The Left Paw of Darkness 5/16

aka An alternate dimension based on String Theory.

Vox Day, Lela E. Buis, Bob Nelson, Jack Hastings, Floris M. Kleijne, Martin Wisse, John Scalzi, Brian Niemeier, Steve Green, Bruce Arthurs, Ampersand, Immanuel Taal, Lis Carey, Larry Correia, Spacefaring Kitten, Elisa Bergslien, Brandon Kempner and Pip R. Lagenta and Pab Sungenis. (Title credit belongs to File 770’s contributing editors of the day Laura Resnick and John King Tarpinian.)

Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“#GamerGate has more fun” – May 16

#GamerGate has got to be the first consumer revolt that managed to bring together unequivocally evangelical Christians, unabashed porn stars, and undeniably fabulous homosexuals. Among many, many others. How evil are the SJWs, how universally loathsome is their ideology, that it can inspire such diverse tribes to unite against them? We need a word to describe anti-SJWism. Then again, I suppose we’ve already got one. And that word would be “freedom”.


Lela E. Buis

“Establishing a brand with controversy” – May 16

Before this month, how many people had heard of Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day)? Come on, let’s have a show of hands. Nobody? Same here. I had never heard of the man. Somehow his accomplishments had escaped my notice. However, he is on the national radar now, as he has managed to subvert the Hugo Awards. Not only has he received two nominations for his own work, but his publishing house has won nine nominations. He accomplished this through a political and financial campaign that took advantage of how the awards are run.


Bob Nelson

“Hugos, Sad Puppies and The Game of Thrones” – May 16

The Baen Books website includes a forum called Baen’s Bar. I was banned for not agreeing with Mr Ringo’s vision of the universe. That really pissed me off, because I had in fact bought several of his early books, before he went completely wingnut… In fact, I bought books by just about every one of Baen’s considerable stable. Eric Flint is still a favorite of mine.

Which brings us to Sad Puppies… this time for real.

A couple years ago, a Baen writer named Larry Correia, on the belief that the Hugo Awards had been kidnapped by radical left-wingers whom he calls “Social Justice Warriors”, decided to recruit enough John Ringo True Believers to effectively take control of the Hugo Award ballot process. This year, his successor at the head of the Sad Puppies movement, Brad Torgerson, was brilliantly successful. The Ringo Faithful successfully packed the nominating process, ensuring their victory in the final voting. Baen authors won everything.

I am a Vietnam vet. That war was epitomized by a young lieutenant’s phrase, “We had to destroy the village to save it.” The Sad Puppies had to destroy the Hugo to save it. It is not clear whether the Hugo Awards will ever carry the kind of aura that they had before the Sad Puppy coup d’état.


Jack Hastings on Half-Forgotten

“The Great Hugo Kerfuffle of 2015” – May 16


Let it be said at the outset that I am an armchair socialist who very much dislikes Tea Party apparatchiks, Fox News demagogues, religious zealots, Rush Limberger and the Sad and Rabid Puppies who have mounted a campaign to hijack Science Fiction Fandom’s Hugo Awards. Furthermore, I am not going to provide links to any of Correia’s, Torgersen’s or Beale’s (the Sad and Rabid Puppies, see below) web posts because I don’t have to and that’s what Google is for anyway. You’ll just have to trust me that the quotes provided are accurate and not taken too far out of context. You can do that, can’t ya?


Floris M. Kleijne on Barno’s Stables

“The Modified No Award Proposal: SPUNARPU” – May 15

To put it bluntly: I accept Brad Torgersen’s Sad Puppies, and I reject their Rabid cousins. And to put my money where my mouth is, I’m proposing the SPUNARPU voting approach: Sad PUppies, No Award, Rabid PUppies.

What does that mean in practice? I will read/watch/listen to all nominated works and artists that were either on the Sad Puppies slate (regardless of their presence on the Rabid slate), or on neither slate. I will neither peruse nor vote for works and artists that were only on the Rabid Puppies slate.

Therefore, my amended SPUNARPU approach to this year’s Hugo vote is thus:

  1. Slush-peruse (read, watch, listen until I’ve had enough) all nominated works and artists except the ones slated by Vox Day and his Rabid Puppies.
  2. Vote for the works and artists I believe are Hugo-worthy in order of how much I think of them.
  3. If voting slots remains, put No Award
  4. If voting slots still remain, vote for the works and artists I believe are not Hugo-worthy below No Award, in order of how little I think of them.
  5. If voting slots remain even after this exercise, put the Rabid Puppies nominees in there.

This approach minimizes the chance of works and artists slated by Vox Day and not by Brad Torgersen winning a Hugo


Martin Wisse on Wis[s]e Words

”Puppy-Proofing the Hugos” – May 16

LonCon3 had over 10,000 members: get all those to nominate and slate buying becomes slightly more expensive. But how do you get them to vote? Once LonCon3 was over, it was up to Sasquan to rally voters, but that only started in January, or four months later, far too late for those not into core Worldcon fandom to remember to nominate. What’s needed therefore is for the nomination process to open earlier, something which the WSFS rules don’t say anything about, so which can be done without needing that lengthy rule changing process. And while it is easier for a Worldcon to only start considering nominations in January, I think this is important enough to justify that added difficulty.

What I would like to see is having electronic nomination ballots open as soon as possible, either in January of the eligible year (e.g. January 2015 for 2016 nominations) or, if that’s too confusing, too much of a hassle, perhaps after the previous Worldcon has finished (September 1 for the most part). That way it also becomes easier for those already involved to keep a running tally for the year. It would also need not just opening the nominations, but promoting the nomination process as well. Get the members of the previous Worldcon involved, get them enthusiastic about nominating. It’s something next year’s Worldcon, MidAmeriConII, could start up already.


John Scalzi on Whatever

“Reader Request Week 2015 #10: Short Bits” – May 16

Noblehunter: “What are your thoughts on bad actors in anarchic/unorganized social movements? From looters hi-jacking civil rights protests to gamergate (some people seem to actually believe it’s about ethics in video game journalism) and Puppies (likewise), the stated goals of the group are undermined or by those calling themselves members of the group while acting in counter-productive ways. Can these groups police themselves despite a lack of central authority? Do you have any suggestions for people who are genuinely concerned about ethics in videogame journalism or other populist causes?”

Well, I’d first note that in the cases of Gamergate and the Puppies, the “stated goals” of the group were tacked on as afterthoughts/justifications for the precipitating action (harassment of women — and of a specific woman — in the case of Gamergate, personal desire for a bauble in the case of the Puppies). That’s not an insignificant thing, and it’s not something the fig leaf of a “stated goal” is going to cover up. This is a different situation, obviously, than looters attaching themselves to a protest movement already underway.

If I were truly interested in ethics in video game journalism — which is a laudable goal — or in seeing more representation of the sort of SF/F subgenres I liked in awards — less concretely laudable, but sure, why not — or whatever, I would probably start fresh, far away from those already tainted movements.


Brian Niemeier on Superversive SF

“Transhuman and Subhuman Part IV – Science Fiction: What Is It Good For?” – May 16

According to Wright, the end of science fiction and fantasy’s exile was decreed by the advent of a single film: George Lucas’ cultural juggernaut Star Wars. “When…the President of the United States can make casual references to Jedi mind-powers or the One Ring from Mordor, then space opera and fantasy epic have sunk into the marrow bones of the popular imagination.”

Having examined how genre fiction’s banishment came about, and how it ended, Wright turns to the questions of where sci-fi is going, and what it’s for.


Steve Green

My latest mug/t-shirt/poster/tattoo design. As a republican, I’d rather not have included the crown, but it’d look odd otherwise.


Bruce Arthurs on Undulant Fever

“Mad Libs: Sad Puppies Edition” – May 16

The Wall Street Journal published a recent story about the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies gaming a vulnerability in the Hugo Awards nomination procedure to almost completely dominate the 2015 ballot with their own, ah, particular point of view. I was reading the comments (yes, I should know better than to read comments on posts about this subject by now; doing so mostly just raises my blood pressure)….


Ampersand on Alas

“In Which Amp Realizes That Two Arguments That Frustrate Me Are Actually The Same” – May 16

As regular readers know (and by “know,” I mean, “are probably sick of hearing”), I’m against it when folks organize to economically punish others for their political views.

Very frequently, when I write or talk about this, I’ll run into some fellow lefty1 who doesn’t see any substantive difference between an organized boycott or blacklist against (say) hiring Orson Scott Card, and an individual reader choosing not to buy Card’s books.

Then I realized that one of the Sad Puppy/Rabid Puppy arguments about the Hugo awards that I find most frustrating, is really the exact same argument. One side is saying that collective organization – be it an anti-OSC petition or slate voting – is substantively different than individuals making individual decisions. The other side is denying that there’s any meaningful difference.


Immanuel Taal on Medium

“An Ode To Flatland” – May 16

Good Science Fiction answers a “what if” question with the guiding hand of its author. A good social message that grows naturally out of this story can help make the setting that much more rich, the characters that much more realistic, and the themes that much more intriguing. But a good social message imposed on a story contrived to push the author’s social views is bad Science Fiction. It comes down to the “science” part of Science Fiction. Good science starts with evidence and reaches conclusions. Good Science Fiction starts with imaginary evidence and reaches imaginary conclusions. Bad science and bad Science Fiction alike start with the conclusion and try to support it with flimsy (and often imaginary) evidence. The author has complete control over their created world and the social message, if any, they wish to convey. If that world doesn’t naturally grow to show the message it’s probably a boring world and a weak social message.



Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“The Journeyman: In the Stone House, by Michael F. Flynn” – May 16

Structurally, this isn’t a bad story. The plot is a little thin, with much of the little that happens relying on events in the prior story.


Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“’The Journeyman: In the Stone House’ by Michael F. Flynn” – May 16

The main character is an adventurer who has been adventuring in some earlier Analog story as well. He isn’t terribly interesting in any way, and nothing of interest happens in the story, so I was left wondering what was the point, really. There’s some military training, sword-fighting and snappy dialogue that is meant to be smart-ass (I guess).

I didn’t enjoy it at all and have trouble seeing why it’s on the ballot.


Elisa Bergslien on Leopards and Dragons

“A peak into The Goblin Emperor” – May 15

The one ‘fun’ thing I have managed to do in the past few weeks is to start reading works nominated for a Hugo award. All of the short works I have read so far have ranged from meh down to yuck!  Thankfully the novel category has some lovely rays of light.  I have been reading The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison and greatly enjoying it.


Brandon Kempner on Chaos Horizon

‘Hugo Award Nomination Ranges, 2006-2015, Part 5” – May 16

Let’s wrap this up by looking at the rest of the data concerning the Short Fiction categories of Novella, Novelette, and Short Story. Remember, these stories receive far fewer votes than the Best Novel category, and they are also less centralized, i.e. the votes are spread out over a broader range of texts. Let’s start by looking at some of those diffusion numbers:


Pip R. Lagenta on Facebook – May 16

First Sad

My Hugo burns at both ends.
It will not last the night.
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—…
Those Puppies are a blight


Pab Sungenis on The New Adventures of Queen Victoria – May 16

queen victoria naqv150516

488 thoughts on “The Left Paw of Darkness 5/16

  1. On the subject of the Sad Puppies supporting diversity by coming up with a slate that’s more diverse than their previous efforts, but far less diverse than previous Hugo nominations…

    That only makes sense, as far as I can tell, if the fight for diversity is internal to them. And most of the time, they seem to be claiming that what they’re fighting for is a fight against those blinkered fools who keep putting gay dinosaurs on the ballot.

    If they’re claiming to support diversity in general, then the proper comparison is to what the diversity in the Hugo noms was like before they swarmed it. If so, then their results were badly regressive.

    On the other hand, if you’re fighting for excellence in SF and nothing else, then it shouldn’t be an issue, but if you claim to be making a push for diversity, it probably helps the credibility of the claim if you’re not making the overall situation worse.

    This likely also applies to claims of being in favor of shoot-em-up adventure over message stories, too.

  2. @Rick Moen:

    You’d best shore up those walls if you’re going to keep digging. Otherwise, you might get trapped by a cave-in.

    I must admit, though – you’re making tremendous speed. Not so much with the forward motion, but you’re tossing a lot of dirt around.

  3. Um. Holy shit.

    I just spent the evening scrolling though this thread.

    Is what I wrote (or should write, to clarify) even relevant at this point?
    It looks like it’s become the Rick Moen pontificatory pulpit, here.

    Rick: I want to know what X was thinking when X wrote Y!
    Others: Here are various things in support of Y

    I’m really not sure if Rick agrees with Y at this point or not, but then there was a whole bunch of stuff like:

    Rick: None of this is good enough! I wanted to know what X was thinking when X wrote Y, and none of you are X!!!!!!

    I mean, seriously?

    I am curious how what I wrote once became something which, according to Rick’s later comments, I wrote “repeatedly”.

    I am also curious as to how “Owlmirror” became “Owlriver”.

    Rick, did you know you can also click the back arrows and check what people’s ‘nyms are? Really!

  4. @ rick, can you please stop putting that bloody linux mafia thing in EVERY ONE OF YOUR POSTS? Or maybe change it, I don’t know, to linux khmer rouge, linuxSS, linuxalqaida, linuxdaesh, or something like that?


    Apart from that, i have been reading this thread with increasing distaste. It started off with you asking Owlmirror for citations on the fact that VD was an antisemite.

    Many other people provides textual examples. Examples which frankly turned my stomach, and I thought i was inoculated against VD’s repulsivness.

    Your response to this was to surgically dissect each hair into thinner and thinner components to show that the resulting atoms where not cheratin at all but carbon and oxygen and Hydrogen.

    Eventually even you became convinced that VD is an antisemite, to which the mature answer would have been to say, OK, people, you are right, I was wrong. That would have been mildly unpleasant but you’d have behaved like a mensch.

    But no, you got snagged into this weird effort of trying to prove that your were right even when you had received ample proof that Owlmirror’s assertion was justified, but saying that Owlmirror and only Owlmirror could give you the answer. Owlmirror had at that point wandered off and only came back to watch this unseemly spectacle at the end, but was perfectly justified to have dcided that they weren’t interested in debating with you, that the point had been abundantly made by others, or maybe they just went on with their lives.

    Look, there is no shame in admitting you were mistaken. It is actually the grown up thing to do. It’s good for the soul and it helps spot instances of cognitive bias. Or just, you know, walk away.

    Preferably taking your mafia signature with you. I have freinds and family in Sicily, it really is not cute.

  5. Something that might wish to be taken into context:

    My mother, the third resident of our household, has been in the hospital for three weeks. She nearly died 10 days ago, and has been in the ICU ever since. Her recovery looks promising, but is by no means assured.

    Nick had reasonable means of being aware of that since we’re Facebook friends and since I’ve blogged about it quite openly.

    So personally, I think Nick jumping on Rick was a dick move in context.

    Do I wish that people weren’t anti-semitic? Yes.
    Do I think that Rick is? No. (If he has a blind spot, I haven’t seen it, but I also haven’t read through the latter part of this thread.)
    Does that mean I think Rick’s perfect? Of course not.

    I have zero fucks to give about other stuff going on right now, which I hope you’ll understand.

  6. I follow about 2000 people on Facebook, so I wouldn’t assume that I knew anything in particular about anyone.

    Regardless of your mother’s health emergency—and I hope she continues to improve—Rick clearly had a large amount of disposable time, which he decided to spend here, posting remarks on a variety of subjects.

    Nor did I jump on him. I contacted him via you, and then he emailed me, and then posted that email here.

  7. Nick, your contacting me was via my facebook wall, not facebook chat.

    I have posted to my facebook wall fairly regularly about my mom’s hospital stay, and for more than a few days (given facebook’s penchant for showing things out of order), the various hospitalization posts have been the top on my timeline because they’ve gotten the most commentary (and, to my annoyance, the earlier, more dire one was shown instead of the newer update). And some who don’t normally see my posts did see these because of the activity.


    Nevertheless, thank you for the good wishes on her health.

  8. I have my Facebook TL set to “Most Recent”, not “Top Stories.”

  9. @Rev. Bob: How about you give it a rest?

    @Nick Mamatas: Rick clearly had a large amount of disposable time

    ‘Disposable’ happens to mean sitting in the ICU with and for my family member, next to her bed. But I appreciate the Nick Mamatas act, exactly as it is.

    @Owlmirror: Trust me, you didn’t miss anything.

    @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan: I’m sure mafia’ has really bad associations, which I certainly regret, but that happens to be my e-mail address. A friend bought the domain for me back around 1997, it being if nothing else memorable. Putting ‘[email protected]’ at the bottom of my postings would have the drawback of that being not my address.

  10. @Rick:

    You’re not the only one who can play the “close parsing of what VD wrote” game. It isn’t fun, reading VD’s vileness, but still.

    You wrote, addressing VD himself:

    Worked your way past praising Breivik as a national hero and comparing the children he murdered to Vidkun Quisling?

    But, see, VD didn’t praise Breivik as a national hero. He predicted that Norwegians would someday regard him as a national hero. Totally not the same thing! Let’s split hairs even thinner!

    VD’s actual words: As I said not long after the shootings, I will not be in the least bit surprised if Anders Breivik is one day regarded as a national hero in Norway, much like George Washington and William Tell, two men who also offered murderous resistance to their own governments.

    (Feh. Do I need to say that I repudiate mass murder and terrorism? Very well; I repudiate mass murder and terrorism.)

  11. @Owlmirror: Having fun attempting to troll for reactions? How’s that working for you? Found any good buttons to push, yet?

  12. This is the second time someone has made an appeal to the ICU in the midst of these discussions, and frankly, it is bullshit. Grade A, five star, bullshit.

    Would you be complaining of time spent tapping away at your phone or laptop in the ICU if everyone was saying, “Yeah, Rick! Split those hairs! Ignore that evidence! Woohoo, rock on!” Of course you would not be. It’s just the weaponization of a sick relative. Ditto the pseud whose wife was supposedly* sick weeks ago—it *only* comes up in response to a disagreement.

    If you are too distraught by events to handle the fact that people disagree with you, log off. If you are not, don’t wave a sick relative around like a banner. Behave like an actual adult might, which means either a. keeping family affairs private if not relevant or b. focusing on the family and keeping off the Internet if your attention is needed elsewhere.

    *There’s never a reason to believe anything a pseudonymous stranger says about himself or herself.

  13. @Nick Mamatas: To be extremely clear, I seek no theoretical understanding for this or any other family situation from you, and would have preferred Deirdre hadn’t mentioned the current one at all. I mentioned that ‘disposable’ equates to sitting in the ICU with and for my family member because that happens to be the case, e.g., I’m there now.

    I have zero interest in what you think on that fact (among other things), and ask you to kindly keep all present and future advice to yourself, including all suggestions that I should suddenly change the domain housing my Internet presence for the past 18 years. My affairs are going to remain none of your business, to my best ability to keep them that way.

  14. It’s ridiculous to give someone the advice to keep their advice to themselves.

    If you wish to keep making a spectacle of yourself, let me assure you that I will be ready with a spotlight and bullhorn. If you don’t, well, you know what to do.

  15. @Nick Mamatas: Most people correctly understand that phrase to mean ‘Your personal advice is unwelcome. Go away. Not interested.’ Figure it out.

  16. Yeah, about that. Here’s the interesting thing about a public multi-person comment thread that you don’t own—your comments are available for comment. One would think that a member of the Linux Mafia with all sorts of online experience would know that, but…

    The Internet is not your living room. We are not your children to be hushed because Papa is busy carrying on about all those jerks he read about in the evening paper.

  17. (Also hilarious that you think getting a second email address meaning changing the name of your domain.)

  18. @Nick Mamatas: The Internet is not your living room.

    And your personal advice is unwelcome. Act on said datum as your sense of personal style or lack thereof dictates. Enjoy!

  19. “The Internet is not your living room” is not advice, Rick. It’s a fact.

    Facts first, remember?

  20. It’s a mild amount of horrified rubber-necking on my part, but I’ll be interested to know how many of the last few posts survive Mike’s morning weeding.

  21. Rick and Deirdre, I am sorry your relative is poorly. I think in the circumstances it is probably better not to engage in splitting hairs with people in the inter tubes about something that pushes a lot of buttons, many of them relating to dead relatives as well. And having know Nick for a long time, he is a nice person in his personal dealings but a professional Dick On The Internet. You are going to wait for a long time to get the warm and cuddly Nick Mamatas. But while his debating style is very annoying, he never advocated throwing acid in anybody’s face, not even in a circuitous and very clever way, and he is neither sexist, racist, antisemitic or gaming the voting system. (Neither are either of you, by the way, which is why I am at a loss as to why your chose to hitch your wagons to people who are).

    Rick: nothing forces you to append your email address to every post, is what I’m saying. Nobody else does. You see – this is a small thing – a minor irritant that has been getting on my nerves for a long time until other annoyances made me flip out, but your reaction kinda illustrate the problem. You know perfectly well that I know that that is your email address. You also know perfectly well that you don’t need to append it to every message. You understand that for somebody from a different cultural context using “mafia” as a jokey synonym of “cabal” can be extremely vexing – these are people who threatened my nearest and dearest, who killed more people proportionally to Sicilian population than 9/11 did in America. But you are irritated with me and can’t resist coming back with a true but tangential fact. You could have quietly retired this habit of appending your email address; you could have said “yeah, I know it triggers you but I don’t give a fuck”; you could have just ignored me. But you could not resist making a true but ultimately self-defeating point.

    To be clear, I am not angry or offended: I am puzzled.

  22. @Rick:

    Eh, as long as I’m here:

    1) I also wrote, regarding VD, about his misogyny, which you snipped. Are we all agreed on that point? Is VD’s misogyny sufficiently not in doubt that triple-notarized copies of sundry examples need not be presented as evidence?

    2) The original Electrolite post has a comment where Patrick Nielsen Hayden himself using the phrase “yawping borderline anti-Semite” in reference to VD. While “borderline” is quite a qualification, I would be very interested indeed if you posted at the current Making Light open thread: “J’Accuse!!!! Patrick Nielsen Hayden, it is your fault that people are calling Vox Day an anti-semite!”. Oh, if only I could see his reaction to that!

    2a) Still, perhaps PNH was mistaken, or echoing others who were mistaken. I will make the case that VD is an anti-semite based on VD’s own words.

    3) VD’s post is titled “The merits of anti-semitism”. I would say that once you’ve posited that something has merit, you have already accepted it to some degree. I suppose it’s possible that there could be edge cases or exceptions via sarcasm or satire, but for the most part, writing that “X has merit” means that you believe or accept X. For example, something titled “The merits of precious-metal-backed currency” immediately implies that the author thinks that it is true that currency should be backed by precious metals, and is prepared to argue the case. So, too, something called “The merits of bigotry against people of group A” immediately implies that the author is already bigoted, and indeed bigoted against group A, and wishes to present the merits of the case for being bigoted. As a final example, if VD wrote something titled “The merits of persecuting SF fans” — wouldn’t that imply that he agrees that SF fans deserve to be persecuted; i.e., that he’s bigoted against SF fans?

    4) The contents of the actual post are not that long. There does not appear to be any satire or sarcasm that would undermine VD’s thesis that anti-semitism has merit, and, indeed, the final paragraph is worded such that it appears to present the “merit” as being because some Jews said things that he doesn’t like.

    Anyway, I contend that Vox Day has the term “anti-semite” applied to him because that is what he is based on his biases and bigotries, as demonstrated by his own writing.

  23. And btw – when I say I am sorry about Deirdre’s mother, that is true. I also see that you have stopped appending your email address, Rick, for which I thank you. I am not going to engage with either of you at this time, and look forward to debating with you when you will both be in a better place.

  24. @Nick Mamatas: Also hilarious that you think getting a second email address meaning changing the name of your domain.

    FQDNs in some other domains do map to my IP and are deliverable, but the contact info I give out in public has been deliberately standard for 18 years, and I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request.

    Local SMTP policy is to receive all mail directly to my MTA machine on my IP on my domain, not via other people’s mail systems, e.g. Google’s as with you. I’m not consulting you on that policy, either.

  25. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan: I also see that you have stopped appending your email address, Rick, for which I thank you.

    You’re welcome, and I regret distress the domain of my long-term Internet presence caused you. However, I will be using it in the future, including on my postings to this and other Web fora, because I like to append my real name and real contact information at the bottom of what I write, and that is the standard contact information for me.

  26. @Rick Moen: “@Rev. Bob: How about you give it a rest?”

    Okay, so it seems I need to be blunt…

    Rick, if you want people (including myself) to “give it a rest” and quit dogpiling on you, then you ought to shut the hell up for a while. You are bringing this upon yourself, and the obvious choices before you are really damned simple. You can keep fighting this senseless battle, or you can move on. The one option you do not have is to tell everyone else to leave you alone while you keep ranting away.

    I have advised you before to let it go, and I do so again now. If you keep fighting, I reserve the right to keep pointing out that you look ridiculous… because you do. Frankly, your rhetoric is not even as entertaining as VD’s… or, for that matter, as an actual case of VD. Your tantrum is boring, your point has ceased to exist, and the only thing you’re proving is just how much of a jackass you can be.

    Remember, I started out agreeing with you, due to your position that facts matter. I still agree with that position. It’s a shame you’ve abandoned it in favor of frothing at the keyboard.

    Bail out and spend some time with you family, not merely in their presence. It sounds like they need you, and you them. The internet will wait.

  27. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan: To be clear, I am not angry or offended: I am puzzled

    I’ve made a practice of putting my real name and real means of contact at the bottom of what I write for decades. It provides a clear means to reach me if anyone wishes, underlines my being as pointedly non-anonymous as I can manage in two short lines, and is simply part of my online writing style, as a signature, like at the bottom of a letter.

    You mention that nobody else here appears to do it. OK, right, nobody else signs things that way. I like to. Join now and avoid the rush. ;->

    The fact that I don’t ‘need’ to append those two lines is obviously correct, but I habitually do it for reasons I find more than sufficient. However, I’m glad to suspend it for now from use here, as I don’t wish to cause you distress.

    You’re going to find, unfortunately, that mafia and $foo-mafia are quite common metaphors.

  28. [long response to Rick’s original question appears to be hung up in moderation]

    @Owlmirror: Having fun attempting to troll for reactions? How’s that working for you? Found any good buttons to push, yet?


    Your behavior over the course of the thread was to reject what people were inferring from VD’s comments because it wasn’t always exactly what he wrote. The whole point is that you have made inferences too!

    I actually think it is reasonable to infer that VD thinks that Breivik deserves to be praised as a hero.

    And if I’m a troll for pointing out your double-standards, then so the hell are you for repeatedly arguing from those double-standards.

  29. @Rev. Bob Okay, so it seems I need to be blunt.

    I have a better idea. How about you giving it a rest? The only person attempting to perpetuate the earlier discussion is you. How about not? Not works for me.

    Also, I prefer no further personal advice, especially no further comments whatsoever on my relations with my family. Thank you.

  30. Since you all seem to have each others mailaddresses, could you take it on mail instead as it seems to have turned quite personal? It is hard to see other updates on the first page as this repeating loop drowns everything else out.

    Deidre: Hope your mother will get better. Wish for the best.

  31. Rev. Bob: “Frankly, your rhetoric is not even as entertaining as VD’s… or, for that matter, as an actual case of VD.”

    Yep, I always skip anything by VD, and in this thread I am now skipping anything by RM or any response to him. It’s long ago passed the point of discussion into pedantry and tedium, and I don’t come to File770 for that (I can’t imagine that Mike is particularly thrilled by it, either).

  32. Dierdre, I am sorry to hear about your mother. You and your family will be in my thoughts; hoping for a good outcome for you all.

  33. @Mike Glyer, @Stevie, @Gump –

    In re the seeming disparities between Christ-based and Pauline-based Christian Emphasis, there appears to be a growing body of work that has taken critical and textual analysis of the accepted writings attributed to Paul, and have come to to viw that a big chunk of what what is attributed to Paul is actually either gloss, or outright substitution by later writers, to defuse what were/are radical views and try to use the prestige and authority of Paul’s writing to push a much more conservative stance.

    A well-written and (at least to me) accessible discussion of this is found in The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church’s Conservative Icon by Borg & Crossan (2009).

  34. Thanks Anna (and everyone). I had a rather rotten day yesterday (nothing to do with anything here—or anywhere, really, just one of Those Days That Happen), and I don’t expect Nick to be warm and cuddly. 99% of the time, I like Nick’s snark.

    Fortunately, today’s a better day.

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