he’s a genre-savvy fan with a bit of a kinky bent (hmmm, where’d that come from?) who, thanks to an experiment that altered the timeline, is in a world where mad science works, and all the cliche’s from the James Bond movies play out. Not knowing this caused him to run afoul of “The Code” that governs the actions of Good and Evil, and forced him to become an Evil Genius. He’s adapted to the role quite well. For a bit of the flavor, he’s a short stand-alone story. http://fav.me/d95vamd

                    As for appearing anywhere, I love being tuckerized. As long as I know about it.

                    • Cool. Bookmarked, and thanks.

                      I post my fics over at Twisting The Hellmouth and Fanfiction.net – I don’t have a Deviant Account at the moment.

                      If I do, it’ll be for a character in the semi Cape Punk and Urban Fantasy novels I’m playing with though. Don’t worry: if I do Tuckerize you, I’ll hunt you up and get an email so I can send you a complimentary copy.

        • TRX

          Carlson: “Do I hear dogs barking?”

          Fever: “I do.”

        • lose? Well loss means someone won. Look up King Pyrrus, Hyrosen. That ‘victory’ was one the most mind-numbingly self-destructively stupid exercises I’ve ever seen. And you Puppy Kickers seem set on providing example after example of that. You proved every point we’d made about your bigotry and intolerance, you destroyed your own award, you did exactly what Vox Day wanted. You made neutrals into enemies, you showed that block voting by your side was an acceptable norm, and you opened the door to No Award being exactly what will win. And all that was a ‘victory’? What did you ‘win?’ Triumphant Puppy Kicker: “They tried to stop us but we overcame them and conquered the open sewage pit they were trying to stop us rushing into. Aren’t we clever? (and up to our necks in shit and sinking)” Now, when it suddenly gets through that you’re nostril deep on tip-toes you’ll start shrieking ‘no, don’t vote no award. Don’t not buy our darlings books’ etc. What – given your ‘victory’ is likely to be the answer?

          • hyrosen

            Over comment limit. Removed. Dave

            • Nathan

              Hyrosen, last time I checked, it wasn’t the Puppies of either breed who harassed a bisexual writer until she turned down her nomination last year. And, yes, she was a Puppy nominee. So, please, spare us the dog-whistle polemic.

              • snowcrash

                @Nathan – I would suggest that it’s past time to listen to what people have actually said

                I want to make it clear I am not doing this lightly. I am not doing it because I am ashamed. I am not doing it because I was pressured by anyone either way or on any “side,” …

                I am withdrawing because this has become about something very different than great science fiction. I find my story, and by extension myself, stuck in a game of political dodge ball, where I’m both a conscripted player and also a ball.

                I would also suggest that maybe it’s time to stop using them as a ball?

                • Or it could be that they actually think the stories are good, and no one is being used for anything.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Actually, there’s been the thought that some authors were placed in Kate’s list to “prove” that Kate would automatically discard them.

                    IE Puppy Kickers thought that Kate was just pretending to accept suggestions from everybody.

                    Of course, Snowcrash believes in a “Great Sad Puppy Conspiracy”. 👿

            • “Turned into a battlefield in the culture war”

              Sorry, Hyrosen, that had already been done.

              And no matter how many times you squeal about John C. Wright, he’s still not a homophobe.
              Now, if you wish to call him a malephobe–that is, one who automatically reacts against sin and evil–then by all means do so. Or even a sinistphobe, one who automatically reacts against the left.

            • Over comment limit. I don’t have one set of rules for you, and another for others. I’m not Mike Glyer or Puppy kicker.

    • We nominate stories we love.

      You point out that you think the author is a bad, bad terrible man.

      You organise a mob to vote en masse keep him from winning the award and to punish anyone else on the ballot with him.

      But you don’t think there was any reason for the campaign to and puppy – related sadness?

      Oy.

    • Feather Blade

      Nobody cares what these authors think of the puppies.

      Everyone is bemused by the fact that these authors apparently don’t want to be nominated for “teh mostest important SF award EVAR” by people who enjoyed the authors’ works.

      That should be an explanation simple enough that even an idiot could comprehend it. I do hope that the long words weren’t too difficult for you.

    • Randy P.

      “I live in New York City.”

      It shows.

  10. The discussion of pigs made me wonder — has anyone read The Man from P.I.G. By Harry Harrison, if I am remembering right. An interstellar agent whose entire team consists of pigs? Something like that. I wonder if I still have that around somewhere…

  11. Christopher M. Chupik

    Speaking of people conflating Rabids and Sads:

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/03/28/if-you-were-a-hugo-awards-controversy-my-love/

    Note how they mention Sad Puppies, but focus on Rabids and make it sound like Beale is behind everything AND claim that Gamergate was involved with no explanation.

    • Sara the Red

      And no doubt are the same lot who, in one breath, claim that the SPs didn’t “do enough” to disassociate themselves from the RPs, and in the next go “lalalalala” to all the many, many clear statements of “The SPs are not associated with the RPs”. Truly, the derp-think is strong with the Puppy Kickers.

    • Randy P.

      Notice Snow Crash skipped this post? What a surprise.

  12. Snowcrash: A simple, straightforward yes / no answer is required to this question: Do you believe you should hold yourself to the standard you demand of others?

    • snowcrash

      Yes.

      I look forward to the follow-on, I hope it’s not the “Ahah! You terrible argumentative person you, you should do this in various other web places as well!”. I’m reasonably sure that we’ve gone through that before @Dave.

      • My reason for asking is largely curiosity. I write characters, try to understand what makes them tick so that I can get them as right as possible, and yours is quite alien to me. I think I’ve basically grasped the motivations, understanding and way of thinking of Glyer, Hyrosen, Camestros, to name a few of Puppy Kickers. You have been a little more difficult for me to get. Every now and again you seem like two separate people, to be honest.

        I read this statement of yours with fascination: “I would suggest that it’s past time to listen to what people have actually said”
        Which is why I asked in part. It’s a reasonable statement. Yet, you, for instance, have certainly argued with me (and others) about what I’ve actually said. You’ve disputed things which are mere facts at times too. I don’t mind readers doing that, although my ability to suffer the ridiculous gladly is strained at times 😉 But I do my best to be tolerant as long as there is some thought and not mere abuse because logic has failed (Hyrosen slips into this very easily). That is, after all, what most of my friends and peers in Science do. We quite enjoy it, and remain friends despite disagreeing, often as not. But why do you expect the rest of us to accept their statements as indisputable, when you do not accept ours? Are we… not as human as they are? Or is it merely that you accept statements of those you like and agree with, and not those you don’t?

        I must admit I am curious – have you ever asked the same of those on file 770 when they’re making up shit (or believing Glyer’s selective quotes) about the Sad Puppies- and if so: what was their response?

        • snowcrash

          @Dave – fair enough on those reasons, and apologies for the snark earlier.

          I would certainly hope that when I do argue with you regarding things you’ve said, it’s because I’m in good faith disagreeing with them, and not because I’m putting words in your mouth and using it as a cudgel unto others. I think that, more than anything else is what I was taking umbrage at.

          How we treat people who are perhaps…”other”? That’s a tough one. People do get stuck in their own bubbles or echo chambers, and I do think that occasionally going out and seeing what someone or somewhere with a different perspective is not just worthwhile, but an unalloyed good.

          I know you disagree, but I tend to see what Mike Glyer is doing as that – ie getting bits and pieces from various sources and putting them together. Even if you see it as being cherry-picked, there’s always a link provided for me to take a look at the actual item. They give me insight into perspectives I normally would not see – frex, you and the rest of the Mad Genii. YMOV.

          For your final question – depends. Sometimes it’s gone into extensive arguments. Most times not. It doesn’t happen very often as perhaps I’ve become familiar with some of the people there, and perhaps they with me, and with that familiarity comes at least some level of acceptance of the differing individual viewpoints.

          In any online forum, I have to wonder – how much is a particular disagreement made worse because it’s someone from the out-group making it? How much is accepted because someone from the in-group is making it?

          This has gone on for a bit longer than I thought, and has clearly gone to ramble-space. It certainly is food for thought, and one that I’ve been trying to digest for some time now. If I ever figure it out, it’ll certainly be a relief.

          • They seem to be an incurious bunch there. I have a fair idea how many people followed his links to my blog the few times he’s linked to it. I remember him prefacing the link to “The Antonelli Affair” by merely calling me an Antonelli apologist, which totally misses the point of the essay.

            I was particularly amused when the terms “David Gerrold Internet Blowhard” appeared in the search terms list (which rarely works). I’m told he wrote some sort of open letter directed at me without naming names. This of course is a failure since normally an open letter is meant to be read by the subject, but he has me blocked on Facebook for disagreeing a few years ago with one of his hateful screeds against Republicans or something.

            The Incurious Bastards at F770 refused to believe that I couldn’t read Gerrold’s facebook until he came on and confirmed that I was, indeed, blocked, and then they Memory-holed that whole part of the discussion.

            • That memory-hole is wide and deep over there. I’m actually quite disgusted, petulant, pestiferous rules-lawyers the lot of them.

            • Yes we have almost no traffic from File 770. They believe the selection Glyer hands them. He knows that full well. It’s a fig leaf. An excuse to cover his abuse.

              • I actually get a fair amount, nearly comparable to my hits from my Facebook account, (Which should give a sense of the small scale). I get a ton though merely from commenting on the occasional Day by Day strip.

  13. Civilis

    I’m going to answer these out of order, because it makes more sense.

    In any online forum, I have to wonder – how much is a particular disagreement made worse because it’s someone from the out-group making it? How much is accepted because someone from the in-group is making it?

    This will always be the case. One of the unfortunate things is that we can’t even trust ‘facts’ in a debate these days, because most facts come to us through a chain of people who (like the old telephone game) tend to hear what they want to hear, so we tend to trust ‘facts’ that agree with what we ‘know’ to be true. But it’s also an issue that a lot of the current debate is built around value differences, meaning we’re not fighting over facts. It’s natural when you come upon a debate where you’re not familiar with the subject to trust those of your ‘tribe’ whom you likely agree with on values, because part of the debate will be on values. Sometimes, I have to say “I disagree with your opinion on this subject, but since the debate is over a question of values, I can’t prove you wrong because your logic is correct given the values you seem to have.” Likewise, I respect people I disagree with who say “I think your values that lead you to that view are wrong” when it’s a values debate as opposed to “I don’t understand how you can hold that particular view”, because that recognizes where the difference is.

    How we treat people who are perhaps…”other”? That’s a tough one. People do get stuck in their own bubbles or echo chambers, and I do think that occasionally going out and seeing what someone or somewhere with a different perspective is not just worthwhile, but an unalloyed good.

    If you believe this, I think it necessarily leads to being at minimum extremely skeptical of attempts to remove anyone from the debate. It doesn’t matter if you think his opinions on this topic are vile; he could very well have an insight you hadn’t thought of, perhaps one on an unrelated topic. Counter his speech with your own. Chomsky’s politics may be abhorrent, but he’s still a highly regarded expert on languages. This is why I’m innately against calls of ‘hate speech’, ‘microaggressions’ or ‘privilege’, as all seem to be ways to shut up the other side.

    • snowcrash

      @Civilis, I think we went through this previously at Brad’s, and I think we’re still at the same impasse. Don’t confuse my statement above – the “good” is for people to occasionally wander out of their usual circles, not for people to have an absolute defense regarding their actions or speech.

      While there is honest disagreement about what they constitute, “hate speech’, ‘microaggressions’ or ‘privilege’ are all real things, and how someone chooses to address them *in their own space* is entirely their right. Free speech does not mean consequence-free speech, and it is not impinged by the individual being shown the door, or even having the door shut on them.

      Couple of caveats here – I’m not referring to government actors, as for Americans anyway, there are actual restrictions and sanctions against their actions regarding speech. Similarly, when I say consequence, I mean legal consequence – doxxing, harassment, et al remain beyond the pale. A bit obvious, but I remember a couple of people at Brad’s thinking that I was saying that those were OK, so best to clarify