Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Joyless and Ungrateful

Blogs I read are abuzz because of an incredibly stupid, shrill, scolding little article by somebody named K. Tempest Bradford, whom I vaguely think I've heard of, once.

Sweet mother of pearl, she's actually wagging her finger!

Anyway, this special snowflake is what they call a "Social Justice Warrior," that is, a priggish little hothouse flower who thinks it's her duty to tell everybody else what to do, and what she wants you to do is pledge, for a year, to stop reading, and I quote, "White, Straight, Cis Male Authors."

Huh.  Let's see . . . I think I can find a magical girl with an appropriate response to that.

Right back at you, Tempest.

And after pointing out that "cis" isn't a word, we move on to the next point:  Bradford is a raging bigot.  Literally raging, in fact, as she freely admits:

Back in 2012, I faced a conundrum. I write short fiction, and I wanted to get better at writing it. To do that I had to write, write, and write some more. But just as important was reading, reading, and reading a lot more. And I tried. But every time I thought about delving into one of the many science fiction and fantasy magazines at my disposal, or even reading compilations of the "best" stories that had been nominated for and/or won awards, my brain resisted.

Because every time I tried to get through a magazine, I would come across stories that I didn't enjoy or that I actively hated or that offended me so much I rage-quit the issue. Go through enough of that, and you start to resist the idea of reading at all.

Then I thought: What if I only read stories by a certain type of author? Instead of reading everything, I would only look at stories by women or people of color or LGBT writers. Essentially: no straight, cis, white males. [more...]

Got that?  She's chosen to avoid any books that might expand her mind or challenge her views . . . no, wait, not even that.  She's chosen to avoid any books by people who have the wrong skin color or who know how correctly to identify what's in their pants because they might expand her mind and challenger her views, because that might offend her and cause her to "rage-quit" (and I think that's the first time I've seen that word in what is supposed to be a serious context).

I highly recommend reading some certain responses to this.  Larry Correia dismantles it.  Right Fans gamely (and hilariously) offers a reading list of books that make the grade, and SuperversiveSF offers a list of authors.

But look closely at what Tempest Teapot is doing here:  she wants you to judge books not by their quality nor even by their content but by some arbitrary, superficial identity labels the author falls under.  She wants you to avoid books by Jew and Negro writers because they might infect you with their silly Jew and Negro ideas.

You'll notice that, in her finger-wagging photo, she's holding up a book by Neil Gaiman, and you'll also notice she's telling people to avoid that white guy Gaiman while at the same time wearing a T-shirt advertising Doctor Who, the television series about a white guy, written by Gaiman.  Now, Neil Gaiman, besides being an extremely successful writer, is a member of the Leftist Good ol' Boy Club, so he has offered support for Bradford's article and said that he doesn't "mind being the posterbook."

Of course he doesn't.  Neil Gaiman is already a success.  He sleeps on top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies.  He knows damn well his sales won't be harmed in the least if one of his SJW buddies tells everybody not to read his work, and he apparently doesn't give a flying feather for lesser writers who might, in fact, be harmed, assuming anyone takes Bradford seriously.

But I doubt anyone, or at least anyone important, will take Bradford seriously.  People who enjoy reading will read what they enjoy.  They don't go looking up every author to make sure he conforms to the latest Ahnenpass rules issued by our masters.

And the rules are frankly stupid.  I could have sworn everybody with any sense gave up years ago on trying to divide the human species into clear-cut racial categories, but these SJWs seem to think humans are color-coded for your convenience like D&D dragons.  How are you supposed to know the race of the author you're reading?  From his photo, assuming you can even find one?  I'm of the Scottish race, and Larry Correia, whom I mentioned above, is Portuguese, but he looks whiter than I do.  When I was in India, I saw people ranging from pitch black to lily white, yet all of them are of the same "race" according to SJW dumbassery.  My own brother has a skin tone different from mine.

The only way you can know all your authors' race is if is you only read authors who blather about their race, who define themselves by their race and think race is essential to identity, is identity.  No wonder Special Snowflake finds herself "rage-quitting" less when she only reads authors of the approved races:  the ones who define themselves by race are, of course, the ones who share her opinion that everything is about race.

But even so, the attempt to divide everyone up by race looks positively sane and wholesome next to this new attempt to divide everyone up according to the wholly imaginary categories of "orientation" and "gender."  The SJWs do not realize, at least not yet, that there can be no end to that absurdity:  since the variety of sexual disorders, dysfunctions, dysphasias, and diseases from which a man may suffer is potentially infinite, our self-appointed social betters can keep expanding their favorite acronym until it contains every letter of the alphabet and then some, until every individual is a member of an oppressed minority group with a population of one.  I mean, cheese and crackers, there are actually fifty genders listed on Facebook.  Surely it's obvious by now that this whole gender identity business is made up, the sort of thing rich and bored aristocrats, or rich and bored Post-Moderns, invent to amuse themselves.

My favorite part of Bradford's article, the real icing on the cake, is the end, in which she suggests ways you can mix and match your bigotry to suit your needs:

After a year of that, the next challenge would be to seek out books about or with characters that represent a marginalized identity or experience by any author. In addition to the identities listed above, I suggest: non-Christian religions or faiths, working class or poor, and asexual (as a start).

I am reasonably sure that "asexual" was not even a thing just a few years ago.  The word actually means "reproduces without sex," but in Cloudcuckooland, it is used to refer to an insensitivity to sex, which is now its own orientation.  Or maybe it's a gender.  I don't know.

So let's say I decide for a year to read books only by "asexual" authors, or even books with "asexual" characters.  How the hell am I even supposed to know?  I've read plenty of bios and blurbs on the backs of books, and I don't remember any of them ending with, "P.S., this author is, like, totally not interested in getting it on," or, "And by the way, the protagonist never does it, not even once, and even thinks it's kinda icky."

Is there some giant database of author sexual inclinations I don't know about?  And how are the author's inclinations any of my business?  I seem to recall that there was a time once in which people kept certain private things, you know, private.

It happens I'm writing a novel, and I now see that I need to spend some time thinking about my author biography in order to make sure the hypersensitive SJWs can decide whether or not to read my book based on my complexion and whatever else they come up with rather than on whether the book looks appealing.  Here is my first attempt.  Brace yourselves.

D. G. D. Davidson is an archaeologist who was frequently mistaken for a high school student well into his twenties.  His skin color is "blushing peach."  He prefers redheads, considers ponytails sexy, and thinks girls look cute with eyeglasses and buckteeth.  He is actually a Japanese magical girl trapped in a flabby, thirty-something bachelor's body, which is pretty gross if you think about it, and he has a man-crush on James Arness's depiction of Marshal Dillon from Gunsmoke.  He has been known to develop strong but short-lived infatuations with cartoon characters.  He finds the jam-eating scene in Eureka Seven to be strangely alluring.  He currently makes his home in Wisconsin with his five chihuahuas and a large block of cheese.

Jam-eating scene. Watch at your own risk.

I have no idea what all of that makes me, but I'm sure the SJWs have a stupid-sounding neologism already ready to go for it.  Surely I'm in some kind of underprivileged minority, right?  Of course, "underprivileged," in SJW-land, means you have several useless college degrees and have spent much of your life dinking around while mooching off rich buddies, just like K. Tempest Bradford, who has said about her life,

After Clarion West I wandered around the country for a few years visiting friends, writing, and discovering that all one needs to survive in life is confidence, charm, and many well-off friends.

Yep.  And remember, this is the kind of person who likes to go around calling others "privileged."

I got your "rage-quit" right here, Tempest.

. . . Hey, it occurs to me that I do just so happen to know of a couple of authors of whom I've read biographies, who might possibly qualify for this newfangled category of "asexual," though of course I can't be sure, since they were the sort of men who didn't announce it to all and sundry.  Still, I'll have to take that risk, even with the possibility that I might "rage-quit."

Okay, then, it's decided:  I'll spend the next year reading the respective corpora of H. P. Lovecraft and St. Thomas Aquinas.

Sounds like a good year.
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