A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Monday, November 2, 2015

Notes from the Untergang

Without a clear indicator of the author's intent, parodies of extreme views will, to some readers, be indistinguishable from sincere expressions of the parodied views.
-- Nathan Poe's Law of the Internet

This, from a national magazine:
Colleges are hanging flyers around campus with phone numbers of officials that students can call to consult with about whether or not their Halloween costume is perfectly politically correct. “Unsure if your costume might be offensive?” asks a poster that’s been hung around campus at State University of New York at Geneseo. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions.” The poster contains the phone numbers and e-mails of five (five!) campus officials that students can contact and discuss the very important issue of whether or not what they will dress up as to get drunk in will be advancing social-justice causes. Wesleyan University has been hanging similar posters around the school — but with six (six!) numbers listed.
It’s a good first step. Maybe next year, the schools can deploy cultural-sensitivity control officers to bust into parties and round up anyone spotted in a sombrero or afro wig. To make the world, you know, better.
You can't make this stuff up. They were serious. Joseph Moore states in a separate context:
Moderns do not read old dead guys, in fact make it a point of pride that all they know about the past is the-predigested tidbits spoon-fed to them, and yet are full of opinions and outrage. Duh. No wonder they need safe spaces – it’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door...

Even some of the Usual Suspects are beginning to grow uneasy.  (Notice the sort of casual, unexamined assumptions in the linked article, and the signals sent by the author to indicate that he is himself right-thinking despite defending a badthinker. It is indeed sad, but these days to defend badthinkers gets you yourself accused of badthink.)

1 comment:

  1. I sometimes wonder if the tribe members will notice that the greatest hatred is reserved for those who are of the tribe (or who, it is conclusively presumed, should be of the tribe) when they dare to fall out of step. I think maybe a hint they do is the obvious discomfort and repeated use of the secret handshakes whenever a talking head defends the Wrong Sort of Person. The lessons of the purges are always a surprise to the next set of victims.

    Also, I note the remarkable double standard, whereby people who say mean things - the wrong sort of mean things - are forever cast into the outer darkness, while it remains to be seen what folks like Che and Margaret Singer would need to do or say to land outside the pale. Probably disparage gay marriage or something, which very well might push a psychopathic killer and a flaming racist bigot outside polite company.


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