Brexit: it is our fault.

To save the Puppy Kickers over at file 770 effort and time I would like to accept responsibility on behalf of the Sad Puppies (for whom I neither speak, nor represent, but these details have always been mere trivia to the Puppy Kickers) for Brexit. I figure as it is all going to be our fault anyway, regardless, I may as well accept responsibility now and save us all from the smell of burning of brain-sawdust that they’d have to fill the air with, coming up with convoluted bizarre theories as to why this particular thing is also our fault. You know, we white Mormon men (especially female ones and those who would have to pour on whitewash by the bucket every morning, let alone those poor blokes trying to fake special underwear) plan on world domination, or just untrammeled eeeeevil, and the entire grab-bag of …isms.

For the record we also caused Global Warming, Global Weirding, Oceans rising, Rains of Frogs, Reigns of Frogs, Mondays (my personal contribution), bad hair days and of course George Bush. So everything they used to blame on him is really our fault. And as that took inventing time travel, we’re also responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs (we introduced them to the AR15 and techno music and tobacco, oversized sodas, and those that didn’t die from smoking went mad and shot each other, barring those who exploded because there were no regulations to stop them drinking too much soda – except for the ancestors of the chicken who were too chicken) and everything else, including the heat death of the universe. That happened because I personally forgot to turn the lights off, when the dolphins finally left.

***Wicked me. Chris points out that I forgot we are responsible for Gamerate and fall of the Soviet Union. Hereby inserted***

Oh and we caused elevenxit, lunchxit and highteaxit and supperxit too, in case you wondered. Food is important to puppies.

Our real evil reason for causing Brexit was to liberate Scotland. I long to see the coat of arms of the newly independent Scotland, the estucheon bearing the noble charge of the deep-fried Mars bar, rampant, over a lion tremblant, supported by the two haggii (dexter and sinister hill-walking) bearing the crest of the Bagpipe (the national bird of Scotland) shriekant arising from a helm bearing either a tartan crown or a wind-blown kilt, revealant. (of course that is true. We have a time machine. Otherwise there would have been no Bush to blame, or at least beat around.)

I do hope those who lost a fortune on banking stocks had suitably laid off the bets against the sales of fainting-couches. The demand for those has been at an all-time high among politicians, bankers and various SJW activists. Honestly I do think the Sad Puppies have done remarkably well, heralding in a new dark age, not to mention the fortune I’ve made from my Essential Victorian Ladies Furnishing Company as a result. We have a special on smelling salts next week.

Actually there are a few entertaining and logical writing and publishing related things to be derived from the Brexit circus. The first and obvious one is it could all have been avoided (no matter how you see this as good or ill), if those running the EU (or publishing, for that matter) had not been so busy with their own agendas and feathering their own nests to be aware of the growing discontent. Publishing has seen a steady fall off in sales… but you’d never guess if you looked around a NY Publisher’s office. The same is true in the EU – the bureaucrats, and bankers, and various little elites did very well. In Britain the losers in the equation voted in the referendum. In publishing the losers – writers and readers voted with their wallets. The outcome, in the end, is about the same: the unthinkable (if you were at the top the benefit pyramid –where no one you knew would support such a ridiculous thing) has happened. If either group had taken action, given up a few of their perks, spread the benefits, seen the people paying their wages felt they too were winning from this it could have been different. In publishing if they’d worried more (or even at all) about providing books that were directed at pleasing the demos, instead of just themselves. If they’d listened to the concerns of people nearer to the middle – and more representative of it, they’d sell more books and not be losing hand over fist to Indy sales and other media. Instead they just said the magic words “Racism, sexism etc.”. Likewise if the EU elite had given David Cameron real concessions on the main concern of the people who voted leave – immigration, instead of ignoring those concerns, dismissing them as racism etc…
The magic is all used up. It doesn’t work any more.

Fascinatingly, in the rage about the stupid people who dared vote for leaving the EU, the modern liberal left has turned viciously on older people, and the other group who voted strongly for Brexit – the poor, blue-collar solid working class artisans whose jobs have ‘globalized’ – saving their ‘betters’ money, but making them poorer. They’ve sneered at them as stupid, racist etc. wanting to go back to the past…

Hmm. You know, the past began a microsecond ago. It seems to me that one group wants to go on with the certainty of that past, wanted that status quo, even if it certainly isn’t working for many people. It was working for them. And the same was true in publishing and in the Hugo Awards. The people voting to leave know you can’t turn the clock back, even if they might like to. But they want a different direction. For them the status quo wasn’t good, and the direction was worse, and the elite who were winning were not in the least interested in their plight. The boot is on the other foot now. Do they seriously expect those folk to be sympathetic if their foes cosy job in London and cheap plumber and easy ski-ing trip are endangered? The time to have built that goodwill, to have made sure the average bloke in rural England liked the EU, that the plumber from a small town didn’t hate the EU are past. The same is true in publishing. Treat readers who don’t match your tastes as scum… and they’ll treat you like that. That’s all very well… if you can afford it. But can they?

Well, according to people bearing the brunt of this – the blue-collar working class of the writing world – you know, those strange fellows who write, the midlist, who publishing thinks of and treats like instantly replaceable assembly-line workers: no.

I find it strange, as an old fart who still remembers when ‘socialism’ was actually about those poor workers, and treating the blue-collar workers as if they weren’t thick, second class citizens. I’ve worked among them, am friends with a lot of them, just as I am friends with a lot graduates. Here’s the thing: there are some bright people there, and many able, hard-working ones. And graduates… well there are a LOT of mediocre-follow-the-pack thinkers there (questioning established wisdom was a requirement when I was at University. Going along with it, is now). A lot of graduates work less hard and are less ingenious than a good few self-taught artisans I know. There’s also a good stock of dumb graduates, indistinguishable from the non-academic of yesteryear, except they owe a college a lot more money. Oh and they can elevate their (non)importance with sneering. The blue collar worker has been dumped for the unemployed, and minority de jour by the modern left. Oddly both in writing and in the wider field of employment, the blue collar are not supportive of either publishing or EU.

As for the elderly: the young who voted did favor the EU. Only… many less of them voted. And they all thought for themselves and not one single one followed fashion or were influenced by their peers. Hadn’t you noticed? Only old experienced people do those things.

Not.

Everyone who doesn’t die young gets older and hopefully wiser. Well, some people manage to die young at 90. Others just die immature at 90.

For me, what typified the Remain campaign… was that they had nothing to sell but the status quo (which even they knew a lot of people thought lousy), so instead they turned to fear-mongering. Much the same as the puppy-kickers in Hugos last year, with declining sales, and the same narrow little clique winning year after year, they turned to shrieking how bad the Puppies were and what evil they would bring and what (fill-in-the blank) ists they were. And we would suffer dire financial consequences, and our careers were dead… none of which happened, but Traditional Publishing continues in financial strife. I wonder if this will happen to the EU too.

The truth is, once the panic at the status quo and predictable if dismal future of the EU being disturbed, no one really knows what the future holds. Myself I’d hold up hope of reviving good things, of finding new good things, not fear of change from a dismal status quo – both in publishing and the EU. The reaction to rebellion by the former masters of the status quo –punishment and threats (partly to try and keep what they’ve got, and partly just frustrated rage at their loss) will almost certainly backfire in the worst possible way. If the EU – or publishing, or the Hugo wish to remain relevant they need to spread the rewards to those who feel excluded – even if it means less for those who had it all, up to recently. Less is better than none. Hope and rewards sell better than threats and misery – and that’s true in books too.

The other marked similarity between the EU and remain supporters and traditional publishing and their Puppy kicker supporters is… It’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault. Which is why I saved time and effort by accepting the blame for Brexit on behalf of the Puppies. The truth is the EU has failed the expectations and desires of a lot of people. Traditional publishing has done the same. Midlist traditionally published authors 30 years back made a respectable living. That is down by an order of magnitude – without correcting for inflation. When one of my self-published books doesn’t sell or is unpopular… it’s not the reader’s fault. TOM – the picture’s a link, is actually doing quite well – perhaps because it is funny and light in grim-ish times. Perhaps because the characters don’t actually blame everyone else for their problems, but resolve them. Maybe because it’s a cute cat. But _I_ am responsible for its success or failure.

The right place for the EU, publishing, the Hugo Awards to place blame and to try to fix… is with themselves.

Never seen one admit they might need to fix that.
But they surely tell other people what to fix.
Maybe they need to try fixit, instead of brexit.

116 Comments

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116 responses to “Brexit: it is our fault.

  1. William Lehman

    “If they were wise, they would share, as part of something, is better than all of nothing ” however, evidence to date, is that they are not that wise cough fifteen dollar minimum wage cough.

  2. Christopher M. Chupik

    You forgot GamerGate and the fall of the Soviet Union.

    • Oh so i did! Yes we did those too. My bad. It’s just so hard to keep track of all the bad we do. A puppy’s work is never done! I shall accept responsibility and insert them forthwith!

    • Reality Observer

      And sexist shirts!

      Seriously, though… Even DragonCon is no longer taking nominations for this year, I think. I’ll have to wait for next year to nominate David Cameron for “Best Fantasy Author.”

    • Patrick Chester

      Didn’t the progs claim Sad Puppies were created by Gamergate?

      (I guess Sad Puppies and Gamergate will have to fight over the time machine.)

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Well, they seemed to think that we enlisted GG for SP3, despite the fact that most GGs didn’t hear about the Hugo kerfuffle until after it erupted. But I guess with time machines we don’t need to worry about causality now.

      • I do remember the laws of causality being violated, but when have they ever let that stop them?

        • GG didn’t know or care that SP existed until some of the puppy kickers went ballistic blaming them for getting so many of our nominations the ballot

          (Here )

          On the other hand, I had not known about gamer-gate until said puppy kickers made those noises and now I support the GG as well as the SP.

          (here )

          Which of course would never have happened if I hadn’t gotten sucked into SP3 in the first place. So in the end, I blame Wendell.

          Those darn manatees.

          • Patrick Chester

            “…and we would’ve gotten away from it if it weren’t for you darned puppies and that manatee!” -Not Quite A Scooby Doo Ending.

            • “…and we would’ve gotten away from it if it weren’t for you darned puppies and that manatee!” Oh I love that. Along with GRRM’s versions of “You kids get off my lawn!” 🙂

      • SheSellsSeashells

        The canard in my neck of the woods was that Sad Puppies deliberately enlisted the Gators as having more experience in the arts of doxxing/trolling/stalking. Because it is totally unlikely that anybody could be interested in gaming *and* sci-fi, say all my sci-fi reading friends that I met through playing World of Warcraft.

        • Patrick Chester

          I’ve been hanging around the #gamergate hash for awhile now. I’ve noticed that critics (usually called “aGGros”) like to say #gamergate always engages in doxxing/trolling/stalking but never provide proof.

          Or they try to take one person posting something nasty on the #gamergate tag and smear all of #gamergate with it, but my how the crickets sing when I point out a person posting hatred (including death wishes and threats) towards #gamergate and ask if that applies to all aGGros?

          (Oh and when I bother to take a look a the tweets of the person the aGGros are screeching about as “proof” of the evulz of #gamergate I tend to find that they hardly post on the hashtag and their other tweets seem to be inflammatory remarks on other hashtags. IOW, a troll getting its jollies posting crap and hoping it causes pain or anger. What a shocker.)

          • You see, there is no such thing as “anti-GamerGate”: that is simply the default state of mind for any decent socially-conscious person. (Whereas GamerGate itself is an actual nefarious organization.) And since there is no “anti-GamerGate”, the bad behavior of one or two (or two hundred) people opposed to GamerGate can hardly be attributed to the rest. QED. 😜

    • Randy Wilde

      And the rise of the Soviet Union.

      • No, not blamed for the rise of the Soviet Union. You see, it’s all a matter of perspective. From the Puppy Kicker’s point of view, that was a good thing.

  3. I was stationed in and around Stuttgart, part of the then West Germany, from 1973 to 1975. Most of that time, I lived ‘on the economy,’ which means I had an apartment and didn’t live in the barracks. It was a common solution for junior enlisted men who were married.
    Germany was still rebuilding their economy, and the ONE area they could not supply was lots of unskilled labor. So, they imported them: lots of Greeks & Turks & Italians as Guest Workers (Gast-Arbeiters). I spent not much time around them; they had a big barracks at the main motorpool, so I saw them there when I had to gas up the vehicle, but not so much any other time. I was able to get a clue about how they were regarded, from a German political cartoon I was able to translate. It showed pictures of Gast-Arbeiters bringing a fat German man his food, sweeping the floor, driving his car, and in all these frames, the fat German is happy and talking about how he appreciates the foreigners. In the last frame, though, he pitches a tantrum, and screams “BUT I DON’T WANT TO SEE THEM IN MY STREETS AND HOMES!!”
    Again, this was 1974-75, pre-Common Market. So, for anyone who had eyes to see, liberalizing immigration was going to result in a LOT of people moving from a country with a poor economy to a country with a better one, and form, at least temporarily, an indigestible lump. It was going to be something the native citizens were not going to like. It seems to me, who simply saw it in action forty years ago, that compared to that reality, the rest of the advantages of EU are in the snake-oil class.
    How did THAT happen?
    And, what’s going to happen NEXT?
    And then I have to meditate on this: How am I going to fight the monster here, where I live?

    • Anachronda

      “I was stationed in and around Stuttgart, part of the then West Germany, from 1973 to 1975.”

      Howdy, neighbor! Dad was stationed at Robinson Barracks, ’75-’76.

    • That particular German attitude towards guest workers, especially the Turks, had shifted not one whit by the time I got to Augsburg in 1996. Saw plenty of protestors with placards truing to “send them all home” then too. None of the current unrest should come as the least surpirise to those with eyes to see. But the blind have been leading the blind on both sides of the pond for going on 3 generations now.

      • That’s not wrong; I was there in Germany as a kid, and on the flip side the Gastarbeiter were really, really trying to assimilate. They insisted their girls not wear the hijab except during Ramadan, and smacked the boys if they had the bad manners to be rude or swear in front of any woman. (This, I saw with my own eyes.) They honestly and really wanted to have the better life and changes they saw Germany offering their descendants.

        Some decades on though, I remember reading an article written by a fourth-generation Turkish descendant expressing disgust at the ‘newcomers’ who refused to learn the language and customs, refused to obey the laws, and then bitched about ‘not being accepted.’ The writer’s main complaint was these newcomers were undoing all the hard work they and their parents had done to be accepted as German in the land they were born in. So, perhaps there have been some shifts in attitude, but on that one I can’t say for sure due to it being a thing I read.

        • “Some decades on though, I remember reading an article written by a fourth-generation Turkish descendant expressing disgust at the ‘newcomers’ who refused to learn the language and customs, refused to obey the laws, and then bitched about ‘not being accepted.’ The writer’s main complaint was these newcomers were undoing all the hard work they and their parents had done to be accepted as German in the land they were born in. ”
          This. I think there is a lot of this happening with INTELLIGENT folk. Unfortunately a lot of people just don’t think it through.

          • Four generations ago the average Muslim was probably uneducated, but far from stupid or lacking in common sense. Sadly, that may no longer be the case. For in the last few generations the nastiest, most fanatical Muslims, the ibn Saud clan, became fabulously wealthy. They have (ab)used this wealth to open schools and mosque to teach their brand of Islam. This may make today’s Muslims more resistant to assimilation.

          • Alan

            Yep, assimilation takes a couple of generations on average, depending on how far apart the cultures are to begin with. Rational immigration policies would be based on this, plus the consideration of what percentage of the resident population can be unassimilated without unduly burdening your host culture and economy. Too obvious, I suppose, for our intellectuals to think about.

            • Indeed – immigration and assimilation/accomdation can work (history is full of examples) but it always requires 1)willingness 2)time 3)relatively small numbers.

  4. “To save the Puppy Kickers over at file 770 effort and time I would like to accept responsibility on behalf of the Sad Puppies… for Brexit.”

    Well, to be candid it -is- all our fault. The Brexit campaign is Sad Puppies writ large. We’re the ones kicking over the traces, and refusing to pull TOR’s little red wagon any more. Britain has a majority tired of taking shit from Brussels. Shocking!

    And isn’t it funny how the response in certain circles to both movements has been -identical-, almost as if read from a playbook?

    To wit: https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/looks-like-brexit-won/
    “Right showed they can win a vote by using racist fearmongering about immigration against a backdrop of service cuts and economic insecurity. That is scary but sadly not news.”

    Yep, it’s all down to racism and hating the [insert visible minority here] people. Just like Sad Puppies, which I’m told is all down to hating NK Jemsin because she’s not white, she’s a woman, and dares to write science fiction. Because Sad Puppies only read white men. Yeah, baby!

    I proposed a thought experiment, that it would support their racism view if they could find a bunch of violence committed by white mobs against [insert visible minority here], so far all I’ve got back is a couple of dudes accusing me of “mendacity” for daring to ask the question.

    In Turkey of course they were busy shooting at gay pride marchers, nobody wanted to talk about that very much, oddly enough.

    Forward, Sad Puppies! On to victory!

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Someone should point out to all the people screaming “racism” the numbers of Sikhs who voted for Leave.

      • Oh, they were all deceived by the eeeeevile demagogues and their racist hatey hate. You can’t expect much from those non-white people after all, they have to be protected from the evil, sliver tonged White Man!

        Wait, what…?!

      • Do we have numbers on that?

      • Chris you seem to be making the mistake of equating a campaign using racism to get a marginal advantage in an election with the notion that everyone who voted one way are racist. I don’t think many of my friends, family and people who I grew up with are particularly racist and I know many people who voted Leave for primarily leftwing reasons (and feel free to read my earlier Brexit post to see my own ambivalence about staying in).

        None of that negates the racist fearmongering that parts of the Leave campaign used. They did exploit immigration fears and they did pretend that issues around reduce health services were due to immigration rather than austerity cuts from Conservatives.

        The Leave campaign won the vote by a decisive margin but given the difference we are looking at really only 650 thousand votes needing to be swung one way or the other to shift the vote from Leave to Remain. It is in that context that the racist fearmongering of Farage and his enablers in Boris Johnson’s camp is a major part of the equation.

        As for some startling revolution against the elites – just look at what the actual power shift is: one upper-class snob is being ousted by his former clubmate.

        • Nice recovery, Camestros! Too bad the Interwebz remembers what you actually said, with the RAAAACIST and stuff. You boyz haven’t shut up about it since Friday.

          • Correct – what I *ACTUALLY* said not some half-baked version of it. Calling UKIP and Farage racists is not the same as saying everybody who voted Leave is a racist, no matter how often you try to pretend that it is. Note that I was saying there were valid reasons to consider Leave long before the actual vote – that STILL doesn’t mean the Leave campaign wasn’t heavily tainted by xenophobia (as well as some pretty appalling lies that Johnson et al and now rapidly back-pedaling on).

            • I posted what you actually said above. It’s fairly disgusting, to be frank. That’s why I’ve spent days trying to get you to admit you’re full of shit, and the racism is all in your head.

              You want hate? Look at Turkey.

              • I don’t want hate and frankly trying to excuse racism because somewhere else is worse not only makes little logical sense, it makes very little ethical sense. What you are doing and what various apologist for Farage are doing is trying to use ordinary voters as a kind of rhetorical shield i.e. that people somehow aren’t allowed to point out the racism of politicians or political parties because by some kind of magic that means anybody who may have voted for them is somehow psychically tainted. Sorry but I don’t buy that. Pointing out that people have been lied to is not the same as saying voters are stupid.

                • Farley

                  Let us pretend not to notice the false equating of real concerns over immigration issues with racism. Because one cannot have concerns over real immigration issues without automatically being racist …

        • Camestros – could we perhaps balance alleged racist fearmongering against a known ‘project fear’? Many of the remain voters were not in love with the EU – but were afraid of the supposed consequences of leaving. I would love to see a ‘want to remain because the EU is better for me,’ Want to remain because the EU isn’t necessarily better for me but is better for everyone on balance, ‘voted to remain because I am terrified of the consequences’. When you consider the huge advertising budget and ‘great and good’ push on the latter, I think that must have been a high number – or there really wasn’t anything positive to say about the EU.

          That said: instead of telling us what is wrong with us, why don’t you tell us what is wrong with your side? Plainly they haven’t – by your own admission – stopped or even lessened xenophobia. In fact, under your favored side’s leadership it has grown. So what should you (not other people, other political parties, but you and yours) be doing and changing to deal with this? Not more of the same – because that is making it worse. Special Laws? Fail. Indoctrination? Fail. Intimidation? Fail.Segregation (safe spaces etc.) Fail… You’re losing the hearts and minds war. And actually, it’s not a war I want lost, because just like excluding 74% of the readers and writers from sf, it doesn’t just hurt you.

          Australia is not a xenophobic country – but yet the cities have grown more xenophobic, visibly, since I got here. Yet, living in what is a ‘conservative’ rural area, probably the most beloved woman is a 75 year old from the Philippines. Two of our councilors are openly gay (2 out of 9 IIRC) I’m a darker-than-average foreigner because of my genetic heritage. Yet we had more than a hundred people – about 15% of the total population, take off work so they could be there for us at our Australian Citizenship Ceremony. What are we doing right here, that you and yours are doing wrong?

          • Robin Munn

            What are we doing right here, that you and yours are doing wrong?

            Since Camestros won’t answer that, I’ll answer for him. What you’re doing right is treating everyone like individuals, where their racial and cultural heritage is just a small part of who they are, and how they treat others is far more important. What the leftists are doing wrong is treating everyone primarily as members of a group (usually a racial group, sometimes a sexual-orientation group), where that group membership (and whether the group is considered “oppressed” or “oppressing”) is the most important thing to know about them, and their individual behavior comes a distant second.

            You know what? Treating people as if their behavior, not their skin color, is the most important thing about them… turns out to reduce racism! Who’d a thunk it?!?

          • //Camestros – could we perhaps balance alleged racist fearmongering against a known ‘project fear’? //

            That is a good point and the obvious spin and fear mongering all round made the whole campaign more toxic. However, there is a qualitative difference in the impact on ordinary people – the racism emboldened that small but vocal nasty element in British society for example. There certainly does seemed to be increased harassment and verbal abuse of certain communities in the aftermath of the vote.

            The term ‘low information voter’ is sometimes used in a derogatory fashion but the referendum campaigns both did poorly on spelling out the implications. Until fairly late in the process I was unaware of the potential impact on the Northern Ireland peace-agreement for example.

            //That said: instead of telling us what is wrong with us, why don’t you tell us what is wrong with your side? Plainly they haven’t – by your own admission – stopped or even lessened xenophobia//

            To pin it on one thing I’d say repeatedly losing the argument on tax cuts versus the consequent social & economic inequality. Places in the UK were stronger regional or city government had made more inroads on these issues were less inclined to vote Leave (not solved them obviously but at least drawn the connection). Whereas demographically similar places (and classic Labour heartland) which had just slipped further & further behind voted for Leave. In the Northwest of England examples included Liverpool voting strongly for Remain but Wigan (1/2 an hour down the road) voting strongly for Leave. While there is an obvious massive failing on the side of the Conservative Party in terms of the whole process, there is undoubtedly a failing by Labour as well.

            “Australia is not a xenophobic country – but yet the cities have grown more xenophobic, visibly, since I got here. Yet, living in what is a ‘conservative’ rural area, probably the most beloved woman is a 75 year old from the Philippines.”

            I love Australia and Australians but I think it really has its own xenophobic streak. But what you say doesn’t surprise me – and it fits my personal experience as well.

            There is a current of xenophobia in Australia that grants exemptions to people known personally. 10+ years ago the big immigration panic in Oz was ‘Asians’, on the basis of which Pauline Hanson and her One Nation Party started gaining ground. I knew/know people who apparently believed every word of it but…if you asked them about a specific person, a colleague, a neighbour, a shopkeeper or even a TV celebrity (e.g. Anh Do) then those people were naturally exempt. I see the same thing with panics about Muslims now (both in Oz and UK) – at a general, collective level one kind of response but at a personal level a different one.

            Fear, economic insecurity, all feed into that, I think.

            • I was going to post a certain clip from Gone With The Wind, but:

              1. It might strain blog policies.
              2. My givadamn’s busted.

              Because frankly your faction is going to scream “racist!” at anything, so why should any of us bother arguing that’s it’s not so? You’re not going to believe us and we no longer think you’re faction’s opinion is worth the effort.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                But what if I think he and his British leftwing family are objectively white supremacist?

            • I think what you’re saying is ‘tax and spend?’ Any records of medium to long term success with that altering the GINI co-efficient? Besides Venezuela that is ;-/. Social and economic disparity have not exactly been either a left or right wing success. Of course what has to be considered is the one side was actually supposedly trying – and failing. The other wasn’t – and failing. An idle point from book research – the historical time at which the Italian peasantry’s income rose to close the vast income gap between rich and poor was just after the black death – which is clue as to what the differential needs to close (and no, I don’t mean the black death). I have considerably more radical ideas than yours – but I’ll put them in a book rather.

              I think once again (referring to Australia Pauline Hansen etc) you are confusing causation and correlation, let alone assuming there is one. I suspect you’re being blinded by the peculiar racism and chauvinism typical of the left in the US – which I hoped would less common here. Ah frail hopes… Here is another example which I hope will clarify things: There is a foreigner on the island, who is reasonably well known, but broadly (and to a large extent, unfairly) disliked and distrusted. I get on well with the individual in question, but I myself am a foreigner learning to be Australian. “Aha,” thinks Camestros “Those stupid rural bigots. I knew it. They irrationally and hate and discriminate.” And fondly imagines a grossly abused black transvestite, or possibly a poor Muslim woman struggling with English…

              The individual in question is foreign. But he’s male, white, wealthy, left wing, new age, Harvard PhD in Psychology, American. It is true about the struggling with English part (as many Americans do. I think it is the lack of U) And our sense of humour he finds difficult.

              So why then do the folk around here prefer the brown, foreign looking woman who still speaks broken English and very little education, to him? Why do they cross the road to avoid talking him but a trip to the Island shop I could walk the length of in less than a minute take me 45 minutes to buy a liter of milk (because everyone stops to chat)?

              If you haven’t got it already, it’s that we are not actually all poor little brown people who need looking after, who are inferior and unable to think and act, as is the chauvinist and racist common left wing assumption (and yes. Many of us are intelligent enough and amoral enough to game that.) There are some of us ‘foreigners’ who are good, bad, stupid etc… but you find ALL of the ones who ‘know’ and are known and liked by these ‘racist’ Australians have agency. Have reached out, have tried to understand be understood by Australians, have done their best to learn and to fit in to the society they have found shelter in. On the other hand the American expects the rather benighted locals to leave their Stygian darkness and gratefully absorb his American superiority. He expects them to change around him. It doesn’t go down very well.

              And before you tell me us migrants shouldn’t have to give up our culture for Australia’s… If you believe that, your skill at human psychology is at the level of my American friend (What on earth do they teach them at Harvard? First him, then ‘Baldrick’ Quin). The harder I try to fit in, to be Australian, the more accepted I am and the more respect – and curiosity – my original culture attracts. The opposite, sadly, is true too.

              • steveH

                Dave’s American, well, jerk, is represented here (in Minnesota, for this example), not just outside the U.S.

                Here, we just refer to them as being “from the Cities”. In our case, they’ll be gone after the weekend, and we’ll just keep on getting along with our neighbors as before.

                They do sometimes leave some of their cash behind, so it’s not a complete loss.

  5. Ah! So it is the Puppies who are responsible for the Powdery Mildew on my roses this year! Bad Puppies, bad bad.

    One of the books I’ve been reading about Russia prior to 1800 pointed out that so long as the Grand Prince or Tsar kept the bad guys away, the majority of the people did not care who or what he, she, or it was or how they governed. That was between G-d and the Tsar, and both were far away. BUT, if the ruler could not keep the Mongols/Germans/Tatars/Poles at bay, then a lot of people got unhappy and started to kick back against laws and taxes. A growing number of people in Britain and Europe seem to be thinking that the EU’s Grand Princes have not kept their people safe, for several definitions of safe.

    • The trappings and labels change; the politics don’t.

      And given that Powdery Mildew is a disaster of global proportions, surely it was Brexit to blame…

      Stop that! BAD Puppy! no lifting your leg on a Continent, er, Publisher who is bigger than you are!! here’s a treat. 😉

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  7. Ah, yes – when you don’t have a substantive argument, or rationally discuss the matter – kick over the table and scream that your opponents are racist, stupid, bitter clingers.

    Works like a charm, until it doesn’t.

    • The part I like is when somebody provides a reasoned argument, and they just keep screaming RAAAACIST!!!!!!1!, like that was all they needed to do.

      In a situation like that, one cannot make common cause. Any effort to find a compromise is seen as weakness. Therefore one can only defeat them, and drive them forth into the wilderness to starve.

      Please see Hugo Awards 2015 for elucidation. 2016 is more the French Revolution, when the loony radicals take over and burn everything down.

      Hilariously, even the Rabid Puppies are not the racist/bigot/homophobes these Lefty cretins keep screaming about. They seem more the gloves-on-the-ice type, where the SJWs screamed for war and the Rabids said “Okay then.”

      So now we have the Puppy Civil War. Whee. Looking forward to the Hugos being a series of victories for Noah Ward the next few years. I find that preferable to the previous situation.

      • Micha Elyi

        …they just keep screaming RAAAACIST!!!!!!1!, like that was all they needed to do.
        –thephantom182

        Magical incantations from those trapped by magical thinking,
        that’s all their cries of “racist!” were.

        • Alan

          As observed by others, “Racist” has been so overused it no longer means anything. Lost its magic, it has.

    • Patrick Chester

      To be fair it used to. People would get shocked and step back, wondering if they’d accidentally done something to offend someone.

      Now people are starting to realize that it wasn’t due to any racism, deliberate or accidental, on their part. They know their accusers are screeching racism without evidence as a method of shutting someone up.

  8. The Other Sean

    Would you care to take credit for the Zika virus, the 2008 economic crisis, chaos in Syria, AIDS, the Orlando attack, and the extinction of the passenger pigeon, too?

    • sabrinachase

      I’m pretty sure those are the Illuminati guys. And you forgot the designated hitter rule. We, on the other hand, secretly created Comic Sans in an underground laboratory in Switzerland.

      All of us–the Mole People, the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, etc. are hunting the evil bastards that came up with robocalls and telephone menu options, though.

      • Holly

        But the Illuminati are a buch of teens and pre-teens whose goal is to out-silly the existing conspiracy theories! In between washing the dishes, cleaning chicken coops, baby sitting, algebra, practicing music, summer camps, and whatever else their respective parents come up with for them to do. I doubt they’re responsible for 2008 because the oldest of the bunch was just eight then and he hadn’t even met the others!

        Best summer entertainment they’ve come up with for themselves yet.

        • Farley

          But the Illuminati are a bunch of teens and pre-teens whose goal is to out-silly the existing conspiracy theories!

          When they get older without getting more mature they become Discordians.

      • All of us–the Mole People, the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, etc. are hunting the evil bastards that came up with robocalls and telephone menu options, though.

        When we[1] find the part(-ies,-y) (ir)responsible for auto-playing audio and video, we’re gonna get seriously mythological on them. They will envy the mild fate of Sisyphus.

        [1] Minotaur-iods, centaurs, bahfeemi, manticores, griffons, etc.

  9. Sad Puppies is behind the cancellation of Lou Grant! (that’s a very old inside joke, for Bloom County fans.)

  10. I think a Reign of Frogs would be a significant step up from the current Reign of Morons.

  11. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Is it possible that Sad Puppies has simply been lead astray by all the potential white supremacist trolls, like Mike Glyer, posting here?

  12. Sarah. you forgot to blame us for several OTHER things:

    1. The Heartbreak of Psoriasis

    2. Waxy Yellow Buildup

    3. Painful Rectal Itch, and, of course. . .

    4. The Cancellation of “Firefly”.

    Evil, we puppies are. . .

  13. Jordan S. Bassior

    … and now other European countries are defying the EU, sensing weakness from above. I think it may fall apart, the more so because of Eurocratic arroagance.

    Heck, even if they’d gotten their army, how much appetite would its soldiers have had for invading and garrisoning secessionist countries? They don’t have any patriotism to motivate them, and they’d be suffering drizzles of casualties. And committing atrocities in countries which until recently might be freely visited, in which people in the countries supplying the troops would have friends. I think that the EU would have fallen apart the first time it tried this.

  14. Well said, and all of the frothing at the mouth is because those ‘uneducated morons’ didn’t listen to their betters (insert MSM/politicians) who ‘know’ what is good for the masses… Gee, that IS us, those ‘badfans’ and puppies… Guess we ARE guilty. I ‘do’ want to discuss the whole Monday thing with you… LOL

  15. When faced with a setback, there are two strategies:

    1. Identify the parts that are not within your power and blame circumstances. This works great for feeling better in the short run. In the long run, it makes you a victim of circumstances. and robs you of agency.

    2. Identify the parts that are within your power, accept responsibility (even if as “not your fault, still your problem”), and fix it. In the short run, this is extra work, extra stress, and generally a pain in a certain body part. In the long run, it works better.

    I think a lot of our would be lords and masters prefer the first strategy. I’m not even sure I’m opposed to that. In general, I prefer enemies that aren’t all that wise.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Yeah, but that is your responsibility privilege speaking.

    • Long term thinking again ;-/. You know that’s against the law. Seriously, long term thinking requires being able to put oneself in the shoes of others and thinking like them, to work out possible consequences and work out scenarios and possible variations, to plan around those and have fall-back plans… and to constantly re-evaluate. No. Much easier just to blame us.

      If they weren’t stupid, would they be foes?

      • The people in publishing? Maybe not. The politicians that think people are incompetent to run their own affairs? I think they’d be worse if they were smarter.

  16. adventuresfantastic

    c4c

  17. Instead they just said the magic words “Racism, sexism etc.” […] The magic is all used up. It doesn’t work any more.

    Aye, but it will take some of the pigeons quite a long time to stop pecking at the button even though no food pellets are coming out anymore, as it were.

  18. Laura M

    This is off topic, but I just finished Changeling’s Island last night. What an amazing and perfect book. Wow. Talk about human wave. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  19. Randy Wilde

    Mondays (my personal contribution)

    Damn you, Freer!

  20. Pingback: Think first | madgeniusclub

  21. Luke

    I’m responsible for English favoring self-determination?

    I’m not quite sure how I did it without a time machine, but I can dig it.

  22. Last In Space

    “… (questioning established wisdom was a requirement when I was at University. Going along with it, is now)”

    Y, when I went to college (about 4 1/2 decades ago now), questioning established wisdom was called “thinking.” Now it’s called “being stupid.” The really sad irony is that’s it’s the idiots of my generation who have “educated” the idiots of this one. Where my contemporaries got the silliness they have passed on, I have no clue. Certainly no one who taught me thought like that.

  23. Pingback: Innocents Abroad | According To Hoyt

  24. Joe in PNG

    I thought it was all Vox Day’s fault?

  25. John R. Ellis

    I see now they’ve started doing that weird thing SJWs do where they dimly sense their previous tactic isn’t working, so they pretend to backtrack…then do the EXACT SAME TACTIC again, phrased slightly differently.

    i.e.: “Okay, okay. It’s true that not everyone who voted for the Brexit is a racist. But it -is- true that every racist voted for the Brexit! Hmmph!”

    😛