Mike's Home Page

Jun 20, 201401:48AM

Category: Politics

If you don't believe most people regard rape as abhorrent and vile, don't bother reading further. Subjectivity and objectivity are awkward partners.


If you disagree with others on strategies for fighting rape, then we can have a discussion.  We probably should, because people seem to be talking past each other. I've largely stayed out of this, but as of late there are a lot of people with unsupportable concepts that don't rise to the level of hypothesis, much less theory, telling women what the world should do for them to end rape.


There are several strategies one should use for dealing with any crime or encroachment.  We'll break this down into PREVENTION, AVOIDANCE and REACTION.




This is a long term strategy to reduce the incidents of attack.


Now, it's perfectly valid, and useful, to educate young men as to what constitutes rape.  Yes, getting a woman drunk and taking advantage of her is rape.  Manipulation can be rape.  If you don't have consent, it's rape.  These are problems that have always existed, and were exacerbated in recent decades due to several factors—young adults 18-21 not being able to socialize with adults around alcohol, lack of chaperonage for those learning how to be adults, failures in both parenting and education.


We can greatly reduce the existence of these type of rape by ensuring otherwise clueless and unfeeling people get a clue and comprehension.  Especially as you can look back to a number of movies and other media portrayal where exploiting drunk women is seen as humor.


Deliberate intoxication reaches another level of intent.


Since I can speak as a man who's been sexually assaulted after a doctored drink, it's not amusing.  It's disorienting and terrifying, especially when you realize you're too incapacitated to drive away from the event (after dealing with the attack).


This level of intent reaches that where there is an active, hostile threat with violence. There's no moral difference between doping someone's drinks and punching them unconscious.  Only the method is different.


No amount of education is going to stop this person because they are a sociopath. They know what they are doing, are doing it with intent, and don't care what society thinks. At this point, "teach men not to rape" breaks down.  You might as well teach rabid dogs not to bite, or arsonists not to start fires.  It's what they do.


The arson one is a very useful comparison.  We can teach kids not to play with matches in a flammable environment, educate them as to the impact. We can't teach an obsessed sociopath not to torch things.


Getting upset over this reality (as some have) is of no help to the problem, and can, in fact exacerbate it despite good intentions.


If you wish to say "X (doesn't) work as a tactic," then you need to have supporting evidence in the form of statistics, experimentation and supporting documentation.


Sociopaths exist, and must be treated as such.




In a perfect world, one would be able to walk naked to the park, carrying a roll of $100s and gold coins, nap under a tree, legs spread, and wake up, body and property unmolested.


I'm going to tell you a disturbing truth:  We don't live in a perfect world.


I'm a (Despite health issues) reasonably large, fit, adult male with some training and experience in violence.  I'm generally armed. There are still places I don't go, because it would be unsafe. I use locks as needed, take friends if necessary and possible, and on a few occasions, have in fact drawn a weapon to emphasize my desire to be left alone.


It would delight me no end for that world not to exist.  But I'm not going to stick my head in the gutter and imagine that a couple of platitudes are ever going to change anything.


Planning to avoid attack is not "blaming the victim."  If someone gets attacked, it is the attacker's fault, the. Fucking. End. The attacker is the agent.


We tell kids to watch for cars, even though drivers are responsible for yielding to pedestrians. We tell cyclists and motorcyclists this, too.  A friend of mine died when an SUV knocked his bike under a semi. It wasn't his fault for "not being aware."  We keep fire extinguishers (well, some of us, the smart ones, do).  We recommend not riding bikes down stair railings.


Maximizing one's odds is maximizing one's odds. Nothing more, nothing less.  Knowing a threat exists, it is a good idea to try to avoid it. This doesn't mean cowering in fear. It's not an admission of defeat.  It's a tactical decision.  In a perfect world, it wouldn't be necessary. But remember that dark secret? This isn't a perfect world.


And if you get attacked by an agent, that agent is responsible for the attack. Not you.


Demanding that the world change so victims are never victimized is fruitless and unproductive. It's never going to happen.  It's also ENABLING THE AGGRESSOR.




First, some cited facts.  Now, this is not to say there are no other facts that can be cited.  I'm making my case.  I'm making it with facts, not emotion.  I'll be happy to discuss other facts found and supported, but am uninterested in hopeful belief without knowledge—we call that religion, and it's not scientific.


Peer reviewed, and deemed especially valid, as Drs Wright and Rossi were opposed to gun ownership and use, but concluded their positions were not supportable by fact.  Conclusion:  Guns are very effective as a means of self defense:




Florida State University criminologist, Gary Kleck, analyzed data from the Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey (1992-1998 ). Describing his findings on defensive gun use, in Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control, New York: Prometheus Books (2001), Kleck writes:

"In general, self-protection measures of all types are effective, in the sense of reducing the risk of property loss in robberies and confrontational burglaries, compared to doing nothing or cooperating with the offender. The most effective form of self-protection is use of a gun. For robbery the self-protection meaures with the lowest loss rates were among victims attacking the offender with a gun, and victims threatenting the offender with a gun. For confrontational burglarly, attacking with a gun had the second lowest loss rate of sixteen self-protection measures, bested only by another mode of armed self-protection, threatening the offender with a nongun weapon." (p. 291):




Easy chart here:




Study:  Violence most effective means of preventing rape: http://sds.hss.cmu.edu/risk/articles/JudgedEffectRape.pdf


National Institute of Justice study:

Most self-protective actions significantly reduce the risk that a rape will be completed. In particular, certain actions reduce the risk of rape more than 80 percent compared to nonresistance. The most effective actions, according to victims, are attacking or struggling against their attacker, running away, and verbally warning the attacker.  

In assaults against women, most self-protective tactics reduced the risk of injury compared to nonresistance. According to the researchers, the only self-protective tactics that appear to increase the risk of injury significantly were those that are ambiguous and not forceful. These included stalling, cooperating and screaming from pain or fear.




One study correlated the victim’s success in avoiding rape during an attack with the methods she used to resist:


- Victims crying or pleading were raped 96% of the time

- Victims who loudly screamed were raped between 44% and 50% of the time

- Victims who ran were raped 15% of the time

- Victims who forcefully resisted (without a weapon) were raped 14% of the time

- Women who resisted with knives or guns were raped less than 1% of the time



- See more at: http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/resistance-to-violent-crime-what-does-the-research-show 



Victims who resisted were less likely to have the rape completed against them than were those who did not resist and not significantly more likely to be injured. Resistance with a gun, knife, or other weapon was most effective in preventing completion; unarmed forceful resistance, threatening, and arguing were least effective, but generally did not provoke rapists to inflict injury.



So, there are very good, very strong, very supportable arguments to be made that violence is the most effective response to certain types of rape.


It's less effective for date rape, rape involving drugs, marital rape.  It's most effective against direct physical attack, which may or may not be part of the above.


If an attack happens, a response results on the part of the subject.  Doing nothing doesn't stop the attack from happening.  This is not "enabling."  It is, however, ineffective at stopping the attack.


Fighting tactics have developed over thousands of years, and the successful ones persist.  Reaction to an attack can take several forms.  One can flee.  One can hold ground.  One can counterattack. 


If fleeing is an option, it's often the best choice. One engages the enemy on ground of one's choosing, when possible.  There is no shame, no foul, no moral lack in refusing to give the enemy what he wants.  Run, if possible.


Of course, for people with limited mobility (or small children in tow), running may not be possible, and a great many activists forget their able privilege.


Holding ground is usually not advisable in this context, because it's usually not feasible. Holding ground is best done with equal force, and attackers tend to seek those smaller and weaker for that reason.  However, if workable, it's an option. Apply force to the attacker at once.  Don't wait for an attack—the attack is already in progress.


When outmassed, Sun Tzu advises, "On deadly ground, fight."  If you cannot run, and cannot match, then the choices are to surrender to the attack, or fight a last ditch battle. This 3000 year old advice is still taught, because in extremis, it is usually the only response that MIGHT succeed.  When ambushed, counterattack, fast, viciously, and with no remorse.  Attempt to tear a hole through the attacker using any weapon at hand.


Now, here's the part that all these "experts" who don’t actually know how to fight want to pretend doesn't exist:  The cites above prove single most effective means of fighting an attacker is a firearm.  Thousands of tabulated crime reports through the Department of Justice bear this out.  There's no "interpretation."  Attacks committed, attacks successfully defended against, guns are the most effective means.  End.  The cites above are based on years of tabulating actual events.  Violence works, and guns are a device that doesn’t rely on the physical strength of the user.


Obviously, odds are better with more training.  But guns don't rely on strength, only on mindset.  If your attacker can literally pick you off the ground, throw you into a wall, and proceed to violate your unconscious person, no unarmed method is going to matter.  There's a reason martial arts have gender and weight classes, and go in small increments--10 lbs or so.  That difference in mass matters. A lot.   


It's true that armed force might not matter, either.  But it is has been proven tremendously more effective.


Right now, those who don't understand this field are bleating the myth of the gun "Being taken away from you."


Please provide a cite on this happening. I'm not going to say it's never happened, but it's a vanishingly rare occurrence. And, even if it were true, if the proven most effective means of defense could be bypassed so easily, then no means of less effect would be of any value at all.


In which case, YOU are advocating, "Shut up and take it, bitch."


Which IS enabling the aggressor.


The solution to violence is almost always more violence, escalated to the point where the attacker decides to disengage.  This is how wars are won, how battles are won, how fights are won, how business competitions are won. When the aggressor finds the payoff to be worth less than the effort engaged, the behavior stops.


Is that the world you want to live in?  Trick question. That IS the world you live in.  Pretending otherwise won't change it. 


In fact, you engage in that behavior yourself.


If you call the police after a crime, they show up to apprehend the perpetrator. If the perpetrator resists, force will be applied by hand, stick, pepper spray, taser, gunfire, until the perpetrator accompanies the officers or dies in the struggle.


Congratulations. You have committed violence by proxy, by mercenary, if you will.  You have paid (via tax dollars) someone to do violence on your behalf.


There's no moral lack in hiring experts when possible.  There are advantages in that they have training, equipment and neutrality (though that can also work against the victim.  The proxy has less capital invested or to lose).


But, morally, if you will hire an expert to commit violence on your behalf, you should have no qualms against committing it yourself. If you will refuse to do so, demanding others do it for you, you have surrendered your independence and made yourself a ward and…dependent. And a hypocrite.


The other problem with that is that your minders can't be everywhere, unless you're really rich and hire your own.


Engaging in force doesn't demean you or make you a victim.  It expresses your intent more strongly than words alone.


Not expressing intent doesn't make you a victim.  You were already a victim.  It means you express no intent, and the attack will be concluded in the aggressor's favor.  Neutral is only (sometimes) effective for a non-participant.  Once you are attacked, you are a participant.


Once attacked, you have the right, per 3000 years of common law, to use force against your attacker, deadly force if necessary.  You can choose not to.  There are times when defeat is inevitable, and survival is all one can hope for. This has to be judged on a case by case basis, in the midst of an attack.  It's entirely possible to not choose the best answer under duress, and this is not a fault of the victim. Agency is with the aggressor, always.


You also have a duty, if you are able, to defeat or hinder the attacker.  The next victim may not be able to.  You owe it to them to put up the best fight possible, to deter future attacks—we come back around to prevention.


There's no moral failure in being unable to. That would constitute blaming the victim (A previous victim, even).  If you can't, you can't.


But, while no one can tell you what you should do, it's dishonest to tell others what they shouldn't do, unless there are supportable, documentable arguments for a particular response.


"Do nothing and wait for change" is not an effective response.  Worse, it can have negative effect. While you're "educating" rapists not to rape (And murderers not to murder, arsonists not to arson, muggers not to muggle), you are not putting resources into Avoidance or Reaction processes.  There comes a point where you have to realize you've maximized effect in one area, and move resources to others.


Men and women should be taught what rape is, and to not engage in behavior that enables it, or conducts it.  Consent is necessary. Without consent, it's rape.


Conversely, as I've said and will say again in blunt language:  Violence isn't always feasible, effective or desirable.  "Just shoot him" only works for certain types of attack.


And again, these are not exclusive responses.  All of them are good ideas. No one should be attacked for implementing one or more, and none of them constitute "endorsement" of the aggressor.


Fighting amongst ourselves doesn't help anyone.




In the interest of fairness, I'm linking to a post by John Scalzi, who quotes someone who claims to have been a USMC firearms instructor during part of his four year tour.  I'm not entirely convinced of the former sergeant's expertise, because he repeats a lot of untruths and straw men that Scalzi, whose degree, IIRC, is in the philosophy of language (corrected) agrees with, obviously without credentials.


But, it's always possible to find someone of some stripe to agree with one's preconceptions.


I'll note that those preconceptions are thoroughly smashed by the numerous, peer-reviewed studies of actual incidents above, and hundreds of other anecdotes of people actually successfully using guns in self defense, hundreds of times a day (even The Brady Campaign concedes the number might be at least 100). So to claim that this doesn't actually happen is, frankly, silly.  There are much better arguments he could make. 


I urge everyone to be wary whenever anyone argues, "You can't possibly be good enough to defend yourself," especially when the military teaches 18 year olds to do just that, every day of the week.


If Scalzi is actually interested in protecting women, I hope he'll link back to this so readers can find a dissenting view to compare, contrast and decide for themselves.  Because in my opinion, what HE is doing is disempowering women, creating victims, and promoting rape and rape culture.


Of course, I don’t have a degree in philosophy of language, just decades of real experience with the tools of violence, consults to various clients including the US military, and links to actual studies. 






Some select comments from Scalzi's twitter discussion, and my responses:


Denise Beucler ‏@dmbeucler  4h
@scalzi @mzmadmike I'd really love to go a day without men telling me how not to get raped.
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Invalid comment. Does not add to debate. Men get raped, too.  Including me.
Sexist comment. Pre-empts input from researchers and experts based on their gender.
Atlee Breland ‏@atleebreland  3h
@scalzi @mzmadmike What all of these articles seem to miss is that "Don't rape" is less about teaching rapists than teaching society.

I covered that exactly in the first part of the post.

Atlee Breland ‏@atleebreland  3h
@scalzi @mzmadmike Also, I checked sources for "1% knife/gun". Too few victims used weapon for valid stats: Table 1,
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/211201.pdf …
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 Atlee Breland ‏@atleebreland  3h
@scalzi @mzmadmike Likely bc logistics of stranger rapes make it v hard to access/use gun. Can't get it out of purse/aim if you get grabbed.

Easy enough with practice, and few > 0.
John Kelly ‏@netsinger  5m
@scalzi @mzmadmike True we need not choose between "protect yourself, woman" and "don't rape, man": both are valid. But ...

But?  I covered that.

Jed A. Blue ‏@Froborr 5h
@scalzi @mzmadmike The biggest point he is ignoring is that by buying a gun you are arming the person statistically most likely to shoot you
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Wrong. Completely disproven myth.  BTW, what are your credentials? Instructor? Researcher? Or did you read something on the internet?

Fighting a Truck Fire
Jun 06, 201401:04AM

Category: General


Yesterday, my daughter and I were alongside a semi that started smoking. The driver pulled off the road onto the shoulder, and as we drove past in traffic, we saw the smoke get heavier.


I pulled off to the side and dug for our fire extinguisher. It's supposed to be under the passenger seat or the dead space next to it. This is not my usual vehicle—my van has a large extinguisher under the passenger seat.  I couldn't find one in this car, and about that time, flames started coming out of the tractor's headlight.  I checked the rear hatch of our vehicle, which has cargo straps, saws, machetes, tools, prybars, but no extinguisher.


The driver was on the phone to 911, and apparently, another passerby sprinted across 6 lanes of US31 and a block down to the fire station.


I improvised with several bottles of water from the flat we keep in back, managing to kill some of the flames on the lamp assembly, tire and fender.  A passenger in another vehicle handed my daughter several more bottles as they drove by. She kept bringing me bottles, I kept squirting them in.


Flames under the hood kept spreading back to the surface, and it finally occurred to me I should be using the awl on my multitool to punch the caps so I could spray a stream. This was more effective.  Flames flared up, I got them knocked down.  I put out the tire, the fender and the headlight, which cracked and burst.  I started spraying under the grill.


I was having some success, but it wasn't going to be enough.  I could hear sirens.


In the parking lot behind me, someone screamed for me to get back.  Why? The fire was nowhere near the fuel tank, tanks almost never explode, and diesel is less reactive than gasoline. I was safe enough.  But that's the effect of too many movies on people's thought processes.


Someone else started directing traffic into the other lanes.


Under the hood, the fire flared up, while the driver tried to reach his extinguisher, which was locked in an outside compartment.  His keys had remained in the ignition, and he'd left them as he vacated, which was the right thing to do at the time.


Two police cars rolled up and blocked traffic.


The flames rolled out behind the hood, and there wasn't much more I could do. The fire truck was crossing the highway, and the cops had traffic under control.  One of them pointed at me and the road, I thumbed up and we climbed back in and drove off.


It was 30 seconds later I realized something, opened the console, and found the extinguisher in its fitted compartment within.  It wasn't my usual vehicle, so I hadn't instinctively known where it was, and I hadn't remembered.  Would the extinguisher have been enough?  Maybe, though with flames under the hood it might not have mattered if I couldn’t reach them.  I'd definitely slowed the fire down, which counted for something.


On our way back a half hour later, I stopped to talk to the driver.  The engine compartment was burned, and the front body gone. The cab was largely undamaged. The rest of the truck was fine.  It looked repairable, since it didn't seem to have suffered any structural damage.


I'm very irritated that I didn't remember where the extinguisher was, and that I'd forgotten the trick of making a spray bottle by punching a hole.  I've done that before, but not recently.  We responded, and were helpful (no one else stopped for several minutes, and no one else had an extinguisher), but were not optimal in our efficiency.


From this I learned to have more drills with our own vehicles.  Skills are perishable and must be practiced.


I use old extinguishers with low charges to practice on burning brush.  I need to add response drills in each vehicle to the drills we do in the house.  That $10 extinguisher would have made a difference, if used as well.


For Memorial Day
May 25, 201411:02PM

Category: General

My grandparents, as told by my mother:

My father, Ernest F. Stephens (always called "Steve") was born in London, January 1909, the son of a Welsh coal-miner turned construction worker and an Irish farm girl who went to London and worked as a domestic servant in an upper-class household. Dad was the youngest of seven children (4 girls, 3 boys, in that order.) He completed high school at 14 but college or university was not available to him so he joined what was then the Royal Flying Corps intent on improving himself. (1923) He became what was called an "aircraft fitter" which was in essence a mechanic, and learned to fly in a Sopwith Camel. In 1928 he considered returning to civilian life but the depression had started and his father, brothers and brothers-in-law were all unemployed, so he re-enlisted and was promptly posted to the Middle East and bounced around that area from station to station for several years, during which time he learned Arabic and Farsi as well as French, and learned as much as he could about the history and culture of Persia (now Iran) Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and the Holy Land. He even read the Quran. He also went India returning to England in 1935. By then he was a sergeant in what was now called the Royal Air Force. The same year he met my mother and they married in February 1936.

My mother's name was Dorothy May Maidlow, although she was always called Shirley by her siblings, and her parents were refugees from Europe (German father, French mother) who came to England in 1915. My mother was actually born in Lugano, Switzerland, (May 1915) as her parents were on their way out of Europe. She was also the youngest child of her family, the 13th. Her father died when she was only eight and her mother when she was 15, so she went to live with one of her older sisters who was married. She had no formal education beyond high school but was very bright and a fine pianist and water-colour artist. When she married my father she did what was considered normal at the time and became a full-time homemaker. Told that she could have no children, in 1937 she and my father adopted my older brother, (also nicknamed Steve when he joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15).

In 1938 when Nazism was making life very difficult for German Jews, my parents fostered half a dozen Jewish refugee children who had been separated from their parents. (Luckily, in the end, all were reunited) When WW2 began in 1939, my brother was one of thousands of children from Britain's main cities who were sent to live in Wales to keep them safe from expected air-raids. (As it turned out, he was cared for by a family who spoke no English so when he returned home he spoke only Welsh and had to learn English all over again.)

At the time the war began, only officers could become RAF pilots, and to be an officer you had to have a university education and/or come from the moneyed classes. However, due to the shortage of skilled pilots, it was decided that sergeants could be trained and put into action. Thus my father became one of "The Few", the pilots who fought the battle of Britain in 1940, who beat the much larger, more experienced Luftwaffe. At this time, my mother joined the Women's Royal Air Corps in what was basically a secretarial position, but due to her above average intelligence she was recruited to work at Bletchley Park where she became one of the "girls" who eventually broke the Enigma code, along with other codes in use by the Germans.

After the Battle of Britain, my father was posted to a number of bases both at home and abroad, where he worked in his capacity as an aircraft mechanic but also took advanced courses that qualified him as an aeronautical engineer. While stationed in Gibraltar he was in charge of cannibalizing the remains of 250 aircraft that were damaged in the North African campaign - he built 50 complete airplanes from the pieces and parts. He was also stationed briefly in Malta, which was horribly bombarded by the Germans, in Libya and Egypt, and in 1941 he was sent back to Persia where he witnessed the coronation of the Shah of Iran. He was sent to Italy (Sicily) in 1943. There, he learned Italian and in 1944 he was on the Italian mainland when Vesuvius erupted and he also visited Pompeii and Rome.

In my father's absence my mother continued her work at Bletchley, and then (I'm not sure of the date) got my brother back from Wales. In 1943 she returned from work one day to find her house (and the entire block on which it had stood) destroyed in an air-raid. The only surviving item was a souvenir cup from 1911 commemorating the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary which had belonged to her mother and is now in my possession. (It's a little chipped and scratched) In 1944 my mother lost another house to a V-1 rocket, while she and my brother were actually in it! She and my brother took shelter under the stairway, curled up tightly, and survived, only slightly injured, to find that the stairway was the only part of the house left standing.

In 1944 my father went to work with the French Resistance in Occupied France, a period which he did not discuss with us. The only story I heard was that he was responsible for the discovery of a German spy, posing as a member of the Maquis but felt rather badly because the young man was only 19 and was later executed.

At the end of WW2, the Royal Air Force decided to allow non-commissioned officers to go through a training programme that would allow them to become officers. My father was in the very first group chosen, and became a Flying Officer in 1946, about eighteen months before I was born in October 1947. My earliest recollections are from when I was about three, when we lived on an RAF station on Thorny Island, off the coast of Hampshire (Southern England) It was part of Coastal Command. They used seaplanes for patrolling the coast and I remember sitting on my father's lap and flying above the chalk cliffs. Since that day I've always loved aerial views of the land. In 1952, shortly after the birth of my youngest brother, my father returned from a posting in Bulawayo (now Zimbabwe, Africa) which was then part of the British Empire, with the news that the whole family was going be able to go and live there for the duration of his posting.

After we returned to England my father was appointed as the Commanding Officer of an RAF station near Liverpool, Northwest England, which was his last posting. He retired after 38 years of service. His experiences in the Middle East and Italy gave him an interest in archaeology and ancient history. He also loved gardening and until we went to live near Liverpool, he and my mother grew all the vegetables and much of the fruit that the family consumed. A couple of times a year, my father would travel to London for a meeting, and usually he took me with him. We would stay with his oldest sister and her family, and I got to see all the great sights of London, and then on the Monday we would go to a building in Whitehall, where I would sit in the lobby and read until his meeting was over. I was never told what transpired at these meetings - he just said it was related to his service in the RAF. When I was in my thirties, while visiting my parents in England, I saw a documentary on the BBC about Britain's MI5 and MI6 - and recognized the lobby where I used to wait for my Dad! Even then, my father told me nothing, other than to agree that I was right about that being the place!

For his service in the RAF my father was awarded the WW2 Service Medal, The Distinguished Service Order, (for his work in Gibraltar) The Africa Star, The Italy Star, The Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and the 1939-45 Star. My mother won the WW2 Service Medal and the 1939-45 Star.

My father passed away 12 April 1992 at the age of 84, my mother on 19 October 1995, aged 81. Had she lived a few weeks longer she would have been able to tell me the details of what she did at Bletchley and what my father did for Military Intelligence, but, having signed the Official Secrets Act she was sworn to secrecy until 31 December 1995 - and she took her oath very seriously.

I am immensely proud of both my parents. And I remember telling my father that I thought he was a remarkable person, to which he replied that he was not remarkable, that he was an ordinary man who had had a remarkable life.

Archon and Racism
May 22, 201411:39AM

Category: General

I'm going to preface this by saying I DO NOT blame Archon's concom (yet).  They got handed a bag of feces and really don't have any options.

It started when Tim "Uncle Timmy" Bolgeo was invited as Fan Guest of Honor.

Some anonymous (of course) hero read through his newsletter The Revenge of Hump Day to find a racist comment, out of context, copied and pasted from another source.  Apparently, said crusader wasn't bright enough to realize that the phrase "tacky alert" is the intellectual and non-pussy little bitch version of "trigger warning." (Oh, did I offend you?  That's nice. Fuck off, pussy.)

So, it was a race-oriented joke in poor taste.  What kind of monster does that?

Other than every comedian in the country and half the internet?

"ZOMG!  What would happen if the press found out we invited A RACIST!!! To our convention???"

Honestly, the press could give two shits about something like Archon.  It's not ComicCon, not DragonCon, not even a horror con.  I'm sure they have better things to do than troll through old internet posts looking for tacky jokes of someone they've never heard of attending a thing they've never heard of. Don't give yourself too much credit for relevance.

And then EMCS or whatever his name is spit his binky, shit his diaper, screamed for mommy, and demanded Uncle Timmy be stricken from the list.

Lots of other sandy genitalia piled on, in an orgy of bliss. AHA!  We have someone to hate!  Life is good!

The Gold Medal goes to the person whom I won't embarrass by name, who said, "Well, I don’t know who he is or what he said, but I guess this is for the best."

"Liberal" "Tolerance" in action. Someone said he said something bad, BAN HIM!

BTW, the ORIGINAL source of the tacky joke seems to be Saint Louis' Craigslist. Guilty consciences?

I commented that Mel Brooks certainly wouldn't be welcome, with his jokes about Jews, gays, blacks and rape.  I got snidely reminded that "You do realize that Mel Brooks is Jewish, right?"

Oh, right. That TOTALLY justifies racist, homophobic and rape culture humor.  Silly me.  So, what jokes can blacks tell? What jokes can gays tell?  We already know white people can't tell jokes at all (even if the Klan DID go after Tim's Catholic, Italian ancestors). 

I got no answer.  Apparently, it's okay to make offensive jokes if you're something, but not if you're something else, because racist.

Predictably, that thread turned into…a thread of racist, sexist and homophobic jokes.  Last I checked, it was still there.

So, Archon has no problem with that kind of humor.  Though it's possible the mouthpiece in question hasn't brought it to their attention yet.   So, what's the problem with Uncle Timmy?

Probably because he's conservative and Catholic.  The commentary does in fact suggest frothing religious bigotry and political bias. 



Andy Hamilton

53 mins

so many sad old white people grasping at straws! I'm glad this controversy happened so that all of the closet Archon racists have come out of the woodwork, and will I know who to avoid or mock in the future, if I ever do come back to the con. A lot of you probably don't realize your own racism and are simply old and out of touch conservatives, frightened by the rapidly changing world and the looming end of white privilege, and I feel sorry for you. I'm consoled by the fact that most of you are of an aging generation that will be dying off in the next few decades. anyway non-PC jokes are one thing, but the quotes from uncle timmy's newsletter to the effect of 'black people don't learn the same way whites do' are beyond the pale (no pun intended) and Archon did the right thing by uninviting him. Now it's just a waiting game while the rest of y'all old racist a-holes die off so we can move forward as a species.

Michael Z; Williamson:  "sad old white people" is ageism.

John Mitchell And oh yeah, thanks for rubbing my nose in my own mortality by reminding me I'm part of "an aging generation that will be dying off in the next few decades". Bonus point for sensitivity...

13 mins • Like • 4

Andy Hamilton your the one defending a racist. i have no obligation to be sensitive to anybody's stupid beliefs and i dont have to tiptoe around the issue. you're basically already dead. deal with it.

Michael Z. Williamson:  Wow. What a tolerant little fuck.

People Who Like This

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Mike Evans

Andy Hamilton

Get that?  HE LIKED my comment.  He's proud of it.

By the way, Andy is not racist—his wife has a black cousin.

Now, Brad Torgersen has a black wife, and he's racist (per the SJWs).  Tom Kratman has a Panamanian wife and he's racist. Larry Correia has Portuguese (Latino) ancestry and he's racist. Sarah Hoyt is from Portugal itself and is racist. And of course, since I'm white, I'm totally identical to American whites, and therefore racist.  As long as you're a conservative, or even worse, a libertarian, you're racist.  A liberal can have black friends to prove they're not racist, but a conservative, well, you're racist, because you just are.

Oh, did you note that Andy isn't even coming to the con?  So what's his point?

Oh, BTW Andy:

"but the quotes from uncle timmy's newsletter to the effect of 'black people don't learn the same way whites do' are beyond the pale (no pun intended)"

Well, Andy, you should probably contact the Dept Ed, George Mason University, and the NYT and tell them how racist they are, for saying that people of different ethnicities, cultures and languages learn differently:




So it turns out you're ignorant, stupid and full of shit as well as a racist, ageist, fat-shaming "tolerant" "liberal."  Whose wife's cousin is black, thus proving you're not racist.  Or something.

The entire wall is full of frothing vitriol, hate, racism, ageism, fat shaming, anti-Christian sentiment, anti-conservative sentiment, threats of violence, threats of harassment, and god knows what else. From "tolerant" "liberals."

Way to be tolerant and diverse, "liberals."  You make me proud.

I draw attention to this comment:

Christopher D. Cyr Just harass him a bunch. Then when he reports you, say he's lying. Then security will escort him off premises. Yesterday at 10:20am • Like • 5


This violates the Archon harassment policy, to whit:

“All attendees at Archon are expected to treat other attendees, guests, staff, and the general public with respect. Harassment of any kind, including physical assault, deliberate intimidation, stalking, unwanted photography, or unwelcome physical attentions, will not be tolerated.

Any attempt to have an innocent person removed from the convention by falsely accusing him or her of threats will be itself treated as an act of harassment and will be dealt with appropriately. The responsibility for settling interpersonal disputes lies solely with the individuals involved, and Archon will not tolerate being used as a leveraging point in such disputes.”

I do expect Archon to ban this Christopher D. Cyr from the con AT ONCE, since he's stated an intent to cause trouble, harass people, and violate policy. (Got a screenshot, btw, in case anyone wants to claim I'm making it up.)  Unless they're lying hypocrites who don't actually have an harassment policy, and endorse such behavior.

Also, I can't help but notice that every crusader I see is…a middle class white person. No doubt fighting for those poor minorities who just aren't capable of comprehending the slight done to them.

Oh, it turns out that several people of various racial and ethnic makeups went to bat for Uncle Timmy.  Guess what? Yeah, they're racist, too.  This was libsplained to them.  Denying you're a racist makes you a racist.  White people know this (if they're liberal).

What seems obvious to me is:

Archon's attendance, management and guests are overwhelmingly (90%+) middle class white people born in the US.

They feel guilty about this.

Rather than do anything about it, they're attacking a third party to try to prove they're not racist.

Cool story, white guys.  You've definitely made the case.



You bigoted fucks.

So I'm looking at the teacup tempest in response to the petition to SFWA to stick to the business of writing and ignore the politics of the writers.


He links to response here:


[Image]Steven Saus saysFebruary 10, 2014 at 12:15 pmThis is really easy for me: As I posted on Twitter, all parties who have signed that petition can go ahead and recuse themselves from any projects (including paying ones) that I control. If they haven’t yet violated my respect policy as a publisher, they will soon enough.They’ve just put themselves on the list of “people whose opinions I can safely ignore”.

Let me explain something here:  When Harlan Ellison, Mercedes Lackey and David Gerrold are your hateful rightwingers...you're doing it wrong.  Also, I doubt Harlan even knows you exist, much less gives a shit. And I'm sure you can't pay enough to interest him (even on your paying projects…seriously, did you say that?).  You're a "micropublisher," an utter fucking nobody who can't even qualify for the most rudimentary of Wikipedia mentions for your "business."  And "If they haven't violated my rules yet, they will."  So, thoughtcrime, and prior restraint.  

However, I'd be happy to host or publish you in any of my debates or publications, because as an actual liberal, I'm tolerant of differing viewpoints and respect diversity of opinion, even if it's opinion I disagree with.

I look forward to the right-wing name calling in response to my position.

So, if SFWA is only going to represent certain SF/F writers (They call this being "inclusive"), shouldn't they change their name?

The Tolerant, Liberal, Open-Minded Fantasy Writers of America?

As I noted elsewhere--I can think of two dozen writers off the top of my head--including several of various genders and relationships--with over 1000 publication credits between them, who want nothing to do with SFWA.

It's quaint to sit there and insist you don't need those people, but the fact is, they're the ones the publishers might listen to, which, at one time, was the purpose of SFWA.  If you can't take money away from them, they have no reason to care about you.

As to the OP's background, she seems to be some sort of barely known blogger who's moderated a couple of panels.  Publication credits?  Editorial work?

All I can say is that if this person I’ve never heard of [this was addressed to someone else.  Mr Nobody hasn't heard of someone else, so they should feel slighted] hasn’t heard of, say, our gracious host Ms Luhrs, that’s his loss. The many people who’ve heard of Ms Luhrs, know and admire her as a blogger of sense and considerable knowledge. Some people may even be curious enough to read all about her here.

My name is Natalie Luhrs and I was the senior science fiction and fantasy reviewer and section coordinator for RT Book Reviews from early 2005 until November 2012. During my tenure, I reviewed over 550 books, attended three RT Conventions (and met lots of great people!), and generally had a wonderful time. I’ve also been a program participant at Readercon and moderated a panel at C2E2 in April 2012. As of January 2013, I am also the acquisitions editor for Masque Books.

"Coordinator" of what? and a panel moderator! ZOMG!  Wow.  This person is definitely a key player in the publishing industry, or literary end, and should be listened to at length!  Only benefit can befall your career from the wisdom she will dispense! 

Yes, Masque Books is an imprint of Prime Books, a noted independent publisher with several credits, and some Phil Dick reprints.  Fair enough.  But being the acquisitions editor for a subsidiary imprint of a small press is not exactly a John W. Campbell, a Hugo Gernsback, or even a Martin H. Greenberg.

Oh, RT is legit, but I would like to draw attention to this:


Romantic Times is a genre magazine specializing in romance novels. It was founded as a newsletter in 1981 by Kathryn Falk. The initial publication took nine months to create and was distributed to 3,000 subscribers.[1] In 2004, the magazine reportedly had 150,000 subscribers, and had built a reputation as "Romance's premiere genre magazine".[2]

Since 1982 the magazine organizes the "Romantic Times Booklover's Convention."[2] Several thousand people attend the convention, which features author signings, a costume ball, and a male beauty pageant.[3]

Wait, define "Male" and "Beauty."  This sounds like cisgender hetoronormative sexism.  Shouldn't all right-thinking liberals be boycotting such an organization and distancing themselves from it?  Not boasting of association?

Oh, and Sarah Hoyt and Larry Correia? Yeah, they're legally Latino.  In fact, Sarah still has a Portuguese accent.  So stop with the "White supremacist" horseshit on Twitter. Neither one would be allowed within 50 miles of a Klan gathering.

Once again, the "tolerant" "liberals" prove themselves to be racist, sexist and hypocritical.

I guess I'll never publish anything for Mr Whatsisname.  Not a problem.  I doubt he can put enough zeros on a check to attract my attention, and I'm a lot cheaper than Harlan.

They Pretty Much Ask For It
Feb 11, 201402:28AM

Category: Politics

Mike: this what Herr Davila thinks of your blog post. Art Davila All that post proved is that the author is way too obsessed over this. So he wanted to immortalize the woman who created the original meme. The meme that was an answer to the original was created by an individual who actually goes out and protests in public at risk to his own life. He is not at home whining about things he doesn't like. He is an individual who has his own opinion not bought and paid for by any gun lobby. It's not even bought by this page which supports his opinion. That link is just one man's disgruntled diatribe over pages that delete any opposing viewpoints. I have been banned from Tea Party Patriots, Molon Labe Industries, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and various other Conservative and pro gun sites. All I did was post constructive opposing viewpoints and not silly name calling diatribe or personal attacks. Despite my banning, the worst I ever do is send a final email to the administrator telling them they banned me in haste. After that, I move on. I suggest you tell Michael Z Williamson to do the same.
2 minutes ago · Like


Where to start?

Well, first, they "answered" Oleg's original photo, with a bunch of false assumptions about a young woman, because liberals never make assumptions based on gender.  Then they refused to actually debate the subject, because liberals are all about public discourse.

It was created by someone who actually goes out and protests.  Hey!  I go out and protest, too. How about that?  And at risk to his life!  I respect that. He must protest in Africa or Communist China or Russia, then.  Since there's absolutely no risk to his life at any US protest on the subject of firearms, proven by the fact that no one has been killed protesting against that particular civil right in this country.

So, the man's been banned by a bunch of pages.  Neat. I, also have been banned by a bunch of pages.  However, I've been banned by liberal pages who claim they're tolerant.  See, the thing about claiming to be tolerant is, it only works if you're actually tolerant.

Then he's upset that I actually get paid for my "diatribe."  Indeed I do, because what I have to say is interesting enough to earn me a living. Sorry he's jealous.  But then, he's risking his life and all.  I totally understand, having deployed twice to the war zone.  Those protests can be dangerous.

Then the worst he ever does is send an email to the people who banned him, because that's always so effective at arguing with tolerant people.  He doesn't engage in diatribe or personal attacks...such as pointing out the hypocrisy, sexism and complete erroneousness of the opposition.  I guess that constitutes an "attack" to a "liberal." Facts are cruel things.  Especially teenage girls. Those can be dangerous. Better to not learn too much about them.

Tell you what, Mr Davila: Come to my FB wall. You have my word I will not block you, not a single word you post.  Do please refute any fact I've actually posted.  I genuinely want you to show me where I'm wrong in my years of experience in this field, what facts I've confused.  There are liberals and conservatives on my wall (because I try not to block anyone), and we'll let them judge how you do.

You won't have to send any final emails.  I'll open the floor to you, to say whatever you wish on this subject.  I'll even tag the 16 year old so she can debate you herself, if a 16 year old girl doesn't scare you too much.

Because unlike some other people, I actually AM liberal.

22 May 2014: Mr Davila was afraid to debate a 16 year old girl. Enough said.

Responsibility for Liberals
Feb 10, 201411:10PM

Category: Politics


Ah, yes.  "Liberal" "Truth."  The kind that doesn't need fact checked, because when several of us did so, our posts were deleted.  Because liberals love truth and support accurate statements.

Assuming the above post will be deleted shortly, to protect its honesty from my alleged hatred, it's a picture of a little girl, captioned: "If you think giving me a gun is teaching me responsibility, someone needs to teach you about responsibility."

The hilarious thing is they deleted posts that showed the original image that caused the butthurt. http://www.olegvolk.net/gallery/technology/arms/allpink4803.jpg.html

But this comment jumped out at me, so I feel compelled to immortalize the woman:

Breann Louise Hall This looks like my kid. If i gave my kid a gun, she would shoot me.

February 7 at 12:11pm · 6

And 6 people agree with her, so there are at least 7 people who think their kids would shoot them if given a gun.

Breann Louise Hall has a degree in socio-anthropology and claims to be a mediocre author and poet.  Oh, and is big into supporting slut culture.

I find a poster she likes that equates Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks with Angela Davis and Assata Shakur as 'not well-behaved women'.
I know of Davis, but had to look up Shakur:
"In May 1973, Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike, in which she killed New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and grievously assaulted Trooper James Harper.[5] BLA member Zayd Malik Shakur was also killed in the incident, and Shakur was wounded.[5] Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted in relation to six other alleged criminal incidents—charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—resulting in three acquittals and three dismissals. In 1977, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout.[6] In 2013, the FBI announced it had made Shakur the first woman on its list of most wanted terrorists.[7]"

Fascinating.  I'm a best-selling author, and my kids have never tried nor expressed an interest in killing me, despite access to firearms, kitchen knives, flammable liquids in the shop, and heavy exercise equipment in the gym.  I guess I'm not only a better writer, I'm a better parent, since I haven't raised kids who are incompetent, amoral or psychopathic or who worship terrorists. That may be because I figured parent culture was a more important pursuit than slut culture and endorsing terrorism, once I was a parent.  Liberalism is starting to scare me, if that's their default and publicly admitted outcome.

This explains why they don't understand responsibility.  See, FIRST comes the responsibility, THEN comes the gun.  I realize that's a large intellectual leap for a "liberal," so I'll elaborate further:

My daughter started shooting at age 4: 

At age 7, I dropped $1000ish in materials and parts to build her that pink AR carbine, and have since added about $1000 in accessories, because I believe in having quality tools.  Her favorite guns are a 1916 Smith & Wesson in .45 Long Colt and an Astra .44 Magnum.  She's proficient with both.

In those 12 years, she's never once proposed or attempted to kill me, nor been so incompetent as to do so by accident, nor even have a negligent discharge.  So I guess she meets their standards of responsibility.

Oh, yes, she also has $1000ish worth of harp that she half paid for, a couple of thousand bucks' worth of Luna and Schecter guitars we bought for her, a couple thousand more bucks' worth of keyboard, signal processor, amplifiers, and various small instruments, as well as lessons, because like the ancient Greeks, I believe a warrior should also be a scholar and an artist.  She maintains excellent grades, pursues athletics on occasion, and also has an interest in painting and writing. She's more than a mediocre writer, in my professional opinion (apart from my biased opinion.  I've seen much worse writing from adults twice her age).

Of course, the Rolling Stoner article that referenced her missed all this, too, because being good "liberals," they didn't need to actually talk to a woman to know all about her failures. They just mansplained away.  They even rose to the hysteria of insisting the gun lobby is "desperate" to get her money, when in fact, she's appeared in promotions and ads in several shooting magazines.  To be precise, lots of firearm and accessory manufacturers are desperate to throw money at her for endorsement.

This is like pointing at Alex Lifeson as a bad example of the dangers of an obsession with guitars, or using Sage Kotsenburg to claim snowboarding will ruin your life.

So, yeah, my daughter's an honor student, musician, artist, experienced in household tasks including cooking and budgeting, a reasonably good martial artist, an actress with professional TV credits, is socially conscious, supports marriage equality and reproductive choice, understands the economics of recycling and logistics, and is exploring college programs.

Sadly, she probably won't be getting a degree in socio-anthropology or slut studies, because we ruined her life with guns.

If only liberalism could have saved her.


This is one of those articles where the quotes are just too silly-looking to not be suspect. So I made some polite inquiries. I've only heard back from one administrator.  Our exchange is below, correspondent's comments in bold:

Article quote:

“One of my biggest concerns as a principal is safety and security,” Tinley Park High School Principal Theresa Nolan said. “It is bothersome to have to post a sticker of a gun that says, ‘Hey, folks, leave your guns at home.’ ”

Nolan said she is not opposed to posting it, she’s just worried that not enough people are aware of what it means and could misinterpret the new signage.
“I think the general public will be alarmed by it and wonder if people have been allowed to bring guns to school in the past,” she said. In her 22 years with Bremen Community High School District 228, she said, “I have no knowledge of guns ever being in this building.”
Nolan, and others, take issue with the sticker’s design.
“I would have appreciated something more subtle, yet still recognizable — a logo, perhaps, not a gun,” she said.
My inquiry:
What logo would you use to represent a gun that wasn't a gun?
Why would the presence of guns in the past, if no harm was caused, be distressful to anyone now?

Hi Mike,

I appreciate the question…The logo created is to inform those who have undergone the training and licensing protocols to carry a concealed weapon that they are not allowed to carry on this premises.  The onus for knowing where you “can” and “can’t” carry is placed upon the individual who has undergone the training.  To our general public, who has not undergone the training and is not familiar with the logo or legislation, may associate that we are simply reminding the general public that guns are not allowed in our building, as if that is a necessary reminder.

Anyone who works in a school these days, especially in my role where I am the one responsible for everyone’s safety and security, seeing a “no guns allowed” sticker on our entryways is just awkward.  My attempt was to educate the public as to why these stickers will be displayed.  I was not passing judgment on the legislation, nor am I ignorant enough to believe it will deter someone with criminal intent.

With that being said, if there was a logo that represented the Concealed Carry Legislation with the red circle and slash , or, an acronym with the circle and slash, or even just verbiage that stated “ NO Concealed Carry Allowed” it would remove the image of the gun from our entryway doors.  Again, I am not opposed to the posting of it, but if the sticker serves as a reminder to those who are trained to look for it, then  I felt that the community members who did not have training deserved to know why we are posing signage that represent, “No Guns Allowed.”

Again,  I appreciate the question….and although I know I have touched a nerve, my intention was to make people aware of the legislation and it’s concurrent signage.

If I you have any other questions, please let me know.


If it won't have any effect on criminals, what is the point?  Non-criminals are not a threat. (I realize you are not responsible for the law.)

The first part remains: What logo would serve in this capacity that would not have a picture of a gun?  What would represent a gun without being a gun?
Which leads to another question, of why is a generic image on a sticker so disturbing?  As a parallel, would we attempt to teach sex ed without representations of organs and birth control devices?


I agree with you on the first part….I don’t have input in that.

I think it could be as simple as NO CONCEALED CARRY ALLOWED.  Or an appropriate acronym with the red circle and slash.  Those who are trained and licensed would know what to look for.  And eventually the rest of the community will be aware as well.  I am not saying those are the greatest examples, as there are far better advertising or marketing specialists that could come up with something better.

The purpose of my part in the article spoke to the fact to clarity what the stickers looked like and why we were posting them.  Anytime guns and school are associated with one another, a certain panic ensues. .   I never stated an opinion about the legislation…. I was simply trying to get ahead of the curve of public panic and assumption.


Thank you. That's very informative.  I understand your position.
I always assume (based on my own experiences) that a news article contains cherry picked quotes out of context.
Do you mind if I reference the dichotomy between statement and media presentation as an example?

[NOTE:  in fact, teaching about no-carry zones is part of the IL CCW training]

I actually would appreciate it!  It’s interesting, because I thought I’d have more of a feverish response for NOT advertising why the signs were being posted!  And I don’t mind answering the questions.  I appreciate that you asked.

I see that you are an author, and have some significant experiences to share….congratulations and best of luck to you. 


I checked out your Wikipedia page.  It’s quite impressive.  But that is why I give you the credit for sending me an email asking for more information.  For the most part, I was just called names that high school students use!

 Again….thanks for reaching out.


So, what I'm taking away from this, is the school isn't responsible for the frantic panic of IL legislators (obviously), and the principal is stuck in the middle between CCW activists, and "ZOMG GUNS ARE BAD MKAY?" parents, and trying to find a way to remain neutral.

So at least as far as this school is concerned, there's no hostility, just frazzlement, and really, namecalling and profanity doesn't help our, or any cause, eh?

Let's help IL join the rest of the states in CCW by being civilized and mature.


A statue of a man in underwear, outside on the grounds.

From the article:

Others at the exclusive 2,400 student all-female private liberal arts institution are not buying any defense of the work.

Please, tell us all about the suffering and and repression you experienced in the The Hamptons.

“While it appears that this statue of a nearly naked, older white man with outstretched arms is an art installation, it does not provide our community with any of the value that art is traditionally intended to add,” wrote student Zoe Magid in the Change.org petition. The statue had “become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community,” reads Magid’s petition.

[Citation needed]  That's a fairly authoritarian statement there. What are your credentials or qualifications to stand in judgment? As far as "Triggering," yes, that's a real issue. But guess what?  There are ACTUAL MEN in the real world.  Someday, you'll have to interact with them.  And while there's a legal term "Statutory rape," let me reassure you it has nothing to do with statues becoming incubi and molesting rich college chicks.

“I go to a women’s college so that I’m part of an inclusive and supportive community, not one that supports male artists and statues of naked men instead of women,” wrote student Raeesah Kabir on the Davis Museum Facebook page.

"Inclusive."  You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.

Seriously, did you fail 3rd grade English? "Inclusive.  To include, encompass."  What you want is "Exclusive.  To exclude, ostracize."  So, real colleges are supposed to embrace the artistic, literary and verbal diarrhea of types like you, but you should be exempt from returning the favor?  How about, "No"? Does "No" work for you?  No?  Tough shit.  To be fair, the college is described as "Exclusive."  I guess she forgot to read the pamphlet.  If she can read.  I'll be fair.  I'll assume basic literacy is required for a degree in Haberdashery Studies.

“I think art’s intention is to confront, but not assault, and people can see this as assaulting,” Wellesley senior Annie Wang told the Boston Globe.

Actually, you don't think, and that's the first part of the problem.  But I notice how you couch it.  "People can see this as assaulting."  So, you don't personally, but others MIGHT. What if others MIGHT view unburqa'd women as assaulting?  Or do only your opinions matter?

“Wellesley is a place where we’re supposed to feel safe. I think place and a context matters, and I don’t think this is the place to put it.”

So, you're afraid of a completely inanimate object?  Does Mumsy still check under your bed for monsters before you go to sleep?  Grow up.

Others defended the work. “I find it disturbing, but in a good way,” Wellesley English professor Sarah Wall-Randell told the Globe. “I think it’s meant to be off-putting – it’s a schlumpy guy in underpants in an all-women environment.”

Well, good. At least one of their professors has a brain.  But it doesn't seem her intellect is rubbing off on the spoiled white upper middle class princesses in their imagined victimhood.

Matelli described his artistic philosophy ahead of the controversy. “I’m fascinated with that moment when you become aware of a perceptual shift in your environment, so what was a seemingly real-life experience becomes a complicated art experience. That approach to art is really powerful.”

I get it.  He has, in fact, drawn attention to their plight.  Perhaps they should go back home and stay out of the real world until they're ready to handle it.  

Okay, I have to respond to this horseshit:


"To get your friends into SF, show them a whole bunch of shit that no one gives a crap about, along with a few classics that aren't really good for neophytes, and some hysteria-inducing leftism. And if that doesn't work, go with a 2nd previous generation's failed attempt at literary greatness."

I'd like to destroy the prejudicial notion that the entire future is leftist, and that this is normal, desirable and believable.

Near as I can tell, not a single "expert" they asked is within a standard deviation of center, and they're all on the left.  The only one with reasonably good recommendations was John Scalzi.  When he's your moderate, you may have a bit of a bias.

Heinlein's YA? Neal Stephenson? Lois Bujold? Larry Niven? Sci fi with, you know, actual science? Drake for any veterans.  Hell, Ben Bova has lots of very good near future SF.  Mercedes Lackey is both liberal (since that obviously matters to them) and a good writer, with some decent present-day urban fantasy.

I've read close to 10K SF books and written a few, and I've never even heard of most of those choices. That by itself proves nothing, except that they're not recommending anything anyone center, conservative or libertarian is going to be interested in, which is 75% of the population.

And I had to explain to some enlightened, outraged "liberal" in comments about Heinlein's _Friday_.  "It starts off with the character being gangraped and she shrugs it off like it's no big deal!  Disgusting!"

Why is it necessary for me to explain this to people?:

To Dayman: I'm amazed at how many SF readers don't get Friday.

Quite obviously, as is stressed throughout the book, the character does not think of herself as human. She's in a world where she is reminded every day that her status is beneath everyone else, she can never be what they are, even though she IS fully human.

She has been taught to completely suppress everything about herself. Her very expensive membership in a line family that considers her only a source of money is more of the same. (And even her racial background is bothersome to them.)

The character spends a book learning HOW TO BE HUMAN and to love and be loved.

That so many readers don't get it is a tragedy.

And that so-many so-called "liberals" don't get it just exposes modern liberalism for the complete sham it is. They don't actually see prejudice or POV, they only see the color or group affiliation they've been taught to look down on as "oppressed."  They're clueless about the concept itself, however.

This is why literary SF will continue to grasp at relevance and market share.