Nail Meet Hammer

Once again, Sarah’s managed to hit the nail squarely on the head with her post about having mental and physical places to escape to. In the process it reminded me of something rather important.

The short, short version of it is this:

What class of men would you expect to be most preoccupied with, and most hostile to, the idea of escape?… Jailers.

C. S. Lewis, quoting a conversation with J. R. R. Tolkien

Considering that those in the publishing establishment hold the same general principles as those who did their best to turn entire nations into prisons, it stops being surprising that there’s been an ongoing campaign to eliminate escapism from fiction. Yes, I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

So, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of escapism. It’s when you lose track of which world your feet are in that things get dicey, and since writers have a tendency to experience the worlds they write about rather more vividly than, say, watching a movie or reading a book, the risk of losing track of what’s real isn’t exactly non-existent.

That said, trying to remove every means by which anyone, especially children, can mentally escape an untenable or even unpleasant situation is bloody abusive – and no, I’m not going to be persuaded otherwise. This site has a ton of posts with someone ranting about the ghastly, dreary politically-correct angst-fests favored by the alleged educational establishment, many of them pointing out that subjecting children who suffer that kind of crapsack life to a diet of fiction exclusively featuring similar crapsack lives does not give them fictional people they can identify with. It takes away any hope they have that they can get the hell out of their shitty circumstances.

The same applies to adult fiction, just not to quite the same extent because most adults have managed to pick up some extra coping skills along the way.

But then, the point is to “teach” the young that their shitty situation can only be changed by the Benevolent Overlords of the government, isn’t it? Even when said wannabe Benevolent Overlords are utterly incompetent and wouldn’t recognize someone else’s shit if you threw it at them. It’s all about quashing even the idea that it’s possible to escape, because “culture” is forever and authority knows best, and Big Brother is watching you, Comrade.

I rather doubt that this is a conscious decision on the part of those who push this kind of crap, mostly because said pushers lack the intelligence to do anything this devious. They seem to be more the type to proudly display their hammer-and-sickle armbands and spout the Party Line without letting anything resembling an original thought so much as think about tiptoeing through the furthest reaches of their mind.

That they’re mindless puppets of something trying to destroy the only cultures that have managed to objectively improve human life in who knows how many thousands of years does not mean they’re less dangerous: the misguided idealist is in many ways as dangerous as the cynical bastard pulling the strings in the background, and tends to be more numerous so, gee, the bastard has a lot of really convenient cannon fodder. The sad fact is that modern Western cultures derived from the mix of what’s often derisively called WASPs are the only cultures that have managed to significantly improve human longevity (mass production of soap in the 1800s was probably the biggest single boost to expected lifespans) and reduce suffering from preventable illness. That every other culture in the world has benefited from the massive collection of advances known as the Industrial Revolution is usually referred to as “Imperialism”. And yet these fools blindly follow the lead of more fools who ultimately are bowing to someone who would rather reign in Hell than be a nonentity in Heaven.

Heck, more than a few of them would rather be king in their own little hell than be a nonentity in Heaven even if they’d be healthier, happier, and wealthier in Heaven. How do I know this? It’s because they’re so busy destroying their own nests so that nobody else can get anything worthwhile out of them – that alone is enough to be sure that if they can’t get what they want, they’re not about to let anyone else benefit. That they’re rather be suffering as long as everyone else around them is suffering more.

Well, screw them and the leaky raft they came in on. Some of us have matured to the point where we don’t destroy the toys so nobody else can play with them. Now all we need is to deal with these overgrown children.

45 comments

  1. “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    “This is known as “bad luck.”

    Robert A. Heinlein

    1. All too true, alas. It’s particularly sad when you see otherwise intelligent people doing their best to drive everyone else back to the crab pot.

  2. I don’t think there’s a mastermind sort of thing– I do think there’s an alliance of folks who find various aspects of civilization inconvenient and wish to remove it.

    Predators, in a word.

    Better informed folks than I have made strong arguments about a lot of the “educating” junk looking exactly the same as open grooming of victims.

    1. I suspect you’re right, at least in the sense that those folks fail to realize that removing the bits they don’t like will end up destroying the bits they do. But hey, as long as they get what they want, they don’t care, and if things go bad it won’t be their fault (because nothing is their fault).

      And yes, they are grooming their victims and turning generations of kids into sociopaths at best.

      1. I am now of the opinion that most American schools are purposefully damaging children, from the moment they walk in as kinder-gardeners through college. Teachers are bungling teaching kids to read and do maths, not teaching history, civics, logic, science … all of that. But the worst thing is brainwashing the minority kids to believe that they can never get ahead because of white kids — and destroying the morale of the white kids.

        1. Yes. Not to mention “teaching” all of them that their so-called superiors are the only source of improvement they’ll ever see.

          I rather doubt the teachers are at fault, though. They’re mostly the product of the previous generation doing the same thing to them.

      2. “…turning generations of kids into sociopaths at best.”

        I have long thought that this was perhaps the single most important driver of spree shootings. We’ve had easy availability of guns for over a century, but these random spree shootings have only been going on for the last twenty or so years. What changed? It wasn’t the guns, so it must have been the shooters. Something or someone is training kids to be murderous psychopaths.

        1. At least three possible factors. Drugs, culture, and news media influenced copy cats.

          Culture is the teaching and official published fiction media.

          And there really does seem to be a certain amount of copycat effect.

          But drugs are probably also an issue. Not simply ritalin, etc. Modern street pot, and c 2000 street pot are not necessarily the same as 1960s street pot.

          The shooter rate appears to be lower for functioning, intact families with more traditional religious values.

        2. I think the sociopath part is a major aspect, but there’s one other change– fewer folks who aren’t planning mayhem have access to effective means of stopping an attack.

          Attempted spree shootings where there is someone armed and able to respond promptly average just slightly above whatever number is required to qualify as a shooting– if it’s 4 dead, the number will be 4.N, etc.–while those stopped by police are much higher.
          Because there are a lot of attempted spree shootings where the shooter may only fire once or twice before they’re getting effective resistance, and those never make the mass murder counts.

          It’s hard to sort out basic specific murders (which tend to be one to three victims) for statistical evaluation, but the studies I’ve seen usually place the spree killings that are opposed by armed civilians at 2.-less-than-5.

          This site has a collection of legal concealed carry stories collected, for an idea of how hard it can be to figure out if they should be included or not:
          https://crimeresearch.org/tag/concealed-handguns-stopped-mass-public-shooting/
          It’s an entire tag– he updates the post every time someone sends him a new one– top left article should be the newest list.

    2. There was a teacher openly lamenting that online teaching meant that parents could hear what he told their children about sex.

      1. Several of them.

        Which should be triggering sex abuse investigations, STAT– that’s one of the classic warning signs of grooming for abuse.

  3. The only thing that will make the slightest difference to the overgrown children is a good strapping out behind the woodshed. They’ve never known discipline (either of the self or imposed from without), why do we expect them to behave other than as spoiled toddlers?

    1. Exactly. Although I honestly suspect it would need to go to the level of spanking with an axe to be effective. When the rot goes too deep, the cure has to be equally drastic, unfortunately.

    2. The ones I want to spank without using a proper iron skillet or an axe…I think I would wear my hand out after a certain point. Not to say that it wouldn’t be fun for a while…

      1. There is that… At some point the effort/outcome equation is going to tilt in favor of the axe, because you know some of them will never learn without a proper fatal beating (whoops, Rowan Atkinson slipped through).

  4. Without hope, there is no point in living.

    Our school district is pushing “inclusiveness” and “alternative lifestyles” more every year. One of the books that was distributed to 5th grade (my wife’s class) is about a boy who’s going to be best man at his Dad’s gay wedding. I think last year, or maybe the year before, the district sent out a book about a kid questioning his sexuality. My wife refuses to put either book out as she doesn’t think they’re appropriate for the grade level. And I agree. That doesn’t seem like something the school should be addressing, but rather let the parents/family decide when to address that.

    1. 0.o

      Good on your wife.

      Also, suddenly even gladder we homeschool. Our daughter is still at the “look at boys and giggle” stage of relationships.

    2. Fifth grade??? That’s the kind of content that goes with the teens. It shouldn’t start showing up until the kids are 13 at minimum. 14 or 15 is better – that’s when they’re more likely to be able to discuss that kind of content with anything resembling sense (not that it’s likely at all – from my rather vague recollection, it’s not until 16 or later that the whole “ooo! they’re talking about SEX!!!!!” thing starts to go away).

      And yes. Without hope, there is nothing. That’s why despair is considered one of the deadly sins, after all – once it gets hold it’s too easy to believe you’re doing everyone a favor by removing yourself from their lives. (Been there, fought it off. Too damn stubborn to quit).

      1. *grimace*
        When our science teacher was called out for an emergency (he was the last ditch ambulance driver) the class full of 14 year olds had multiple people suggest writing porn scripts.

        Seriously screwed up social groups, there, not entirely because of the mandate for sex ed every single year from Jr. high on.

  5. > derisively called WASPs are the only cultures that have managed to significantly improve human longevity

    I was looking up ‘game shows’ recently (don’t ask…) and saw this on Listverse:

    –snip–
    Who Wants To Be a Millionaire is notable for its “lifelines,” which contestants can use to seek help with a particularly tricky question. Although the lifelines have evolved somewhat throughout the run of the series, two of the common choices were “phone-a-friend” and “ask the audience.” …

    In “ask the audience,” the audience is prompted to provide their answer to the question, usually leaving the contestant with a clear majority choice. In the American version of the show, this is typically the correct answer. However, audiences in international renditions of the show can be quite fickle, instead choosing to troll the contestant and provide the wrong answer intentionally. This has been observed in the French version, and especially in the Russian version.
    –/snip–

    “There’s no escape from the crab bucket…”

    1. That whole “ask the audience” example says so much about the basic decency of the American culture. It’s pretty obvious that most Americans don’t even think to troll the contestant. That French and Russians do, well… both have had their share of horrifically sucky alleged leaders.

      1. I think Americans would cheerfully troll their fellow Americans…

        …when it doesn’t matter. When it matters-we might be sarcastic, but we step up.

        Other places, all stepping up does is put a target on you.

        1. Pretty much, yeah. It shows in the American sense of humor – I haven’t seen much in the form of the deadpan sardonic humor that brits do so well, or the rather darker versions Australians often like. ‘Merkins tend to be much more straighforward, as a rule – the average American would rather be in your face if they wanted you dead, not stab you in the back.

          Aussies and a lot of brits? If they’re being polite, watch out.

            1. Ah, that explains it. Americans certainly seem to me to be more driven than Australians – the Aussie perspective is pretty much summed up by “Work hard, play hard, have a beer with your mates.”

              1. According to my friends that have been there, this is where American males excel when dealing with Australian girls. Because most Australian men are interested in games and beer than girls.

        2. …when it doesn’t matter. When it matters-we might be sarcastic, but we step up.

          Exactly.

          The joke isn’t funny when people are actually hurt.

      2. Oh, gosh.

        I am suspicious of people sometimes but I had honestly never considered that an audience giving the wrong answer might be bulk trolling instead of bulk mistaken…. D:

  6. “Considering that those in the publishing establishment hold the same general principles as those who did their best to turn entire nations into prisons, it stops being surprising that there’s been an ongoing campaign to eliminate escapism from fiction.”

    And the scales fell from my eyes. Holy crap, that’s exactly it. Eliminate common decency, common sense and basic morality from fiction as part of a campaign to NewSpeak the entire world.

    I think I dislike them even more now. 😡

    1. These are the same people that quote “The Killing Joke” like about how madness is the escape hatch-and why do you want to escape?

      They, of course, have never read the comic or never read it properly. Assuming the Joker isn’t spinning shit into brown silk so fast you can make a suit…nothing in the sane world worked for him, not in the slightest. Why not go crazy? What benefit is there to sanity?

      What benefit is there to obeying the rules of a prison that always change, always alter themselves, and you never have anything other than the madness of the prison? Not even the hope of better conditions, of parole, of your sentence being up. And, maybe, not even the escape of death.

      Some people drink themselves numb, or do drugs.
      Some people cut their wrists.
      Some people try to find somewhere else to go, even if it’s words on the page.

      And our enemies, the wokescolds and their handmaidens, destroy those escape hatches as fast as they can. Because if people know they can escape, they will. And, the first person that escapes might inspire a second, then a third, then a fourth…

      1. Yep. Hence why when someone escaped from one of the concentration camps, the guards would lock the rest of that hut inside, and wait until they all starved to death. They had to make the consequences of someone escaping their living hell worse than dying because by that point the prisoners didn’t have anything to lose.

        And while a decent person with nothing to lose would consider escape, knowing that the attempt would see your fellow prisoners starved for your attempt would likely give a lot of them reason to hesitate.

    2. And I imagine they’re horribly frustrated by how decent and moral the general populace manages to remain. The biggest issue I see right now is that the bastards are doing their damndest to convince everyone that the right thing to do is the least moral option available – if they manage to convince Joe Public on that one, we’ve got problems.

      1. It’s like they’re replaying 1984 on a loop in their heads with them as the “winners.” They want to be the one wearing the boot that stamps on our faces forever.

        One problem, Orwell’s vision did not include the cell phone or the Internet. Or about a thousand other little innovations like cheap computer storage, cheap cameras, cheap everything. Put your phone on a stick and you can record -everything- going on at a riot and transmit it world wide… for free, essentially. No production costs, no limit to the spread of the information.

        Everybody can see what they’re doing. And it is driving them crazy.

        The other innovation Orwell didn’t see coming, ebooks. I can write my story in the comfort of my living room, create a cover, and PUBLISH the thing at absolutely no cost to myself other than time and a PC. I never have to talk to another human being about it if I don’t want to. I don’t need permission, and there is no schedule. Perfectly free, perfectly egalitarian.

        It doesn’t even require me to publish under my own name, so my reputation is not at risk. I can write the most unfashionable escapism imaginable, utterly frustrating the scolds and their political masters.

        And I am. >:D

  7. Then didst Pandora open the box a second time, and one final thing issued forth, half-seen and hardly there. It was Hope, and it was the cruelest of the horrors that Pandora’s hand released to plague mankind.
    .
    (Not my view. But when I slip into full-on Stoic Calvinist mode, there are definitely times when hope seems to be a mixed blessing!
    We wait in hope.
    But do something useful while waiting, please.
    And yes, that’s primarily self-targetted criticism.)
    .
    As for escapism?
    Yes, please.
    Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?

  8. They seem to have a desperate need to control us utterly. It also shows in how no one is allowed to build or make new things (EPA, regs, etc.) OR leave the Earth for space.
    It sort of makes you wonder. Particularly since they seem to think they can control our THOUGHTS: Are these really aliens (they don’t seem to have ever met a human being) trying to prevent humanity from prospering?

    1. No, they’re humans. Aliens would be smarter about it.

      I have some aliens who decided to try it. They created the perfect party drug with their superior technology and started selling it on the street. The stuff gets the user high as a kite for four hours. Pleasant hallucinations, no bad trips, no addictive properties, no hangover, and its cheap as dirt.

      They figured the war would take two years to get going and if they played it right they could kill half of Humanity in the first couple of months.

      That’s what aliens would do.

    2. I’d say they’d have to work hard to do more damage, but fate and life being what they are, they’d go and do just that.

    3. Doublethink is always in effect for members of The Party.
      But running dog counter-revolutionaries keep infecting the people, even the party faithful, with memetic doubts!
      What’s a good revolutionary to do in such circumstances?
      .
      .
      Seriously, Marxists drive themselves crazy.
      They have to.
      They pitch socialism as trading dynamicism for stability to get public backing. And they believe it.
      They want to tear society down to remove its deep-seated inequalities. And they believe it.
      There’s no way to square that circle.
      Is it any wonder that they get smoke coming out of their ears and start screaming “Norman, coordinate!”?
      .
      One thing they are certain of: we’re to blame for their confusion.
      And we must *pay* for the discomfort we’re causing them.

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