Wednesday, September 9, 2015

All The News That Fits, We Print!

     I’m both overburdened and utterly exhausted this morning, Gentle Reader – sheesh, if I’d known retirement was going to be this much work, I’d have...oh, never mind – so have a few shorter observations on subjects currently in the public discourse.


     1. More on the “refugee crisis.”

     Daniel Greenfield, a.k.a. “Sultan Knish,” is scathing about the falsity of it all:

     The media howls that the Syrian refugee crisis is our fault. That is a lie.

     What is happening in Syria is a religious civil war fought over the same ideologies as the ones practiced by the vast majority of the refugees. This is an Islamic war fought to determine which branch of Islam will be supreme. It is not a war that started last week or last year, but 1,400 years ago.

     We can’t make it go away by overthrowing Assad or supporting him, by giving out candy or taking in refugees. This conflict is in the cultural DNA of Islam. It is not going anywhere.

     This war is not our fault. It is their fault....

     The refugees aren’t fleeing a dictator, they’re fleeing each other while carrying the hateful ideologies that caused this bloodshed with them.

     We aren’t taking in people fleeing the civil war. We’re taking in their civil war and giving it a good home.

     I couldn’t agree more, but then, you’d expect that of nasty old xenophobic Christianist me, wouldn’t you?


     2. The Good Intentions Brigade Has Used Up Its Slack.

     As Robert A. Heinlein has said, sometimes “good intentions” should be considered a capital crime. Given the amount of bloodshed and misery consequent upon liberalism’s supposedly well-intentioned policies, maybe it’s time for the indictment and trial:

     Sure, their approach to governance may be of dubious efficacy, but their hearts are in the right place. Judging the left by their intentions and not whether their policy prescriptions succeed on their own terms is how liberalism has managed to avoid critical introspection and soul-searching for much of the modern era – even when it is cast into the political wilderness by the electorate. As the Obama era comes to a close and liberalism faces another time out of the public’s favor, its contemporary leaders seem fit to ignore the lessons of its period in ascendance. Liberalism is utterly undeserving of the benefit of the doubt from which it has so unduly profited. That was always the case, but this summer has so plainly demonstrated this reality that it would be pathologically self-deceptive for the left to continue to ignore it.

     Did Noah Rothman have a stuttering of the fingers? “Pathologically self-deceptive for the left to continue to ignore it” -- ? What about the rest of us, the longsuffering sorts who’ve endured the Left’s castigations about our supposed lack of “compassion” while they ran roughshod over every right – indeed, over the laws of Nature Herself – to bring about an America where 94 million able-bodied individuals have stopped looking for work, where nearly half our countrymen receive some sort of federal “assistance,” and where the government is bent upon importing tens of thousands of unvetted Muslim pseudo-refugees bearing fake Syrian passports and settling them among us?

     Protests of good intentions wildly at variance with results shouldn’t receive “the benefit of the doubt;” they should be punished, at the very least by ostracism and general contempt.


     3. White Wine and Brie With The Barons of Pub World.

     I read very widely, and these past few years I’ve strained to read both conventionally and independently-published fiction. I’m an independently-published writer myself, so I have an interest in keeping track of the proliferation, standards, and successes of my fellows. However, it seems that the panjandrums of Pub World have chosen a different course:

     The self-published book—despite its surge in respectability of late—is still derided, with snoots in the air, as “vanity press” by self-important literary critics. On a recent New York Times Book Review podcast, editor Pamela Paul proudly asserted that they don’t even read them. After all, who has time to go through all those so-called books? The assumption is that no legitimate publisher would touch it, so the author had to go it alone.

     “So-called” books? Hmph. But I digress. What editor – indeed, what human being – could read all of what Pub World prints each year? No one selects his reading that way. So the above amounts to a vacuous, ignorance-fueled dismissal of the hottest trend in publishing...by the very persons most threatened by it.

     Is there a lot of utter crap being self-published? Of course; that’s the nature of the thing in a time when anyone with a computer and a word processor can deem himself a writer. But there are gems out there, too – and if Pub World’s contempt for the hoi polloi hadn’t overwhelmed its survival instincts, its barons would be devoting at least some of their time to perusing indie fiction’s successes.

     John Conroe probably couldn’t have gotten the time of day from Pub World. Yet he’s one of America’s best-selling writers. He’s also become one of my favorite writers, and I dare anyone to call me “undiscriminating.”

     The linked article is quite illuminating. Please read it all.


     4. “Climate Change.”

     Climate blogger Anthony Watts has a worthy compatriot DownUnder in maverick science blogger Joanne Nova. Miss Nova tracks many areas in the sciences, but has a particular interest in the “climate change” kerfuffle. This piece strikes me as particularly important:

     Oxfam have produced a political program that reaches into Australian, UK, and New Zealand schools under the guise of “climate science”. There are petitions for children to send to the PM. Law abiding corporations are called “polluting vested interests”. Kids are now advising the government on energy policy and economic direction, and NGOs, which are partly funded by Big-Government, are effectively telling kids to vote for Big-Government. Anyone spot the conflict of interest?

     Once again, please read it all. If it’s happening in England, Australia, and New Zealand, what are the odds that it isn’t happening here? Your Curmudgeon reports; you decide.


     5. Same-Sex Marriages And The American Way.

     I disapproved of Kim Davis’s refusal to do the job to which she was elected. She had alternatives – public protest; resignation – which she disdained, possibly because she believes it important to take a stand. Yet I sympathize with her stance on her Christian conscience, which is offended by the politicization of marriage and its destruction by the Supreme Court. R. D. Walker deems the affair evidence of a wider devolution:

     This is the sewer in which the American left now lives. Mothers killing their children is just a pelvic matter. Religious faith is based on myth. Conscientious objectors should not just be jailed, they should be imprisoned with murderers and rapists. Elected officials should be fired, not by the voters, but by some autocrat.

     Because mothers killing their offspring is the American way. Because judges creating laws out of thin air and then jailing those who do not immediately comply is the American way. Because criminalizing conscientious objection is the American way. Because ridiculing religious faith is the American way. Because judges “firing” elected representatives of the people is the American way.

     We refrain from prosecuting mayors who declare their domains to be “sanctuary cities” for murderers, but we’re swift to pillory a woman outraged that sodomites have been legally empowered to pollute the cornerstone institution of all healthy societies. What’s wrong with this picture?


     6. Statesman.

     A reader recently wrote to me to express displeasure with the opening segment of Statesman, which I released in part because so many of my readers have written to ask where it is and when they might expect it. His complaint is twofold: that the foreshadowed structure of the book, as a series of loosely connected, event-centered stories, is not to his liking; and that the focus of the “Origin” novelette seems wrong.

     As I explained to him, I’m working with a “folded” timeline. As was the case with Polymath, the events in Statesman will both largely overlap the previous three Realm of Essences novels in time. I have to tell a story that serves my purposes – introducing and coloring in a new protagonist – while abiding by a severe constraint – make the new story consistent with the existing ones.

     It probably didn’t satisfy him. (I say “probably” because I haven’t heard back from him since then.) But that’s what happens when a writer tries to revisit an established milieu, to expand it, and to add to its drama. It strikes me as a good argument against ever again trying to do any such thing.

     That’s all for now.

6 comments:

  1. Francis,
    Regarding your point 1: “The media howls that the Syrian refugee crisis is our fault. That is a lie.”
    Of course, the sectarian animosity in the Levant and North Africa has been seething below the surface for more than a millennia. Until recently the lid was kept on it by local tyrants such as Saddam Hussein, Moammar Kadaffi and Bashar Assad. By invading Iraq and meddling in/bombing Libya, Syria and Sunni Iraq the US policies are the proximate cause of the refugee crisis.
    Q: When will the US abandon its global imperial pretensions?
    A: When the costs in blood and treasure can no longer be met by borrowing, taxing and counterfeiting.
    Sadly when that time arrives we will have surrendered all of our liberties.

    ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

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  2. FWIW-I thought the opening segment of Statesman was excellent,and well written.
    Maybe the person doing the complaining has not read the rest of the books in the series?

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  3. I grow weary of people who say Kim Davis is free to stand up for her religious beliefs anywhere,except where it matters. Anyone can stand up in church on Sunday a sing praises to the Lord, it costs nothing, it puts nothing in peril. It's. Quite something else to stand in the way of sin when it can cost you something, your money, your property, your job or as in this case even your freedom.

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  4. Fran,

    I saw a photo posted showing Kim Davis - jailed for refusing to provide marriage licenses to gay couples - right beside a photo of a black lesbian judge (Tonya Parker) who refused - for three years, I read - to perform heterosexual marriages, and was never even reprimanded.

    http://www.dallasvoice.com/judge-parker-refuses-conduct-marriages-cant-performed-me-10102160.html

    Only the _straight_ white Christian gets jailed. The gay _black_ liberal goes unpunished.

    The current state of "justice" and the rule of law in America.

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  5. Yes, an interesting story about the fellow and his grandfather who published his own story sans fake sex scenes.

    I've read several very interesting accounts by individual soldiers in the Wehrmacht of their service on the Eastern Front. All self published. Well written and just fascinating stuff. And showing a humanity that our hideous intellectual left does its utmost to conceal and deny.

    I don't for a second consider sending anything I'd write to a major publisher. Print-on-demand is the ultimate option and a terrific end run around the traffic cops of propriety.

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  6. Heller was decided in 2008 and you still can hardly own a gun in DC seven years later but the court says sodomites can marry and that has to be in effect the next day?

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