Love Among the Mantises

I occasionally like to quote the words of my namesake: Unspiek, Baron Bodissey, whose writings may be found in the fiction of Jack Vance. The Baron is not a character in those books, but rather a literary reference. Excerpts from his works appear in footnotes and chapter headings, and he is occasionally quoted by characters in the books.

The following quote is from the heading of Chapter 3 in The Book of Dreams, the final novel of the Demon Princes pentalogy:

From Life, Volume I, by Unspiek, Baron Bodissey:

…I often reflect upon the word “morality,” the most troublesome and confusing word of all.

There is no single or supreme morality; there are many, each defining the mode by which a system of entities optimally interacts.

The eminent entomologist Fabre, observing a mantis in the act of devouring its mate, exclaimed: “What an abominable custom!”

The ordinary man, during a day’s time, may be obliged to act by the terms of a half-dozen different moralities. Some of these acts, appropriate at one moment, may the next moment be considered obscene or opprobrious in terms of another morality.

The person who, let us say, expects generosity from a bank, efficient flexibility from a government agency, open-mindedness from a religious institution will be disappointed. In each purview the notions represent immorality. The poor fool might as quickly discover love among the mantises.

Things to Come — Life in Woke Britain

Seneca III sends this acerbic little vignette from Modern Intersectional England.

Things to Come — Life in Woke Britain

by Seneca III

Last month my Bin Day was blessed with some half-decent weather and I was out tidying up the front garden and my compulsory edible weed patch when the ‘sanitary operatives’ came with their monochromatic prideless garbage truck. The next thing I noticed was how hard they grafted, running house to house, hefting heavy bins to the truck and then joyfully throwing the empties to the pavement in front of the houses without pausing. And then, suddenly, I realised that there was something about this scenario that made my blood to run cold and caused me to begin to question my senses — were they all horribly white males exercising their critical heterosexual cisgendered privileged patriarchateness in full view, or had I somehow slipped into a different, pre-enlightenment space-time continuum?

Confusing, to say the least, so I had to look again just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I wasn’t; there was not a single transgender bloke in a frock (complete with a small penis) amongst them! Nor could I see a BAME, a Stonewaller, a Mermaid, a rainbow-coloured unicorn, an OAP or a Drag Queen in falsies and suspenders throwing tampons dipped in tomato sauce at the two young children playing in their garden a few houses down from me.

Having sat down for a moment to regather my strength by consuming a 3D printed slug sandwich washed down with a refreshing draught of grasshopper milk, I phoned my local Thought Constabulary to report a whole series of hate crimes… sexism, racism, ageism, heterocolourphobism, breathing heavily, working hard with unpainted fingernails and engaged in a public demonstration of masculinity that I thought was a long-gone dark chapter in our nation’s history.

As is normal, the overworked heroes at our local Plodshop took over three hours to respond, but later called to apologise and explain that they had all been otherwise engaged either practising the Macarena or terrorising autistic children for not using correctspeak when referring to their Nanas.

Consequently, as all actions are said to have an equal and opposite reaction, I have decided to open a new type of welfare agency. Its name will be ‘Jobs for Deviants’ and it will offer employment entailing two hours light work a day for three days a week at the same generous salary as our National Death Service Diversity Managers, irrespective of personal pronouns.

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For Your Own Good, Keep Your Phone On!

Comrade citizens, your hand-held devices are necessary accessories that guarantee your rights in the Sustainable New Order!

People who don’t use their hand-held devices are assumed to be dangerous extremists and potential terrorists who need to be paid a visit by a Domestic Security SWAT team.

Let’s say you ride your bike to the GUM store to buy a pack of mealworms and some soy gruel. During your journey you are tracked by the CCTV cameras along the route, plus your bike is chipped, and communicates with the lamp posts and traffic lights all the way there and back.

And yet you don’t have your cell phone with you, comrade!

That is a violation of State Directive #4366-228JZ, which is punishable by two years’ forced labor at your local solar farm, cleaning the snow off the panels.

Better wise up, comrade! Put that phone in your pocket!

The above story is an obvious fantasy, since Comrade Citizen would be unable to purchase mealworms without using his CBDC on a hand-held device.

Get real, Baron!

The Tragical History

Earlier this year a previously unknown play by the great Elizabethan poet and dramaturge Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) was discovered in a storeroom of the Bodleian Library in Oxford. “The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Fauci” is a remarkably prescient work that seems to look ahead to our own time with ominous insightfulness.

The full script is too long to reproduce here, so I’ll just present a few relevant excerpts from the text.

First, from the Chorus and Doctor Fauci’s first soliloquy in Act I, Scene 1:

Only this, gentlemen: we must perform
The form of Fauci’ fortunes, good or bad:
To patient judgments we appeal our plaud,
And speak for Fauci in his infancy.
Now is he born, his parents base of stock,
In New York, within a town call’d Brooklyn:
Of riper years, to Manhattan he went,
Whereas the Jesuits chiefly brought him up.
So soon he profits in quackery,
The fruitful plot of scholarism grac’d,
That shortly he was grac’d with doctor’s name,
Excelling all whose sweet delight disputes
In heavenly matters of medicaments;
Till swoln with cunning, of a self-conceit,
His waxen wings did mount above his reach,
And, melting, heavens conspir’d his overthrow;
For, falling to a devilish exercise,
And glutted now with learning’s golden gifts,
He surfeits upon cursed charlatanism;
Nothing so sweet as power is to him,
Which he prefers before his chiefest bliss:
And this the man that in his study sits.

(FAUCI discovered in his study.)

FAUCI. Settle thy studies, Fauci, and begin
To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess:
Having commenc’d, be a divine in shew,
Yet level at the end of every art,
And live and die in Machiavelli’s works…

These metaphysics of physicians,
And sycophantic books are heavenly;
Lines, circles, scenes, letters, and characters;
Ay, these are those that Fauci most desires.
O, what a world of profit and delight,
Of power, of honour, of omnipotence,
Is promis’d to the studious artizan!
All things that move between the quiet poles
Shall be at my command: emperors and kings
Are but obeyed in their several provinces,
Nor can they raise the wind, or rend the clouds;
But his dominion that exceeds in this,
Stretcheth as far as doth the mind of man;
A sound physician is a mighty god:
Here, Fauci, tire thy brains to gain a sinecure.

In Scene 3 the learned Doctor, by practicing the black arts, calls up Mephistophilis, servant to mighty Lucifer:

MEPHISTOPHILIS. Now, Fauci, what wouldst thou have me do?

FAUCI. I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live,
To do whatever Fauci shall command,
Be it to make the merchants shut their doors,
Or lockdowns to overwhelm the world.

The great Doctor pledges his soul to Lucifer, and Mephistophilis meets the renowned physician’s demands, and then some, for the next three acts.

Through practicing his physick the Doctor exploits the Great Plague of Wuhan and causes the Emperor to impose an unprecedented tyranny on his subjects throughout the realm, forcing them to lock themselves in their homes and wear ignominious garments which he insists are necessary to preserve their lives.

Through his actions the illustrious Chirurgeon proceeds to amass great power and wealth as he dazzles all the kings and princes of the world, while serfs are reduced to the mean estate of mere beasts. Full of arrogance and pride, he thinks to exceed God Himself in stature.

But the bill comes due for the erudite Doctor, as it always must for anyone so foolish as to treat with Lucifer. In Act V, Scene 2 the end arrives:

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From Fahrenheit 451 to Cancel Culture: Bradbury Predicted People Would Demand Tyranny

Over the years Nash Montana has done yeoman’s work for us translating Swiss dialects and German. In the following essay she expands her repertoire with a look at the dark heart of the Culture Wars.

From Fahrenheit 451 to Cancel Culture: Bradbury Predicted People Would Demand Tyranny

by Nash Montana

Even if it has been a while since you read Fahrenheit 451, you might remember Ray Bradbury’s classic for its portrayal of a dystopian future in which an authoritarian government flies drones to control the people, and burns books.

Read Fahrenheit 451 again to discover why people wanted their tyrannical government to burn books. Bradbury wrote the book in 1953, yet the parallels to today’s social climate for censorship are haunting.

Bradbury’s protagonist is Guy Montag, who, like all firemen in Bradbury’s future, burns books.

In Bradbury’s dystopia, firemen became “custodians of our peace of mind, the focus of our understandable and rightful dread of being inferior; official censors, judges, and executors.”

Today’s mainstream and social media are “custodians of our peace of mind” as they filter out “conflicting theory and thought.”

Captain Beatty is Montag’s boss. Beatty explains, “If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one.”

If you don’t want people debating questions such as COVID-19 policy, Beatty has the ticket: “Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving.”

Today, millions listen daily to reports of case counts of COVID-19. Like Bradbury predicted, listeners can recite the numbers but have no context to make sense of the numbers.

Many have little idea that important scientists and doctors have advocated alternatives to lockdowns that could save lives and abate catastrophic impacts on economies.

As in Bradbury’s world, many are working tirelessly to disparage and censor alternative views.

In Bradbury’s dystopia, thinking was not welcome. Even front porches were eliminated. One of Montag’s young neighbors explained why:

“People sat there sometimes at night, talking when they wanted to talk, rocking, and not talking when they didn’t want to talk. Sometimes they just sat there and thought about things, turned things over… they didn’t want people sitting like that, doing nothing, rocking, talking; that was the wrong kind of social life. People talked too much. And they had time to think.”

Social distancing is today embraced as a way to keep us safe from COVID-19. Social distancing also keeps us safe from “conflicting theories and thoughts.” Chairs have been removed from social gathering places. Hallways are quiet. Nobody stands around the water cooler. People have few places to talk with each other. The parallel to porches is haunting.

Perhaps you are sensing a shift in social norms undermining parental rights and the sanctity of the family. Bradbury foresaw a push for government-funded pre-school. Captain Beatty explains, “The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school. That’s why we’ve lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now we’re almost snatching them from the cradle.”

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A Moment of Clarity

You’re driving down a winding country road late at night. Up ahead, just barely within range of your headlights, you catch a glimpse of a moving shape. Uh-oh — could it be another one of those #@%&?!# deer? After a split second your guess is confirmed: you see the twin red pinpoints of its eyes. And then another pair, and another — the little red winking lights of four or five deer, looking like a row of error codes on a modem. The creatures leap into the road, eager to throw themselves in front of your car and send it to the body shop, and possibly you to the hospital. You brake hard and swerve… Phew! Your luck holds — you miss them by a couple of yards.

Yes, we denizens of the Virginia Outback are all too familiar with the awful moment when the view ahead becomes well-lit and clear enough to see that another close encounter with a deer is on the way. It’s a moment of ghastly clarity.

That’s what the last four years at Gates of Vienna have been like for me. Beginning with the Great Migration Crisis in the summer of 2015, some of the previously obscure underpinnings of currently unfolding events have sprung clearly into view, as if a row of light switches by the door to reality were being flipped on, one by one.

I could list any number of processes that make up this ongoing moment of clarity, but for simplicity of exposition, I’ll condense them into three major categories:

1.   The coordinated, planned invasion of Europe by masses of third-world migrants.
2.   The election of Donald Trump, and the consequent events that followed it.
3.   The global de-platforming of Tommy Robinson.

What these events have in common is that they reveal the otherwise occluded machinations of the international elite who strive to manage global affairs to suit their plans. The interference and manipulation have become so obvious that even non-paranoid people can’t help but notice them.

In the following analysis I’ll draw on vast quantities of data that I’ve absorbed over the past few years, without including any links. However, anything that is speculation will be clearly marked as such.

1. The Great Migration Crisis

When the columns of (mostly young male) migrants marched into Europe through the Balkans in the summer and fall of 2015, it quickly became clear that the whole operation had been planned in advance. Yes, Angela Merkel took advantage of the Dead Baby Moment when the corpse of little Ayan was carefully arranged and then “found” on a beach in Anatolia. No good socialist lets a crisis go to waste. Yet the logistical process that followed was far too large, complex, and expensive not to have been arranged ahead of time. Endless caravans of buses were lined up at various national borders to carry the migrants from one photo-op to the next, when they took those brief walks across the frontier that created such good visuals for the media.

And the culture-enrichers were carrying €500 notes to spend at their first stops in the European Union. Where did they get that kind of cash? Almost nobody uses that denomination of banknote in the EU.

A couple of years later it became clear that the EU itself was the cash cow for the migrants, when a credit card company acknowledged that it had partnered with the EU — which had guaranteed repayment of the debt — to hand out prepaid cards to migrants when they arrived in Europe.

Early in the game it became clear that George Soros was heavily involved in the process of migration. His NGOs ferried the “refugees” across the Med, handed out maps and instruction booklets, and chartered the buses that carried them onward towards Germany. But Mr. Soros wasn’t playing the philanthropist — he made that explicit when he told an interviewer that he expected to turn a profit on all his dealings.

Governments across Europe fell into line with the plan. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stood alone against the migration, and has become the sworn enemy of Brussels as a result. Until Matteo Salvini became Italian interior minister last year, Mr. Orbán was the sole governmental leader on the continent to actively resist what was happening.

Mass migration into Europe is not intrinsically profitable for anyone except the culture-enrichers themselves. Yet lots of people — people-smugglers, businesses, NGOs, and local governments — have been making money off the process. So who is paying for the population transfer?

Somebody wanted those migrants to get to Europe, and was willing to pay billions of dollars to make it happen.

Three years later, an exactly analogue of the process could be observed in the migrant “caravans” traveling from Central America through Mexico to the southern border of the USA. That was also a complex logistical process costing a lot of money. The trek overland through several countries had to be organized and supplied. Local officials had to be paid off to allow it through.

Who bankrolled all of that?

I don’t have any definitive answers to these questions, just speculations. I’ll get into those later.

2. The election of Donald Trump

Twenty-five years or so before the 2016 election I noticed how unpopular mass immigration was with American voters. Polls routinely showed that somewhere between 60% and 80% of the population said they opposed immigration, and some considered it an important issue. It seemed that an aspiring presidential candidate could do well if he included a prominent anti-immigration plank in his platform. Yet no one ever did, and that seemed peculiar. How could a pragmatic politician resist such an electoral advantage? Yes, it was considered a “populist” position, and everyone knew that populism was bad. Still… the issue could have helped a candidate win an election because it was, well, popular.

Fast-forward to 2016. As the campaign progressed, and Donald Trump deftly picked off all his opponents during the primaries, it became clear that the reason no one ever took up opposition to mass immigration was because they were not allowed to. The intense vitriol aimed at Mr. Trump from both parties — what we now refer to as the Uniparty — made it clear that primaries were designed to weed out any opponents of immigration. And that was OK with the Republican establishment — they didn’t really want to win elections that much anyway, as their rush to join #NeverTrump proved.

The events since January 20, 2017 have provided more evidence that the political establishment (a.k.a. the Swamp) in Washington D.C. is prepared to use all its wealth and power and influence to push Donald Trump out of the Oval Office. And the major issue that makes Mr. Trump so popular is his staunch opposition to mass immigration.

Why do all those wealthy, powerful members of the entrenched elite want so badly to bring millions of illiterate immigrants into the United States?

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Jordan Peterson on Global Warming

Lots of people won’t like his answer:

Obviously, we at Gates of Vienna – Baron the mathematician and statistician, and Dymphna who has looked at clouds from both sides now – are not fans of imposed “consensus”. The kind of consensus that, unless you agree with it, makes you thuggishly deplorable.

Good for you, Dr. Peterson. I almost didn’t watch you on this video because I thought you’d be predictable. I should know better by now, eh?

Wolfophobia Auf Dog Island

Below is the German translation of “Wolfophobia On Dog Island” by Matthew Bracken. Many thanks to MissPiggy for undertaking the lengthy job of translating it.

Note: Even though this post is in German, this is still an English-language blog, so please comment in English. Or, if you want to leave a comment in German, please follow it with an English translation.

Wolfophobia Auf Dog Island

von Matt Bracken

Nun, ihr jungen Welpen setzt euch und hört einem alten Hund gut zu, der so alt geworden ist weil er kein Dümmerchen war. Zappelt nicht herum und passt gut auf, denn manche Leute werden euch etwas anderes erzählen. Sie haben ihre eigenen Gründe und ich habe meine, ihre sind falsch und meine sind richtig. Nachdem ihr die wahre Geschichte über die Wölfe von Dog Island gehört habt, werdet ihr verstehen weshalb ihr diese nie vergessen solltet. Ich war dort, und folgendes ist passiert. Hört auf rum zu zappeln und passt auf.

Damals, bevor die Wölfe kamen, gab es viele Ausstellungshunde auf Dog Island, genau wie heute, aber in dieser Zeit waren die Standard Poodles für alles verantwortlich, denn aus irgend einen Grund wurden sie für ihre Klugheit geehrt. Und im Gegensatz zu den meisten Ausstellungshunden, waren die Poodles Genies, das muss ich ihnen lassen.

Angeblich war das der Grund weshalb sie dafür verantwortlich waren, dass das Hundefutter geteilt wurde, dass die Schüssel mit Wasser gefüllt waren, und ähnliches. Und trotz ihr albernes Fell, konnten die Standard Poodles sehr gross werden, also waren sie keine Schwächlinge. Und natürlich liebten es die Ausstellungshunde, dass die Poodles für alles verantwortlich waren, denn sie gaben ihnen Hundefutter obwohl sie nicht arbeiteten. Wenn ihr das glauben könnt, die Ausstellungshunde hatten fast jeden überzeugt, dass sie gefüttert werden sollten, nur weil sie so gut aussahen und weil sie die Morale der anderen erhoben. Und die Poodles waren mit diesem Schwachsinn einverstanden und fütterten die Ausstellungshunden für nichts außer gut aussehen.

Und der Haupt Grund für diese verrückten Umstände war, dass Apollo, der Anführer der Poodles, ein Meisterschwindler war. Er konnte sie richtig gut an der Nase herumführen, so gut, dass die Arbeitshunde sogar mit seinen Ideen einverstanden waren z.b. die Ausstellungshunden zu füttern obwohl sie nicht arbeiteten.

Natürlich, damals wie jetzt, wir Arbeitshunde leisteten die ganze Arbeit auf Dog Island während Apollo und die andere Poodles das Sagen hatten. Sie erzählten uns, dass die Spezialität ihrer Rasse die Denkarbeit war und deswegen müssten sie täglich unsere Arbeit steuern. War ja alles in Ordnung, solange wir alle genug zu essen und trinken hatten. Es hat uns trotzdem geärgert, dass die Ausstellungshunde für nichts tun, zu fressen bekam.

Dennoch haben wir, Arbeitshunde und Ausstellungshunde, auf eine Sache einigen können, dass keine Wölfe Dog Island betreten dürfen. Wölfe und Hunde waren Feinde, und so war’s einfach.

Wir alle wussten über die Wölfe auf Dog Island bescheid. Wir konnten sie hören. Ihr störendes Gebelle, wie sie kläffen, fiepen und vor allem wie sie den Mond anheulten, auf ihrer eigenen Insel die etwas weiter draußen und Flussabwärts lag. Gelegentlich fiel ein streunender Wolf in den Fluss oder wurde ins Exil getrieben. Manchmal versuchten sie auf Dog Island zu gelangen, aber wir würden sowas niemals erlauben. Das war immer eine der wichtigsten Regel überhaupt. Keine Wölfe. Niemals.

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How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Leave?

The Insufferable Inchoate Obama Is STILL Here…Obama bloviates. Say that real fast three times and you might end up with “Obama Oblivates”.

He is by turns condescending, predictable, and always, always arrogant. Without his script, he can barely string two coherent words together – unless he’s putting down those he hates:

This Thanksgiving I celebrate the absence of Obama. Or at least I would do if he’d just stutter off the stage and leave us be.

Here’s my theme song for Obama:

I’m grateful for y’all, every single one. And for Trump’s amazing aim. Doesn’t always hit the bulls-eye, but he’s still armed for the deal. And still cleaning up the mess Barry Soetero left. Royalty never has to clean up after itself…even if the man is only a royal pain in the gluteus maximus.

The Handyman’s Tale

For readers who are unfamiliar with the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood — to which the following allegorical pastiche by JLH pays non-hommage — here’s the Wikipedia entry for the book.

The Handyman’s Tale


Margaret Atwood meets Quentin Tarantino

by JLH

Birth of a Nation

It happened in a place once called California. There was a surprising change of leadership in the national government, which had, until then, pursued a reasonable policy of social benefits for the poor to offset the incredible wealth amassed by the governing class and its consiglieri, and a sensible foreign policy of financial rewards for countries most likely to dislike and attack us. With the unexpected shift in leadership came a fanciful desire to improve an economy that successive bipartisan leaders had shown could not be improved; and a wrong-headed insistence that this country — like any other — should stand up for itself.

The final straws were perverted, “fundamentalist” interpretations of the 1st and 2nd Amendments. A brush-fire revolutionary movement formed, led by a retired power politician named Barbara Wrestler (known to friend and foe alike as “Barbie Bananas”). 10-term Governor Lunagleem was persuaded to declare the Feminist Nation of Westland, with the Golden Teddy Bear as its symbol. Its ready-made rallying cry was the title of the runaway bestseller, Cherchez la femme puissante. A widespread and visceral distaste for “flyover fundamentalism” among the elite of Westland was the impetus for a decree that the official philosophy of the new nation would be based upon principles outlined in the sociological milestone 50 Shades of Pink. The defining motto on the Teddy Bear seal of the new nation would be “allectio privus puellae” — To each her own.

Governor Lunagleem — in recognition of his long and faithful service in government, and his unflagging advocacy of women’s rights — was retired with great honors and offered, by way of exception, a passport that would not expire, should he ever decide to leave Westland and seek the presidency of that other country.


Our tale of life in the Feminist Democratic Republic of Westland is largely contained in the life of Offal. We first encounter him in the exclusively female- staffed public pre-school (there was no private schooling, except for the few daughters of highly placed officials), where he learned that a dispute between boys was decided on the basis of which boy was perceived to be the aggressor, who was then punished by being sent to an isolation corner for a while. A dispute between girls was resolved by a serious talk with an advisor, who would mediate an agreement between them. A dispute between a girl and a boy was regarded as Right versus Wrong or Good versus Evil. The girl was Right and the boy was Wrong. He was required to stand alone, as all the girls circled him and slapped his face — some angrily, some more kindly and softly. If he resisted — which became increasingly rare — he graduated to being Evil. He was made to lean his elbows on the teacher’s desk; and each girl was given a willow switch to strike his buttocks as she passed by. Offal and his classmates learned two lessons from this: 1)Never argue with a girl within view of any authority; 2) Never wear shorts to school — some girls will choose to whip the bare legs.

Bathroom facilities in schools, as in all public institutions, were of two kinds: Female and General. Offal’s introduction to this system was witnessing an outraged 7-year-old classmate complaining to their teacher that there was a girl standing at the urinals, observing and commenting. “Of course, dear,” the teacher told him kindly, “How else will she learn? She aspires to be a urologist.”

After the conditioning of pre-school, Life Entry School offered more substantive knowledge in arithmetic, reading, writing and the History of the Golden Teddy Bear Republic. All classes were issued waterproof helmets for their required, weekly depilatory shower. Boys were observed, to decide when they should be issued facial depilatory. The goal was no visible hair below the eyes. Everyone alike. There would be no returning to the era of “hairy-chested men.”

A companion program in the summer found every boy at “Summer Camp” — a more social than pedagogical training. Instead of a recorded version of Reveille, the day began with a loud call of “Soo-ee, Soo-ee, Pig! Pig! Pig!” Breakfast was sugarless oatmeal served in lengthy wooden trenchers referred to as “troughs” and a thick slice of bread. After eating, each boy carried his trencher past an open spigot, rinsing it off as he passed and stacking it upside down on the large drainboard. Lunch was beans with some salt pork in the same trencher, and bread. Supper was meatballs in tomato sauce, and bread, with a suety chocolate pudding for dessert. Each meal was presided over by watchful female counselors, who roamed between the long tables, noting when a boy seemed not to be eating, and rapping him across the back with a bamboo stick, saying, “Eat, Piggy, Eat!”

Activities during the day were various kinds of manual labor: moving boulders, leveling paths and roadways, gathering firewood from the surrounding woods. The great advantage for both “campers” and “counselors” was that this regimen facilitated an exhausted sleep. Nonetheless, the older boys were pulled — one by one — out of their bunks during the night and taken to one of the counselors’ cabins for what the counselors laughingly called, “Sex 101,” where they learned all the ways in which a woman could be pleased.

Offal never did know what the girls’ Summer Camp was like, but he noticed that with each end-of-summer return to school, the girls seemed to become more distant and contemptuous of the boys.

The final levels of public education — before girls went to one of the plethora of Westland universities, and the boys went to either blue- or white-collar trade schools — were also the closing phases in the treatment of male toxicity. Boys were separated into algorithmically selected groups and pulled from class twice a week to attend “de-masculinizing” clinics, where they were electronically connected to monitoring devices. Conducted by therapists working in pairs, the clinics featured 50-minute videos of young people at various activities. Blood pressure, pulse and skin temperature often spiked with one of three things: dangerous activities like cliff diving or dirt bike racing; warlike confrontations between males; the sight of an unexpected expanse of female skin. Every boy who registered a spike received an instantaneous electric jolt high inside his thighs. By the end of the second year, the attraction of danger, physical conflict and sex had dwindled to such an extent that images that had once caused a spike now barely registered. Many of the boys just closed their eyes or looked away.

Boys’ credits for graduation — aside from the masculine detoxification sessions — included the ability to read a newspaper, math through plane geometry (algebra and beyond were considered too intricate), a comfortable acquaintance with a computer and keyboard, and at least six credits in gardening/farming, tool-handling and crafts.

Thus well-trained in the necessary rules and attitudes of the Feminist Republic of Westland, Offal matured into a shy, comely young fellow. He was appointed to be a Domestic Worker, and was given a multi-year assignment as a handyman for three of the leading Wives in his designated community, doing yard work, animal husbandry and carpentry.

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William the Conquered

The video below features the concluding essay (or short story) from Dark Albion: A Requiem for the English by David Abbott, as read by the author.

It’s about the final grim days of William, son of Charles, the last king of England, in the year 2066. King William is facing the unavoidable transfer of power from the original Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of Britain to their new Muslim overlords. The imminent deal will be sealed by the marriage of King William’s granddaughter to a Muslim.

William’s father revised the royal oath upon his accession to the throne, promising to be the “Defender of Faiths” rather than the “Defender of the Faith”. After William there will be no more oaths, and there will be only the One True Faith — the one that demands submission:

A Dystopian Masterpiece: Jack Vance’s “Wyst: Alastor 1716”

Notes from the Baron:

The following review by Thomas Bertonneau discusses Wyst, one of the finest novels written by the late Jack Vance.

Long-time readers know that my nom de plume is taken from Jack Vance’s work — not from a character in his fiction, but from an imaginary writer, scholar, and commentator named Unspiek, Baron Bodissey, who provided the (sometimes lengthy) disquisitions on history, sociology, and political economy that appeared as footnotes in the novels.

The cover of Wyst shown below is not from the currently available version of the book, but from the original published by DAW Books, the first printing in 1978. I scanned it from my own Vance collection, and then de-yellowed it.

A Dystopian Masterpiece: Jack Vance’s Wyst: Alastor 1716

by Thomas F. Bertonneau

Towards the end of a long life, the American genre writer — and merchant seaman, jazz-man, and master of many trades — Jack Vance (1916-2013) produced an amusing autobiography entitled This is Me, Jack Vance! (2009); the book also carried a parenthetical and apologetic subtitle, Or, More Properly, This is I. In the subtitle Vance takes a jocund swipe at grammatical pedantry, and therefore at pedantry and Puritanism generally speaking, but he also affirms his passion for order, of which grammar is the linguistic species, without which (order, that is) freedom and justice, both of which he held as dear as anything, would be impossible.

There are a number of scholarly anthologies devoted to Vance’s authorship and at least one book-length single-author study of his fiction, Jack Rawlins’ Dissonant Worlds of Jack Vance (1986). It is a pity, however, that no intellectual biography of Vance exists. This is Me gives the essential details of its writer’s curriculum vitae, but it is largely bereft of information concerning Vance’s artistic-philosophical formation. So is Rawlins’ study, although it remains otherwise useful. If only, like Henry Miller, Vance had written his version of The Books in my Life! Concerning Vance’s artistic-philosophical formation, however, one might plausibly infer and arguably surmise a few probabilities. A writer is liable to be a reader, a prolific writer a prolific reader. A merchant seaman, as Vance remarks in his autobiography, finds himself with a good deal of time on his hands. Vance, who had briefly studied English at the University of California Berkeley, spent long stretches at sea during the Second World War, with a good deal of time on his hands. Two plausible guesses in respect of books that would have impressed themselves profoundly on Vance as he passed his time in their company are The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père and The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler.

The Count of Monte Cristo would have supplied Vance with a plotline, that of righteous and carefully plotted vengeance against arrogant and powerful offenders, which he used in his own brilliant way many times. Two books of Vance’s Alastor trilogy, Trullion (1973) and Marune (1975), are vengeance stories, as are all five volumes of The Demon Princes (1964 — 1981).

As it did for F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Miller, and the science fiction writer James Blish, among innumerable others, The Decline of the West would have deepened Vance’s sense of meaning and large-scale patterning in history; and it would have stimulated his interest in the comparison of cultures. In Spengler’s theory of the Great Cultures, as he called them, each Great Culture has a distinct physiognomy (Spengler’s term) that imprints and flavors its institutional manifestations and pervades the mental outlook of its every individual. A major element of Vance’s fiction is to establish through detailed description the distinct physiognomies — or as he calls it in a coinage of his own, the esmeric — of his fictional worlds and their societies. The Decline would also have honed Vance’s sensitivity to the crisis of European civilization, just as it had for Fitzgerald and Miller. Once again, the breakdown of social structures and the descent of civilization into renewed barbarism interest Vance almost obsessively. Vance’s authorship contains many other signs of Spengler’s background presence, not least in its tendency to insert extended philosophical discussions, sometimes as footnotes, into the unfolding story. In Vance’s later work, commencing with The Demon Princes, references occur to a certain “Baron Bodissey,” who seems to have been the Spengler of the settled cosmos, or the “Gaean Reach,” in the long-colonized solar systems of which, and among immensely old societies, Vance’s stories tend to occur. Spengler saw his Great Cultures as living entities. Vance’s Ecce and Old Earth (1991) quotes Bodissey’s study of “The Morphology of Settled Places,” in which he argues that “towns behave in many respects like living organisms,” a decidedly Spenglerian proposition.

Wyst: Alastor 1716 (1978), the third installment of Vance’s Alastor trilogy, falls somewhat outside the vengeance pattern of its two precursor installments although its denouement entails an act of supremely satisfying justice. Part of Wyst’s interest lies in the fact that it instantiates Vance’s knack for dystopian satire, the object of the satire being in this case the phenomenon of socialism, with its cult of egalitarianism. Before getting into the details, however, of Vance’s Spenglerian critique of the welfare state, a bit of context urges itself. The Alastor trilogy takes its overall title from its cosmic setting — Vance’s “Alastor Cluster.” As Wyst’s prefatory chapter explains, “Alastor Cluster, a node of thirty thousand live stars, uncounted dead hulks and vast quantities of interstellar detritus, clung to the inner rim of the galaxy with the Unfortunate Waste before, the Nonestic Gulf beyond and the Gaean Reach a sparkling haze to the side.” Of the thirty thousand solar systems that constitute the Cluster, three thousand are inhabited. The word alastor, not at all incidentally, stems from an ancient Greek name for an avenging spirit. The protagonists of Trullion and Marune indeed act as agents of retributive desert, but in matters of private offense. In Wyst Vance invokes justice rather than vengeance. In the early chapters of the novel, Vance’s protagonist and point-of-view character Jantiff Ravensroke functions as a perceptive visitor to and observer of the planetary “Egalist” society of Wyst. Readers gain their sense of Wyst’s cultural physiognomy through Ravensroke’s experiences, as he attempts to assimilate himself in a new and in many ways shocking environment. In the later chapters of the novel, while becoming increasingly involved with his new acquaintances, Ravensroke functions as a responsible citizen of the Cluster who feels the moral compulsion, at rising risk to his life, to report to the highest authority about wicked machinations unfolding on Wyst concerning which he has apprised himself. Ravensroke’s visit to Wyst, which he had undertaken for artistic reasons, becomes an ordeal and, pitting himself against a murderous conspiracy, he discovers his capacity for heroic action.

The highest authority in Alastor Cluster resides in the office of the Connatic. In the Connatic, Vance has taken a somewhat preposterous stock figure from pulp-era science fiction — the sovereign of a stellar empire, as in Edmund Hamilton’s Star Kings or Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy — and reinvented it in his own masterful way. The Connatic, who rules the Cluster from a towering architectural complex at archipelagic Lusz on the planet Numenes, incorporates traits from Shakespeare’s Henry IV and from the Stoic emperor Marcus Aurelius. Like Henry IV, the Connatic sometimes goes in disguise among his people in order to discover their disposition. Like Marcus Aurelius, the Connatic is a philosopher who is nevertheless prepared to act, having at his command an immense and super-competent diplomatic corps and the “Whelm,” a potent military force. In the opening chapter of Wyst, receiving four representatives of the Egalist society in his tower, and being criticized by one of them for his “position of unnatural privilege,” the Connatic replies: “I am I, who by reason of events beyond my control am Connatic. If I were someone else, I would not be Connatic; this is indisputable.” In that hypothetical case, however, “He, like I, would ponder the singularity of his condition.” The irascible ambassadors know not what to make of it. They take up again their crass demands on behalf of their world. The Connatic, whose name implies the cognitive faculty, knows these petitioners for precisely who they are. Vance bestows on the Connatic an encyclopedic knowledge of the planetary societies that he oversees and a near-instantaneous and deeply penetrating intuition in respect of character-nuance and political implication. He, too, is practiced in the Spenglerian art of physiognomic tact.

That Ravensroke should come to the attention of the Connatic partakes of the inevitable. Vance has endowed on Ravensroke artistic percipience, curiosity, and openness to experience so that, in a novice’s way, he resembles the Connatic in his talents. Ravensroke originates on the many-islanded largely aquatic planet Zeck at a place called Frayness, where custom dictates that those entering on adulthood declare a profession and begin to fashion themselves to live by it. (In other words — the usual way of life!) Ravensroke finds that he cannot declare for any customary profession, although his family would like him to do so, but he knows himself to possess a contextually eccentric talent for landscape and portrait and he would like to cultivate it. One night, in order to escape the tension with his parents and siblings, Ravensroke appropriates the family houseboat and steers it to a remote place. At dusk, while “water moths fluttered among the leaves,” Ravensroke hears from the sea “the sound of quiet voices in measured discussion.” The “sea-voices” elude clear audition: “The meaning… always just evaded intelligibility.” These susurrations haunt Ravensroke, to use Vance’s verb; and his acknowledgment of them indicates both his attunement to the world and his talent for attentive, non-egocentric awareness of his environment.

It is during his solitude that he learns fatefully of Wyst. Someone has left a copy of The Transvoyer, presumably a newspaper, on the table in the houseboat’s kitchen. A front page headline refers to “THE ARRABIN CENTENARY,” Arrabus being the inhabited continent of Wyst, and the story having been filed from Uncibal, “the mighty city beside the sea.” According to the story, which in hindsight appears to be rank Egalist propaganda, the people of Wyst live in a “dynamic society, propelled by novel philosophical energies.” As for the Arrabin goal, the article describes it as “human fulfillment, in a condition of leisure and amplitude,” which the society has achieved “by a drastic revision of traditional priorities.” On the other hand, as readers later learn, Arrabins not only disdain but anathematize anyone who “wants to do something… extraordinary and individualistic.” That would be “non-mutual” and “mutualism” is a major tenet of Egalism. The extravagant ideological claims of the journal article exercise less compulsion on Ravensroke, however, than the article’s reference to “the remarkable light of the sun Dwan,” under the luminosity of which “every surface quivers with its true and just color.” The aesthetic allure wins him over. He resolves to travel to Wyst to refine his skills as a painter and photographer.

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Poor Jordan Peterson

He truly believes in the myth of the soi-disant “moderate” Muslim.

Perhaps our Canadian readers can take up a collection to buy for Dr. Peterson the definitive book on Sharia law:

Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat Al-Salik

The reason I’m not suggesting the excellent work of, say, Robert Spencer or Bill Warner, is that in order to truly understand a subject – to “stand under” it – one has to begin by reading its own documents. The blurb on “Reliance” states:

This is a classic manual of fiqh rulings based on Shafi”i School of jurisprudence and includes original Arabic texts and translations from classic works of prominent Muslim scholars such as al Ghazali, al Nawawi, al Qurtubi, al Dhahabi and others. It is an indispensable reference for every Muslim or student of Islam who needs to research on Islamic rulings on daily Muslim life.

The Baron will remember when it was that we bought our own copy (I find the past becoming one fluid succession of moments). But I well remember the price since I do all our online ordering. It cost $30.00 back then. Thus, when “Reliance” arrived, I was surprised to see how beautifully bound it was. I wondered then if it were not being subsidized by some Sunni group (not a book for Shi’ites – another distinction Jordan Peterson will have to learn).

At the time, there were fewer than a dozen reader reviews and many of them were written by devout Muslims. The times have certainly changed; current top reviews (i.e., five-star verified purchases) are decidedly against the book whilst still recommending that one buy it.

Today the price stands at $56.00, but still worth it for those who want to be thoroughly informed about what it means to live under Sunni Sharia Law.

Here’s one review [edited]:

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The Shape of Mud

Below is JLH’s latest comment on Hollywood’s contribution to our life and thought. He says: “You might call it “Alfred Hitchcock’s Revenge’.”

The Shape of Mud

by JLH

Once upon a time there was a fairy-tale land, where fairy-tale people lived fairy-tale lives and made up fairy-tale tales to entertain all the people who did not live fairy-tale lives. Among those unfortunate souls who lived drab and ordinary lives — and unlike the paragon of perfection symbolized by the statuette given as the highest fairy-tale land award for story-telling — their ordinary males were encumbered by brazen masculine procreative equipment. Pedestrian persons from outside fairy-tale land paid a significant amount of money to see the tales made in fairy-tale land, so fairy-tale land accumulated vast wealth, and thus felt its responsibility to instruct and guide the patrons of its storytelling.

It came to pass that some of the fairy-tale folk conceived the idea of enticing the benighted souls outside of fairy-tale land to become a little more sensitive by showing them a fairy-tale alternative — the way to a fairy-tale existence almost as exalted as the lives in fairy-tale land. They thought about other fairy tales that had gently and subtly demonstrated human inferiority to other species — a tenet of faith in fairy tale land that applied to all of mankind, with a few exceptions, like the residents of fairy-tale land. There had been a very successful tale of a whole world of blue people (what a wonderful concept!) who only wanted to be left in peace to settle their own differences in their own way. But along came humans astride their superior technology, and wrought havoc. It was left to the one or two truly sensitive humans to try to save this exotic civilization.

The first principle to be derived from this older tale was that the OTHER must be shockingly different, but not repulsive. Even a tail is all right, if it is attractive. A long history of tale-telling in fairy-tale land had established that non-humans who are hostile and evil are usually repulsive in at least one of their manifestations.

Positive alien representatives must also be recognizably like us, but ever so much better, like Rousseau’s noble savage. And if they are to serve the purpose, they must be incapable of doing humankind any real harm.

The answer they found was a touching tale about Mignon, a shy woman with a crippling handicap — severe, incurable progressivism. Unable to hold a job in the white-collar world despite her BA, MA, PhD in intercontinental floral design, she has become a full-time cleaner in a government facility. She is befriended by Kaytee — a kindly, if undereducated, co-cleaner who also lives in one of the many apartments in the large Victorian house where Mignon lives. As befits a film from fairy-tale land, both Mignon and Kaytee are incredibly beautiful women. They are both aware of the toxic masculinity of the male of the species. They have had limited, and largely unpleasant, contacts with boys-to-men.

Day after day, as they clean, they pass by a door that is always locked. Above the door is a sign: Gregor’s Place. They clean so unobtrusively and efficiently and always on schedule, that they are eventually rewarded with extended work time, pay raises and the key to the locked door of Gregor’s Place. They enter with mixed apprehension and excitement. It is a large, rectangular room, one-half of which is a large, glass-walled terrarium filled with tropical plants. Their job is to clean the open half of the room and keep the high glass partition spotless. As they do this, they can identify — among other things — orchids, and something similar to a very large Venus Flytrap. Once, when a small bird flutters down from an opened slot in the ceiling above, it ventures too close to the predatory flower, and disappears in its maw. At intervals, other kinds of nutrition fall from other openings, into the terrarium — often a kind of light-green rain.

Kaytee is fascinated at first, but gradually loses interest and cleans stoically. Mignon, however, studies the various plants and comes to the conclusion that the Gregor in the name over he door refers to Gregor Mendel, and that this is a giant experiment in creating new genotypes. So she always devotes a few minutes to watching the plants and trying to identify their characteristics.

One day, while she watches, leaning slightly forward, with both hands flat on the glass, a plant emerges alone, moving with a curious gliding motion, and approaching the glass. It has an almost sylphic figure and a stamen-like appendage dangling between its two ambulatory limbs. With a shock, she casts her mind back to her studies and identifies the figure before her as a fully human-sized, independent rosette of the Orchis Italica or Naked Man Orchid, with its usually sketchy facial features more finished and its “physique” not only enlarged, but strengthened. The presence of an apparent stamen and no pistil tells her she is looking at a masculine plant.

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