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Monday, April 15, 2013

McRapey and McRacist react to criticism

James May criticizes two left-wing starlets of science fiction and fantasy:
Pretending the 21st century is actually the 19th just doesn't cut it, no matter how much you argue everyone born before you had the same interest in politicizing and racializing the most innocuous things, or even white people today, who show not the least interest by way of law, institution or mainstream culture in the very things they are accused of. If you wish to group together people as whites, a thing I detest, then it is whites who have created the very laws that protect minorities in America today. In the absence of law, institutions and mainstreams cultural expressions of racial disdain, one must then of course come up with theories which assert the unseen, the underground and the unwitting, showing the "truth" of a thing by its shadow, showing a dearth of cultural morality while at the same time denying such a thing is possible by non-white cultures. And let's be very clear here: there is no scholarship which can support whites even think of themselves as a culture racially in the 21st century while the exact opposite in regard to Jemisin and advocates like her provides mountains of black symposiums, black organizations and black culture artifacts. There's even a black scuba divers association if you can believe in that bit of idiocy. And don't hold your breath waiting for either Scalzi or Jemisin to wring their hands over black basketball players in the NBA overrepresented by 5 times their demography in America. "Meritocracy" is a slippery word in the hands of racial bigots. Am I to assume that lack of diversity in the NBA is a tacit plot by black players to keep out the white ones, or an example of black privilege?

You can't have this argument two ways - either skin brings nothing to the table or it does. If pedagogic racialists believe diversity in and of itself brings something to the table then it is taking up the opposite argument of what it claims, because those people are still an "other," just a better one, with innate qualities other races apparently don't have. But that argument can be turned around in a flash and in the end, it's just as stupid to ask a man to stand on a pedestal because of his skin as it is to ask him to stand in a ditch. In this light, the obsession the SFWA has with shallow diversity on the one hand while arguing race and gender mean nothing on the other seems sad and rather dark. Content of character, remember that? Gives a stupid and whole new meaning to the term "uplift wars."

The idea that Scalzi has what it takes to get inside the head of 100 million men based on their skin is an absurd idea and a racist one at that. It's no surprise to me that it basically amounts, in principle, to the exact opposite of what he says he champions, because, at its heart, political racialism is Orwellian doublethink. Scalzi should be sure to write a follow up where he tells us what 3 million Jewish and 20 million black men think. He mustn't forget to explain how he effortlessly rises above the fray while indulging in the most despicable racial stereotypes, a neat trick. So generic whites are a safe political target. Try the same thought process on Jews. I'm dying to read that one. What about gays? How are they all doing? Does he approve?
And this is how the two starlets react to it, on Twitter, naturally.

McRacist: ‏@scalzi What the -- ? HAHAHAHA I'm not a Tor author, you putz.
 

McRapey: @nkjemisin It's a special piece of writing, isn't it?

McRacist: @scalzi Why do champions of anti-racism (anti-anti-racism?) sound so alike as they endlessly blather on? So much energy, so little *sense.*


McRapey: @nkjemisin Poor logical skill and underdeveloped rhetorical control are strongly correlated, i.e., I can't argue but I CAN go on and on.

Quite the pair of intellectuals, aren't they.  And such a devastatingly convincing response. McRacist is not a Tor author, ergo she must not be a racist black woman and McRapey isn't a racist, incoherent gamma male who hates his socio-sexual superiors.  HAHAHAHA EVIL WHITE MALE POWER AND CENTRALITY!  Also, DRAGONS!

Of course, McRapey is correct.  He can't argue. That's why he always talks about his critics instead of directly addressing their criticisms of him. That's also why he flees from debate, both in third-party venues and on his own blog, which is a pity since he is one of the finest examples of the correlation of poor logical skill and underdeveloped rhetorical control you'll find anywhere on the Internet.

Me show all dem me no gamma! Me show dem me no rabbit! Now me haz gammarabbit.com. Agree and amplify DAT, bitchez! No hurtz now... why still hurtz, WHY?

As for McRacist, someone needs to explain to her that the fact that something doesn't make sense to her doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't make sense at all.

* * *

It may simply mean that she's not intelligent enough to understand it.

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106 Comments:

Anonymous Mr. Nightstick April 15, 2013 1:09 AM  

Why is your twitter protected now?

Blogger ray April 15, 2013 1:37 AM  

they dont seem very vibrant may i have a refund please

Anonymous Obvious April 15, 2013 2:03 AM  

So... you're still not very good with idiom and metaphor, eh? You don't understand what I.E. means, eh?

Anonymous castricv April 15, 2013 2:17 AM  

It's a shame that those least able to understand the reality beneath everything are the ones that most need to feel in control of everything. Politics is a religion to them. Contradictions do not spur even a pause for self-reflection, it just makes them dig deeper in the hope that something will stick.

Quick example: Make a huge mistake and get into any kind of politcal/moral discussion online with old friends from high school (at least if you are under 40). You will be AMAZED. And the ones I keep up with were the intelligent ones from a math and science boarding school. Doesn't matter to most of them. Even with a friendly dose of not wanting to offend them, nothing can break the fog or keep you from slowly devoling into "one of those friends".

The sad thing that strikes me most is that they are seeing the decline of normality and omnipresence of the "Cathedral" if you will just as much as we are, but are internalizing it in such a self-destructive way that everything out of their mouth begins to sound like gobbledy gook. They know this only too well so they begin to only seek the comfort of like-minded sheep and desperately gang up on anything that introduces a form of sanity that could burst their bubble and destroy the pitiful religion they have created for themselves.

Orwellianism will not take over from sheer size and strength of government or even elite manipulators, but simply from middle intellect lemmings desperately using anti-thoughtcrime as status markers for their own downfall.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 15, 2013 2:31 AM  

So... you're still not very good with idiom and metaphor, eh? You don't understand what I.E. means, eh?

Maybe Vox is a FireFox man...

Anonymous scoobius dubious April 15, 2013 2:41 AM  

"You don't understand what I.E. means, eh?"

"I.E." (upper case) means "Indo-European", a common reference in linguistics. "i.e." (lower case) means "id est", a common phrase in rhetoric.

They perform very different functions. Which one did you have in mind?

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 3:06 AM  

So... you're still not very good with idiom and metaphor, eh? You don't understand what I.E. means, eh?

I is too! It's one of those things that blow up in Afghanistan, duh.

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 3:14 AM  

What part of NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS do you not understand? It's pretty simple. Choose a Name under Name/URL or stop trying to comment here.

Anonymous Maddog April 15, 2013 4:41 AM  

LOL, I never seen the No Anonymous Comments on here. After looking for it after you mentioned it,I did find it. Since the Comment box has Anonymous on it and not Discus etc(what I use) then that was easy to over look.

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 4:46 AM  

No problem. I don't actually mind anonymous comments in theory, but in practice it rapidly becomes impossible to keep track of which Anonymous said what. Hence the requirement.

Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't have an option to combine unmoderated comments without permitting Anonymous ones.

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 5:57 AM  

Why is your twitter protected now?

Because a lot of people want to follow it without letting it be known they are Following it. I'm eliminating that option. If people want to follow it, they can. But they have to be willing to let it be known they are doing so.

I don't mind anyone reading what I'm writing. But I do mind the pretense that I am too insignificant to pay any attention to while simultaneously performing exegeses on every tweet and post I put out there. If they want to ignore me, fine. If they want to pay attention, also fine. But they can't have it both ways.

Blogger Bogey April 15, 2013 6:28 AM  

McRapey's devastating use of logic continues on his own blog:

"My goat writes better."

"I would have given the essay a “D” for lousy structure and recommended he take a class in composition."

"That you appear to think it’s cogent argument, Ian Ironwood, suggests not much good about your critical faculties,"


A point by point rebuttal. James May, owned.

Blogger Gilbert Ratchet April 15, 2013 6:33 AM  

Vox, I seem to have missed a few things... have you composed a primer or a FAQ on your feud with Scalzi? Or can you point me to a first post in this whole thing? Why do you call him McRapey?

Anonymous zen0 April 15, 2013 6:37 AM  

@ Obvious: So... you're still not very good with idiom and metaphor, eh? You don't understand what I.E. means, eh?

So....you are not still not familiar with Contra Proferentem ?

Eh?



Contra proferentem (Latin: "against [the] offeror"),[1] also known as "interpretation against the draftsman", is a doctrine of contractual interpretation providing that, where a promise, agreement or term is ambiguous, the preferred meaning should be the one that works against the interests of the party who provided the wording

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 6:39 AM  

Vox, I seem to have missed a few things... have you composed a primer or a FAQ on your feud with Scalzi?

Just click on McRapey on the left sidebar. That will bring up all the relevant posts and should suffice to bring you up to speed. Also, it is hardly a feud when both parties are enjoying themselves as much as Mr. Scalzi claims.

Anonymous Rex Vomitus April 15, 2013 6:42 AM  

Why do you call him McRapey?

And whats with the big creepy rabbit toon?

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 6:46 AM  

And whats with the big creepy rabbit toon?

That is the logo that McRapey commissioned in order to embrace his identity as a Gamma Rabbit. Mostly. The name on the t-shirt was a subsequent addition.

Anonymous Stilicho April 15, 2013 6:59 AM  

'tard bashing is a rapidly growing spectator sport in addition to being fun for participants of all ages. But when the retarded rabbits gather in one place in order to bash themselves in the head while screaming "winning" as loud as their rabbity lungs will allow, the entertainment value takes a decidedly slapstick turn. I still expect the warren to end in a suicide/genital mutilation cult.

Anonymous trk April 15, 2013 7:20 AM  

I really enjoyed viewing the twitter feed without having an account. I understand your reasons, perhaps its time for me to join the twitter party.

Blogger Some dude April 15, 2013 7:26 AM  

As for McRacist, someone needs to explain to her that the fact that something doesn't make sense to her doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't make sense at all.

It may simply mean that she's not intelligent enough to understand it.


There's a much worse reason something might not make sense to us, and it has nothing to do with intelligence.

It's well known that "a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise", this principle is one that has to give every serious man pause. Because it is not just talking about a bribe of money and a physical courtroom. Their is a courtroom of the mind, and their are bribes on the emotional level.

A woman who has an emotional reason to hate a group of people and despise them is bribed NOT to see the truth by her own feelings.

I remember reading a discussion between Maimonides and one of his students, the student complained that the master failed to convince him, Maimonides replied the student was too attached to materialism and the whims of his body.

In previous generations, great men of all nations understood this concept. They realized that intelligence was not enough, that a man needed to separate himself, so he could have true objectivity and not self deception. I think if there is one particular failing of the modern west is that we abandoned that concept long long ago. Men do not realize how easily they fool themselves, convincing themselves of nonsense they accept not because it's true, but because it is convenient.

A while ago, you replied to a comment pointing out how Churchill could see what no one else saw. I don't know if I said this at the time, but I thought "it's because he was willing to see, that he was able to see it"

Anonymous kh123 April 15, 2013 7:52 AM  

In several y... months' time, on bookshelves: "The $5.98 Rapey: Garbage Days Re-Revisited."

I figure he'll be clamoring for these heady salad days of flame wars and free press once the ride's up, and his publisher finds some other low rent way to dredge a more profitable market. He probably senses it on some level - why else would he have gone as rabid as quickly as he did on the Random House bit this past month.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 8:04 AM  

I predict Scalzi will move into film and television prominently within five years and won't put out a new novel after that.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 8:08 AM  

Permanently. That comment evidenced a lack of both chili and coffee this morning.

Anonymous Krul April 15, 2013 8:11 AM  

Well it's kind of on topic now, so I'll ask. Vox, you've referred to the "dialectic vs rhetoric" thing a few times now. Do you plan to write a blog post on it?

I mean I know that Aristotle mentioned offhand somewhere that some people are too stupid for dialectic and only respond to rhetoric, but I don't know quite how to apply the insight to critical reading. After all, most commenters sincerely believe that they're only presenting logical arguments in favor of their preferred position (i.e. dialectic) most of the time, so I'd like to know how you look at a commenter and say either "Ah, a rhetoric-type," or "Ah, a dialectic-type" and respond accordingly.

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 8:13 AM  

He's already trying to get into computer games. Which I find more than a little ironic, considering that he has publicly claimed I'm seeking after his lofty stature. Sure, he sells a few more books, but I've been a lead designer since 1992. He'd be reporting to the guy who reports to one of my assistants.

Delusion is an amusing beast when seen from the outside.

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 8:15 AM  

" HAHAHAHA EVIL WHITE MALE POWER AND CENTRALITY! Also, DRAGONS! "

From SPACE???

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 8:17 AM  

"Do you plan to write a blog post on it?"

Didn't Vox already beat that into the ground? I'm certain because I even jammed my foot into my mouth on one of the threads by claiming that Aristotle was an idiot because of something Plato wrote.

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 8:19 AM  

Dude, TOTALLY... FROM SPACE!!!!!

Also, you're raciss.

Anonymous Krul April 15, 2013 8:21 AM  

From SPACE???

Lame.

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 8:22 AM  

OT (sort of)

VD... do you hold out any hope that HBO will improve Game of Thrones by... I don't know... actually telling a story?

Anonymous Lulabelle April 15, 2013 8:25 AM  

"Vox, you've referred to the "dialectic vs rhetoric" thing a few times now. Do you plan to write a blog post on it?"

I'd like to see a Voxiversity for this, and other debate/discussion tactics that are frequently discussed here.

Anonymous Krul April 15, 2013 8:26 AM  

Guys, guys, it's spelled...

FROM SPACE

All caps, note the lack of try-hard punctuation.

Geez, do I have to explain everything?

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 8:26 AM  

"Lame."

Actually... what I really want to see is.. like there is this planet with these small agricultural type people... but one of them by a total fluke... has this super powerful technology that is stored in a chip in this ring. And like... its super powerful. And there is this evil alien empire that wants the technology really bad. and the casing of the ring is so strong... it can only be destroyed by heat of a star... that happens to be inside the part of the galaxy that evil empire controls!

Anonymous Lulabelle April 15, 2013 8:26 AM  

"Didn't Vox already beat that into the ground? I'm certain because I even jammed my foot into my mouth on one of the threads by claiming that Aristotle was an idiot because of something Plato wrote."

Some of us midwits (or maybe I'm the only one) need a LOT more teaching on many things.

Anonymous Vidad April 15, 2013 8:33 AM  

"And there is this evil alien empire that wants the technology really bad. and the casing of the ring is so strong... it can only be destroyed by heat of a star... that happens to be inside the part of the galaxy that evil empire controls!"

And the ring... represents traditional marriage. And the star is the Supreme Court...

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 8:35 AM  

"And the ring... represents traditional marriage. And the star is the Supreme Court..."

No. Dammit. The Lord of the Rings is not a treatise on gay marriage.

Anonymous Krul April 15, 2013 8:41 AM  

The Lord of the Rings is not a treatise on gay marriage.

It's not? But... Frodo... and Sam...?

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 8:44 AM  

They were only gay in the movies.

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 8:47 AM  

VD... do you hold out any hope that HBO will improve Game of Thrones by... I don't know... actually telling a story?

Sure, I don't see why not. There is at least 150 pages of interesting story in A Dance with Dragons. The problem was that it was spread out over 1100 pages. What they'll do is go back to one season per book rather than one season per half book.

The nice thing from HBO's perspective is that they don't need to do the whole tedious Mereen deal, just focus on the interesting bits to be found, then throw in Tyrion on a boat moaning about whores or Dany getting her kit off every now and then.

Anonymous Krul April 15, 2013 8:51 AM  

Yeah, jk.

Funny thing, during my recent deployment I decided to go on a Tolkien marathon: first the Silmarillion, then the Hobbit, and finally the Lord of the Rings. And you know what? Those books are good. I mean really REALLY good. It actually gave me a weird feeling, like vertigo, since they're so vastly different/superior to the movies. For instance, after the subtle complexity of Denethor in the book, that clown who played Denethor in the movie just makes me cringe, and that's only one example.

Don't get me wrong; I like the movies. But I'm in awe of the books.

Anonymous sprach von Teufelshunden April 15, 2013 8:53 AM  

I have to share this. This came in my email alerts I have for "Meetups." You are going to love this. I wish I could share it in the full color that came in my inbox. So, I will transpose best I can:

Religion & Beliefs

Houston Atheists
Houston Atheists Central Meetup
Tuesday, 7:00 PM Apr 16

25 Atheists


I mean, it can't possibly be classified under say:

Socializing?
Outdoors & Adventure?
Food & Drink?
Arts & Culture?
Community & Environment?
Paranormal?
New Age & Spirituality?
Education & Learning?
Lifestyle?
Sci-Fi & Fantasy?

No.. Apparently, it must be under Religion and Beliefs. So, it takes belief to be an atheist, and it's a religion. I have seen everything now.

Does Scalzi have a meetup in CA? Is it under Religion and Beliefs? May as well. One must be consistent here.

Also, I now know that Scalzi, in Italian = barefoot. So, what does that mean?

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 9:03 AM  

"Sure, I don't see why not. There is at least 150 pages of interesting story in A Dance with Dragons."

Ah you give me hope. Still the pessimist in me worries... that only gives them like 3 more seasons and they'll be caught up with the author on source material.

If he writes at the same pace he wrote DwD... he should have about 200 pages of 1200 total written... and I seriously doubt they'll be the interesting ones.

Anonymous Shutup, Tad April 15, 2013 9:07 AM  

Shutup, Tad

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 9:10 AM  

Hey shutup, tad is bad! I love that guy.

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 9:10 AM  

back! back dammit... not bad. gah... more coffee.

Anonymous bob k. mando April 15, 2013 9:11 AM  

not bad, Mr. May.

i would dispute a couple of assertions that you make:

1 - you say that US law is based 'on principle'. i would say that US law SHOULD be based on principle ... but no longer is. because far too many of the judges and lawyers that we have today are already members of the warren.

2 - you say that a burglar does NOT deserve to be shot for breaking and entering a house. i say that he sure as hell does. what evidence do you have that the burglar has no intentions beyond theft? you know perfectly well that these kinds of stories all to often devolve into armed robbery, beatings, rape and even death. often motivated by minority against white hate.

as you yourself say, you tend to go on a bit much and i don't have time to read further.

enjoy your rabbit hunting and may you cover the wall of your barn in drying skins.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 9:12 AM  

VD... do you hold out any hope that HBO will improve Game of Thrones by... I don't know... actually telling a story?

I'm not sure that last night's episode indicates that. It was all, "people talking about stuff"

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 9:26 AM  

I'm still mad at grrm for the red wedding.

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 9:50 AM  

You know GRRM thought the red wedding would be this super awesome event in the books and everyone would talk about how amazing and shocking it was.

And in fact mostly people talk about how stupid it was and how that was the point when they realize the series was going to suck.

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus April 15, 2013 9:57 AM  

And let's be very clear here: there is no scholarship which can support whites even think of themselves as a culture racially in the 21st century

That's because most whites still view the Nation as their Tribe rather than their racial group. Charlie Brown STILL thinks Lucy is going to hold the ball for him. Most whites don't understand that other groups by and large do not hold this view. When that realization sinks in, things will get interesting.

Anonymous Joshi April 15, 2013 10:11 AM  

And in fact mostly people talk about how stupid it was and how that was the point when they realize the series was going to suck.

I turned off the kindle and put the book down for an entire day

Anonymous A. Man April 15, 2013 10:23 AM  

"That's because most whites still view the Nation as their Tribe rather than their racial group. Charlie Brown STILL thinks Lucy is going to hold the ball for him. Most whites don't understand that other groups by and large do not hold this view."

This is true, to an extent. There is tribal quality to the "American Experience". However, what you miss is that most Americans hold tightly not only to the substance of this experience, but also to a racial or cultural experience apart from Americanism. The Irish, Italians, Blacks, Chinese, Jews, etc, etc DO understand themselves as part of these other cultural experiences, while also understanding themselves as Americans. It's not a zero sum cultural game.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 10:32 AM  

The Irish, Italians, Blacks, Chinese, Jews, etc, etc DO understand themselves as part of these other cultural experiences, while also understanding themselves as Americans.

If you moved to Canada, how long would it take for you to start calling yourself a Canadian and not an American?

Anonymous Daniel April 15, 2013 10:33 AM  

Red wedding was a direct rip-off of Dynasty, without the hilarious machine guns and total survival rate. At the time, I liked it, even though I realized he used it as a reset button because a lot of those characters were doomed to gum up his storyline. It wasn't until I moved through the story that I realize their absence was felt from a literary perspective, not an emotional one.

In other words, Dance With Dragons would have more stuff to do if the Red Wedding never happens. Also, it provides a too-convenient plot bucket. Pretty much anyone can have a grudge over the Red Wedding now, because GRR will suddenly "remember" that so-and-so's niece's friend was a caterer there or something.

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 10:39 AM  

You know GRRM thought the red wedding would be this super awesome event in the books and everyone would talk about how amazing and shocking it was.

I actually thought it was super awesome. I just couldn't believe that he brought Caitlyn quasi-back. The series could have ended with a real bang right there if he'd simply killed off Stannis at Blackwater and then had Dany fall in love with a prince of Mereen and give up her claim to the Iron throne.

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus April 15, 2013 10:41 AM  

No, you are missing the obvious. Not talking about the vaguely-defined "American Experience that has a tribal quality" here. I'm talking about where people actually place their solidarity.

In point of fact, many if not most white Americans hold themselves as members of the "American tribe" first-and-foremost in the same way that other racial groups (primarily blacks and hispanics) hold themselves as members of their racial group first.

Moreover, many of the same white Americans naively assume that the other groups have the same view of group allegiance, and are shocked when they find otherwise. They actually believed the ideals that were spoon-fed into them (at least once upon a time) in Civics class.

There is a qualitative difference between the pride-in-heritage practiced by some and the racial-group identity politics practiced by others; by their fruits they are recognized.



Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 10:54 AM  

"I actually thought it was super awesome. "

Oh God.

You're one of them.

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 10:55 AM  

Of course... if it had been the end it would've been better... but as is it wasn't the end. It wasn't.. anything. All it did was render everything that had happened up until then irrelevant.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 10:56 AM  

I actually thought it was super awesome. I just couldn't believe that he brought Caitlyn quasi-back.

You can't be serious. It was not super awesome. And the decision to bring her back was idiotic. I always found her a generally useless character.

The series could have ended with a real bang right there if he'd simply killed off Stannis at Blackwater and then had Dany fall in love with a prince of Mereen and give up her claim to the Iron throne.

That would have been a lame ending.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 10:57 AM  

All it did was render everything that had happened up until then irrelevant.

Not to mention killing off the only side worth rooting for.

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 10:57 AM  

Maybe the greatest thing about the Game of Thrones series... is that all of these people will be like.. "I have to read the books!"

Then by book three they'll be like... "Wait.."

Blogger Shibes Meadow April 15, 2013 11:03 AM  

@sprach von Teufelshunden: Also, I now know that Scalzi, in Italian = barefoot. So, what does that mean?

I hereby infallibly decree that from hence Scalzi shall be known as "Barefoot John R. McRapey".

(The "R" stands for "Redshirt".)

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 11:04 AM  

That would have been a lame ending.

Sure, but nevertheless, a coherent and realistic one. Nothing is happening with the Others anyhow. They must have changed their minds and went back to hybernation for another 500 years.

That would have been awesome... or at least hilarious. All that setup, then, boom! YOU'LL GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT!

Anonymous Will Best April 15, 2013 11:06 AM  

In fairness, you can't do much on twitter past "nuh uh" or "stupid" or "jerkface". Which more or less just says "I am aware of his arguments, I summarily dismiss them".

I guess there are plenty of sheep that feel name calling addresses the substance of the argument, or that if the speaker is vile enough then what they say is irrelevant, but I like to think that at least 4 out of 10 people have the mental capacity to realize that the speaker has just conceded for failing to address the substance.

Anonymous scoobius dubious April 15, 2013 11:12 AM  

I've only been watching the TV show, haven't read the books, but the thing that strikes me as the underlying flaw of Game of Thrones is that it's just about power, it isn't about any idea of the Good. Stannis versus the Lannisters: it's very well filmed, but who really cares who wins, they're both monsters. Anthill 562-39B attacks Anthill 913-45M; what difference does it make? Tolkien is great for a lot of reasons, but the primary one is that at the core of his work there is an idea of the Good. Game of Thrones has some fun characters who are fun to watch, but if you kill them off, then it just gets less and less interesting because there's no commitment to philosophy, there's just fun characters.

I used to joke that the great virtue of the later Star Wars movies like Attack of the Clones was that they closely resembled real life, in the respect that they make no f#cking sense and you have no idea what's going on or why, and that in all probability nobody knows. Game of Thrones has the minor virtue of resembling real life in the sense that anything at all could happen, for any random reason, and people could just die in the middle of everything and you'd just have to deal with it. But I don't think that's the key to a good story. Maybe we need to lie to ourselves that there is order, I don't know. But when you have good characters but put them to pointless purposes and then kill them off randomly, it's an easy kick, it isn't real fun.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 11:12 AM  

That would have been awesome... or at least hilarious. All that setup, then, boom! YOU'LL GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT!

Please tell me you aren't thinking of doing this in AofDaL.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 11:16 AM  

but the thing that strikes me as the underlying flaw of Game of Thrones is that it's just about power, it isn't about any idea of the Good.

Exactly. Vox has written before about how this inherent nihilism makes the series empty and soulless.

Anonymous Krul April 15, 2013 11:25 AM  

scoobius is right. At first GOT had some notion of the Good with the character of Ned Stark - a nostalgic throwback to an earlier, purer kind of heroic lord of the type that would have vanquished his enemies and assumed the kingship in Tolkien's world. GRRM made short work of him, and just left his world with a freakshow of human monsters.

Also, the whole "Winter's coming" thing seems to be poorly handled. When I was reading the books, the looming threat from beyond the wall rendered pretty much everything in the main plot petty and superfluous. It's like watching two people argue over who gets the last piece of cake while the rope holding the ten ton weight directly above their heads wears ever thinner.

Anonymous scoobius dubious April 15, 2013 11:27 AM  

"I am Danaerys Stormborn, of the House Targaryen, and the Iron Throne is mine by right!"
"Uh... why do they call you Stormborn?"
"Well, because I was born during a storm."
"So let me get this straight... it was raining outside while your mother squeezed you out, and I'm supposed to think there's something special about that?"
"But I am the rightful heir to the Iron Throne!"
"So, wait a minute... you let your own brother sell you to Atilla the Hun as a glorified sex slave, and you haven't been able to get an army or a navy to reclaim your throne, and you let yourself be canoodled by a crazy sorceress into killing your own child, you've never shown good judgement in any matter whatsoever, and we're supposed to think you have a _right_ to rule over a whole bloody continent? Why? Because it was raining outside when you were born?"
"Uh.. um..."


Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 11:28 AM  

It's like watching two people argue over who gets the last piece of cake while the rope holding the ten ton weight directly above their heads wears ever thinner.

Or republicans and democrats argue about sequestration when there's a 16000 billion debt that is theoretically supposed to be paid back.

Anonymous Daniel April 15, 2013 11:29 AM  

That would have been awesome... or at least hilarious. All that setup, then, boom! YOU'LL GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT!

GRR not only did that, but he monetized it, somewhat unsuccessfully in Feast for Crows, but to glorious resolution in Dance with Dragons.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 11:29 AM  

Well scoob, she does have dragons...

Anonymous Daniel April 15, 2013 11:34 AM  

In fairness, you can't do much on twitter past "nuh uh" or "stupid" or "jerkface". Which more or less just says "I am aware of his arguments, I summarily dismiss them".

This is wholly untrue. I have followed fairly decent rapid-fire debates on twitter many many times. Typically, they aren't extremely deep, or must resort to a different medium for resolution, but the fact is that the less limited your mind is, the more effectively you can present new ideas in fewer than 140 characters.

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 11:38 AM  

Please tell me you aren't thinking of doing this in AofDaL.

It is a tempting thought, to be sure, but ultimately too easy. And way too much work for the amusement to be had when a pair of two-minute posts is sufficient to inspire McRapey to post videos of himself removing his own testicles with an ice cream scoop.

Anonymous Eric Ashley April 15, 2013 11:39 AM  

Real life is a good story, its just we're not sophisticated enough readers to understand the plot twists and character reveals.

I read the first GoT's and 1. Ick. 2. I had the feeling of 'no, they're not going to do that stupid thing in this book' and then they did it. Which generally is an book killer for me when I can predict with a sinking feeling a bit of junk.

Watched very little of the shows. Enjoyed the short guy. Said that this was the sort of world that should have Genghis Khan arrive and say 'You must have done something horrible for God to have sent me against you.' before slaughtering most of them.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 11:40 AM  

And way too much work for the amusement to be had when a pair of two-minute posts is sufficient to inspire McRapey to post videos of himself removing his own testicles with an ice cream scoop.

Well, don't you know that science says that testosterone is bad and causes bad things like crime, rape, and murder? He's just showing us what we all must do to be the change we want to see in the world.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 11:42 AM  

Enjoyed the short guy.

Tyrion is one of the greatest TV performances of our time.

Anonymous James May April 15, 2013 11:50 AM  

http://www.jamesmaystock.com/essays/Pages/Resignation.html

Anonymous scoobius dubious April 15, 2013 11:52 AM  

"this was the sort of world that should have Genghis Khan arrive and say 'You must have done something horrible for God to have sent me against you.'

That's pretty close. What Genghis actually said (or at least, is reported to have said) is, "Heaven is exasperated with the luxury and decadence of China!"

What the Tai-p'ings said was:

"Heaven produces myriads
Of things to nourish Man.
Man never does one bit of good
To recompense Heaven.
Kill, kill, kill,
kill, kill, kill, kill!"

Sort of a catch-all excuse for just doing whatever the hell you want, so long as you think you can get away with it. Mohammed was the same way, so was Timur the Lame. Cortez too, I suppose.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia April 15, 2013 12:07 PM  

Of course they are not racists, only whites can be racist.
Well not really all whites, mainly just southerners.

Anonymous Oh, Snap! April 15, 2013 12:11 PM  

Nothing is happening with the Others anyhow. They must have changed their minds and went back to hybernation for another 500 years

They're hibernating until the last book, when Martin's going to need a deus ex machina to end the series.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia April 15, 2013 12:13 PM  

One is a black (?), therefore, not racist.

The other is a white, marxist, therefore, not racist.

James May is obviously a racist, as he accuses those two, for whom it is impossible to be racist, as racist.

QED

Blogger JDC April 15, 2013 1:15 PM  

Had a gal stop by the church the other day, and since our secretary was off, there was no buffer and she came right to my office (I now demand that when our secretary is off she find a replacement). She wanted to give a presentation at our church on racism and green stewardship. I won't bore you with the details, but her premise was that churches were on the front lines of what she called "the battle against the destruction of our planet and the subjugation of minorities in our communities."

I asked her how she defined racism. She began by saying that racism was not a set of attitudes or beliefs or behaviors, but a system of advantage based upon race. Therefore - if you are white (which the anti-racist always gets to define with an ever-changing set of parameters), then you are racist via your genetics.

I politely showed her the door and informed her that we were a LCMS church - a conservative denomination that doesn't allow women to preach at our churches. The look on her face was priceless. So now, because of my Irish/German/? heritage I am not only raciss' but sexiss' as well. And I am wantonly destroying the planet by not recycling my newspapers (btw i save them for deer camp to burn in the wood stove - further destroying the planet with my naughty carbon emissions).

Anonymous Stickwick April 15, 2013 2:24 PM  

Of course, McRapey is correct. He can't argue. That's why he always talks about his critics instead of directly addressing their criticisms of him.

Maybe this is a dumb question, but the gamma male is a mystery to me. Since he can't argue, why doesn't he just ignore his critics instead of pretending to ignore them?

Blogger The Original George...or OG April 15, 2013 2:44 PM  

"To believe racism is actually anti-racism is plain stupidity. SF fandom is not a community that believes in the human spirit, but one that worships its own piousness, self-righteouness and moral high ground, not to mention a presumed intellectual superiority which, like its foes, they can't actually demonstrate. These people don't confront arguments head on, they attack your grammar." - James May

In one handy little essay James has encapsulated the core of my frustration with the racist culture here in America. As a people, we have simply shifted from the majority driven racist narrative of old to a new one where Straight (mostly Christian) Caucasian Males are simply dismissed out of hand because of THEIR skin color, sex and sexual proclivities. Transference plain and simple. It is virtually impossible today to have a rational discussion about the crime rates in Black America, or the suicide rates of homosexuals, or even the victimization of boys by teachers in the class room without being called a racist, sexist, homophobe. Jackie Robinson’s widow was right when she said recently, “We still have a long way to go.” I don’t know her mind but I hope she meant that as I see it.

Blogger JCclimber April 15, 2013 2:52 PM  

JDC,
wish you had a video of her face as she heard your response, and a series of random face shots over the next week as she retold to the story with great outrage to her "friends".

Blogger The Original George...or OG April 15, 2013 3:09 PM  

Now my Mea Culpa. A few days ago I lashed out by making the outlandish statement, “The fact of the matter is a black man is much much more likely to kill you and rape your wife than treat you when you get to the hospital.” I wrongly employed a devise meant to underscore my point and obviously not to reflect reality like the statement I read recently where someone said, “Aliens exist and some species are trillions of years advanced over our own.” I assume that individual was not so numerically challenged to think that when the Universe is estimated to be only 14 billion years old that some Alien species exist that are a few thousand of billions older than the Universe itself.
And things went downhill from there but rather than attack my response to A.Man Vox appropriately bitch slapped me by using the identical verbiage I had used on someone else a few weeks earlier. Like getting knocked on your ass by your sensei at the dojo it had a curative effect because it made me realize I had allowed myself to become so cranky and snarky that it was reflecting poorly on my Lord, this blog and myself and even more seriously…my message became skewed and lost. So… I would like to apologize to My Lord, Vox, the Ilk and A.Man for my untoward behavior.

“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Proverbs 15:1

Anonymous VD April 15, 2013 3:25 PM  

So… I would like to apologize to My Lord, Vox, the Ilk and A.Man for my untoward behavior.

I can't speak for the others, but no worries on this end.

Since he can't argue, why doesn't he just ignore his critics instead of pretending to ignore them?

If he could ignore people instead of pretending to ignore them, he wouldn't be a gamma in the first place. He can't ignore anything that has to do with him, even if he tries.

Anonymous Stickwick April 15, 2013 3:40 PM  

If he could ignore people instead of pretending to ignore them, he wouldn't be a gamma in the first place. He can't ignore anything that has to do with him, even if he tries.

Ah, so this is intrinsic to the gamma male.

It seems like alphas and gammas have something in common -- pride. Maybe I'm way off on this, but it seems like the difference is that while the gamma's pride motivates him to bitterly snipe at his enemies in a way that he hopes will be mistaken for brave engagement or casual brushing-off, the alpha's pride compels him to engage in open confrontation with the intent of crushing his enemies.

Anonymous A. Man April 15, 2013 3:44 PM  

"The Irish, Italians, Blacks, Chinese, Jews, etc, etc DO understand themselves as part of these other cultural experiences, while also understanding themselves as Americans."

"If you moved to Canada, how long would it take for you to start calling yourself a Canadian and not an American?"

For me it would be a while. I'm older and have been an American all my life. But the second generation would certainly see themselves as Canadians if all went as it usually does.

Blogger The Original George...or OG April 15, 2013 3:48 PM  

"...the alpha's pride compels him to engage in open confrontation with the intent of crushing his enemies." - Stickwick

Pride...you are so right it always comes back to pride. Right Lucifer?

More precisely Stickwick...I want crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentation of their women! LOL.

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 3:49 PM  

He can't ignore anything that has to do with him, even if he tries.

I'm ignoring you. Look at me ignoring you. Are you looking at me, I can't tell because I'm ignoring you. See how I'm ignoring you? Doesn't it just bother you how I'm ignoring you? I can't tell if it does because I'm ignoring you. See how much I'm ignoring you? LOOK AT ME IGNORING YOU DAMMIT!

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 3:52 PM  

For me it would be a while. I'm older and have been an American all my life. But the second generation would certainly see themselves as Canadians if all went as it usually does.

Why?

Anonymous A. Man April 15, 2013 3:58 PM  

"For me it would be a while. I'm older and have been an American all my life. But the second generation would certainly see themselves as Canadians if all went as it usually does.

Why?"

Why what?

Anonymous Josh April 15, 2013 4:02 PM  

Why what?

Why would they see themselves as Canadians?

Blogger Markku April 15, 2013 4:05 PM  

So… I would like to apologize to My Lord, Vox, the Ilk and A.Man for my untoward behavior.

No hard feelings. I simply assumed you had had a few drinks, as it was the only reason I could think of for why a non-troll regular here would reverse an implication.

Blogger The Original George...or OG April 15, 2013 4:22 PM  

I blame that damn Russian blood and my affinity for large quantities of votka Markku.

Blogger JDC April 15, 2013 4:51 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger JDC April 15, 2013 5:03 PM  

Is votka Markku some kind of syrupy spirit one drinks with an umbrella?

Blogger Markku April 15, 2013 5:37 PM  

Is votka Markku some kind of syrupy spirit one drinks with an umbrella?

It's merely the folksy Finnish spelling of vodka.

Blogger JDC April 15, 2013 5:46 PM  

Where Koskenkorva flows...Where the freezing weeee-nd blows

Anonymous Stickwick April 15, 2013 5:47 PM  

Try Kossu next time, OG. It's often used in Finland to inspire reasoned intellectual discourse.

Anonymous Maddog April 15, 2013 8:52 PM  

Here is a Youtupe video about Liberals and rape that makes some Great simple Points that anyone can understand(beside those who choose not too)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6b_aHK4JVc

Scalzi Sucks

Blogger Nate April 15, 2013 11:51 PM  

"So, wait a minute... you let your own brother sell you to Atilla the Hun as a glorified sex slave, and you haven't been able to get an army or a navy to reclaim your throne, and you let yourself be canoodled by a crazy sorceress into killing your own child, you've never shown good judgement in any matter whatsoever, and we're supposed to think you have a _right_ to rule over a whole bloody continent? Why? Because it was raining outside when you were born?"

"Because I am immune to fire and burning... and I have dragons. Also... I am crazy pretty and I have silver hair and you want to sleep with me really bad. but mostly because I have these dragons."

Anonymous Heh April 16, 2013 5:51 PM  

"I am Barry Blackborn, of the House Magicnegro, and the Presidency is mine by right!"

"Uh... why do they call you Blackborn?"

"Well, because I was born with black skin."

"So let me get this straight... you were born with black skin, and I'm supposed to think there's something special about that?"

"But I am the rightful heir to the Presidency! And I bring Hopenchange!"

"So, wait a minute... your mother was a Communist nitwit, your father was a philandering drunk, you hate your country, you've never shown good judgement in any matter whatsoever, you have zero qualifications or serious achievements, and we're supposed to think you have a _right_ to rule over a whole bloody continent? Why? Because you have black skin?"

"Uh... um..."

Blogger Markku April 16, 2013 6:20 PM  

Now that was funny.

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