Have I mentioned that some feminists are eyesporks?

Generally, talk of feminazis is all overblown, but once in a while the exception that proves the rule walks up and splatters effluvia all over your nice, clean shoes.

Here’s one for which we’ll be bringing out all the replacement words for using crazy as an insult*:

Delusional
Irrational
Bizarre
Goofy
Rabid
Erratic
Nonsensical
Tentacle-mouthed
Gibbering
Ickeian
As out of touch with reality as a conspiracy theorist on LSD who’s just been hit on the head with a fifty-pound bag of wind-up toys
Shudderbuggy
Mimsy as a borogrove
Amazingly fucking wrong

“When Sheri becomes Head Queen, what three things will get changed first?” Well, according to science fiction and fantasy author Sheri S. Tepper’s clown-pants answer to Strange Horizons in 2008:

2. The Court of Equity shall define humanity more strictly. Merely being born to human parents in a reasonably human shape will not be sufficient. Human beings have to have certain attributes: most importantly, being a humane creature. Humans cannot purposefully injure others. They have to be capable, once adults, of controlling what they do. Persons who look human but who are uncontrollable or who habitually hurt other people will no longer be defined as human. Every person born of human parents is not necessarily human. Those born to other parents might be, however. Probably the bonobos are human. Whales and dolphins may very well be human. I have met some very humanlike dogs and cats. Mere language does not define humanity.

3. The idea that a term in prison “pays a debt to society” shall be stricken from the vocabulary. Persons who are not human must be perpetually separated from society. People who purposefully hurt others may not—ever—be released to move about in society. This includes crazy people, alcoholics, and addicts who cannot be permanently cured. None of this, “Oh, he’s fine when he’s on his meds, but he forgets to take his medicine.” People who traffic in arms and drugs, wife beaters, serial rapists, pedophiles, and their ilk are included. Walled cities will be built in the wastelands and all nonhuman persons will be sterilized and sent to live there, together, raising their own food. There will be no traffic in, no traffic out, except for studies that may be done which might lead to a “cure.” There will be no chat about this sequestration being “inhumane,” because the persons so confined are not human by definition. (Aren’t you really sick of reading about some guy who’s been arrested six times for driving drunk and finally jailed after killing a family of five, and now he’s getting out because he’s “paid his debt to society”? Who thought up that idiocy?) The cities for nonhumans will not get overcrowded because the inhabitants will probably kill each other off fairly regularly.

As James Nicoll puts it, memetic prophylactic fucking recommended.**

Let’s be honest; as Barry just said to me in IM, “Tepper’s books have always flirted with lefty fascism.” Yeah, true. But we flirt with lots of things. Back in college, we flirted with that jerk who kept talking about how he wanted to fling poo at people like a proverbial monkey. We might even, on one dark day, have flirted with a Libertarian.

Sometimes, in writing, we play with premises that we don’t fully believe are true. We say “what if tendencies toward violence WERE entirely genetically predetermined” and then stagger drunkenly forward with that concept, trying to navigate the increasingly inviting shores of eugenics, and finally just sailing into that harbor, because fuck it, it’s a black box experiment. Sometimes we think “what if there was a story that read just like all that really fucking stupid misogynistic literature from the 30s about how life would be better if women would just DIE already, except it was written about men, and what if that highlighted all the ways in which the first narrative is oddly and uncomfortably embedded in the social consciousness?” Sometimes we write fictions that don’t encompass all the complexities of the world because we want to reflect the claustrophobia, the rage, the terrifying whimpering impotence of one particular experience.

And then sometimes we say, “There is absolutely no difference between a writer doing a book about torture and pain for the delectation of perverts and a Roman emperor ordering a few dozen or hundred slaves into the arena to be tortured and killed by gladiators or beasts for the delectation of perverts.” WAY TO MINIMIZE TORTURE, SLAVERY AND DEATH, MISS WIBBLEWOBBLE.

(Also! Sometimes we say a number of racist things that are harder to pull out in tidy quotes.)

The Rejectionist at Tor.com writes, “In many ways her writing epitomizes the problems of the second-wave feminist movement, a movement that was largely defined by and for middle-class white women and notoriously failed to deal with the complex intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality that women outside that narrow bracket negotiate daily.”

And that’s all, you know, true. But it vastly avoids the conclusions I want to draw about the interview. Which are that it requires whole new landscapes of invective.

Slitherbutt! Doucheblister! A Marianas trench of tapeworms! Oh, let’s face it, I just want to spout angry gibberish at this point. Kazhagragda, vishgore, unhyrgro, fabprowse, sporfle, squamous, rugose, luftwaffe, ziggurat, lickety-split!

Being a pretty good storyteller (which Tepper is) is not a justification for being a babbling, bungnosed, bowelbrained, barfbellied burpzipper.

Dudette, get off my side. You’re getting your primeval, parasitic compost all over my nice, clean movement.***

Further reading: James Nicoll, Strange Horizons, Tor.com.

*Some replacements are not usable in all situations. Some may be suggested with a tongue-in-cheek tone. Offer not valid in areas where Sheri Tepper may be lurking nearby with a sackful of weasels.

**OK, I added the fucking.

***Feminist movement not in actuality clean.

This entry posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 

50 Responses to Have I mentioned that some feminists are eyesporks?

  1. 1
    Jadey says:

    The Court of Equity shall define humanity more strictly.

    Guh. *shudder* DO. NOT. WANT.

    At the end of the day, I do not care so much about the lefty vs. righty spectrum so much as I care about the “willingness to deny anyone humanity” spectrum and where people fall on that.

  2. 2
    Ben Lehman says:

    Man, I immediately glommed onto that as an interesting dystopia: particularly because torturing and killing those judged as “inhuman” is, of course, totally within bounds as behavior.

    I also note that the canonical crazy person is male. No such thing as female psychotics, nosiree.

  3. 3
    Mythago says:

    “Fuckmuppet” never gets old.

  4. 4
    allburningup says:

    In “The Fresco” Tepper argues that if you believe abortion is inherently wrong, then you have given blanket consent to being impregnated. This is not *just* the opinion of certain characters. It’s an opinion argued for by the narrative itself. At least it seemed that way to me.

  5. 5
    Hugh says:

    I actually liked the bit earlier in the interview where she complains about the fact that her history classes don’t teach her that soldiers are murderers, but refers to her nicotine-addicted veteran friend as one of “our fine servicemen”.

  6. 6
    Doug S. says:

    As Larry Niven once said, “There is no cause so right that one cannot find [an asshole] following it.”

  7. 7
    Mandolin says:

    That’s gorgeous.

  8. 8
    Grace Annam says:

    Humans cannot purposefully injure others.

    Yeah, because when someone is smashing through the door you are trying to hold closed, and your terrified children are behind you under the bed, it would be totally immoral to shoot the attacker. The only ethical response is to say, “Stop! Or I’ll say ‘stop’ again! I mean it!”

    Absolutists irritate me. Every last one of ‘em.

    So do people who think it’s possible to design a utopia.

    Walled cities will be built in the wastelands and all nonhuman persons will be sterilized and sent to live there, together, raising their own food…

    …and forming their own society. Then they can wall off the worst bit of their wasteland and put the people they can’t manage to get along with inside of it, and then THEY can wall…

    Loving the passive voice — for damn sure, Sheri, YOU won’t be soiling your hands with any of this hypothetical dirty-work. And there will be a lot of it, because once you include alcoholics, you’re at higher than 5% of the entire population of those-we-foolishly-used-to-classify-as-human. BIG walled cities. Every OTHER time in human history when we penned certain classes of people into concentration camps … excuse me, “walled cities”, it worked out so well. What could go wrong?

    Oy.

    Grace

  9. 9
    Mandolin says:

    Waaaay more than that with crazy people added in. 30% ish, yeah?

  10. 10
    Jake Squid says:

    So if I steal my neighbors puppy and torture it to death it isn’t inhumane?

    I always thought inhumane meant:

    Without compassion for misery or suffering; cruel.

    I guess I’ve been wrong and can now begin to have no compassion for misery or suffering of the non-human. Yay?

  11. 11
    RonF says:

    Useful quote there from Mr. Niven.

    Ms. Tepper seems to have some very odd ideas about religion. Not that she’s wrong about some of the evils perpetrated in it’s name. But she seems to have some misconceptions about it’s very basis.

    [Jonas] Salk [inventor of the Salk polio vaccine] isn’t a saint. But he did more for the human race than Mother Teresa did. He didn’t long to be holy, which meant having faith, not asking questions, doing something unpleasant without thought or complaint. He longed to do good, which meant finding things out, asking hard questions, and thinking hard, deep thoughts. Goodness and holiness are two different things, unfortunately.

    Read the New Testament and Jesus’s words and you’ll see pretty quick that He understood that there’s a definite distinction between being religous versus having faith and being holy. The Pharisees were religious, and yet they committed numerous egregious sins much as many religious leaders (or those who wish to justify their acts with religion) do today. Being religious doesn’t mean they have faith.

    If she thinks that having faith means not asking questions and acting without thought or complaint she hasn’t spent much time talking to priests or ministers or monks or nuns. At least, not the ones I’ve talked to or read. She seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding about what faith is.

  12. 12
    Lis says:

    I love this post. Now that I’ve stopped laughing, I’m adopting “mimsy as a borogrove” into my home. But I’ll send pictures and regular updates, I promise!

  13. 13
    mythago says:

    People like Tepper are always quite confident they’ll be on the outside of the walls.

  14. 14
    Mandolin says:

    Ron–I think she’s deliberately challenging the idea of faith/goodness as constructed by western religions, which is to say, not so much misunderstanding faith, but trying to put it in a different context.

  15. 15
    nojojojo says:

    Larry Niven’s post is ironic considering his willingness to be an asshole for his own chosen cause.

    Is there a link to the Tepper post? Or was it snarked off the internet back in ’08?

  16. 16
    nojojojo says:

    Quote, sorry, not post. Sleepy. (Hey, when did the ability to edit comments go away?)

  17. 17
    Mandolin says:

    Hi Nojojojo, the interview (containing the quote) is at the Strange Horizons link.

  18. 18
    RonF says:

    Mythago:

    People like Tepper are always quite confident they’ll be on the outside of the walls.

    Actually, I suspect she sees herself as Chief Justice of the Court of Equity. Did you read step 1? Said Court has authority over the Supreme Court and has the ability (and in fact, the mandate) to ignore the law and rule on the basis of justice. She doesn’t state how the members of said Court would be nominated, seated, or controlled. But then the authority of those who are smarter and better-educated than the rest of us shouldn’t be restricted on the basis of law.

  19. 19
    nobody.really says:

    “Eyespork”?

  20. 20
    Frowner says:

    Ooooh. Oh dear. I don’t think I’ll be reading any more Sheri Tepper, ever again.

    I mean, I think her comments are predicted by her work…the whole logic of a lot of her stories (The Gate To Women’s Country, Beauty and Grass come particularly to mind) is that if the good guys are pushed far enough they just have to snap, and then pretty much anything goes. There’s also a really, really undemocratic logic to a lot of her work–the good guys can keep huge, life-altering secrets about society, because most people just can’t be trusted with them (The Gate To Women’s Country, for example.) And there’s so much contempt in her work for women who reproduce in ways of which she does not approve, and so much contempt for women who have sex without true, true love.

    Her books remind me, sometimes, of “The Cold Equations”–they seem designed to get you to the point where you get to guiltlessly enjoy a little fantasy about tossing people out into the depths of space/the jaws of the monster/the horrors of apocalypse, all the while pretending that it’s just the inexorable forces of the universe doing it, and not your plot.

  21. 21
    RonF says:

    Mandolin:

    Ron–I think she’s deliberately challenging the idea of faith/goodness as constructed by western religions, which is to say, not so much misunderstanding faith, but trying to put it in a different context.

    Then I’d challenge her opinion as to how Western religions represent faith. In Judaism and Christianity at least (I can’t answer for any others) the record to the contrary is pretty clear. If you read the Old Testament you see that people like Moses and Lot and Elijah, etc., used to argue and bargain with God all the time. Every Christian spirituality meeting or conference I’ve been to – heck, every sermon my priest gives asks you to question and challenge.

    Of course there have been people who have ignored all that and tried to accumulate power by wrapping themselves in a perversion of Christianity. But basing your opinion of how faith works on what someone like that says is like basing your opinion on President Obama’s politics on what Rush Limbaugh says. Is he influential? Sure. Do a lot of people believe what he says? Yup. That doesn’t mean it’s true. Like I say – talk to someone with some education, training and experience in such things.

  22. 22
    Mandolin says:

    I don’t understand why faith is exclusive to western religions? I mean, how can you say she doesn’t get faith because of something Jesus said about pharisees? How does that universally apply? I think I’m just not understanding you. I’m sorry.

  23. 23
    mike says:

    Two points:
    1) I loved Tepper’s True Game series, but most of the rest of stuff seemed as heavy-handed and lecture-y as Anne Rand. (a comparison that I’m sure fans of both of those authors would love.)

    2) I just finished re-re-reading Expendable by James Alan Gardner where the “League of Peoples” has the rule that killing a sentient being is a dangerous non-sentient act. Any dangerous non-sentient that tries to enter interstellar space dies. This is enforced by beings that are so far ahead of humans technologically, that it is commented by a character that “this is a rule of nature, more certain than entropy”.

    It just occurred to me that this is remarkably similar to what Tepper was proposing, with a slightly different definition of sentience, and “walled cities” replacing “solar systems”. I suspect I find Tepper’s vision to be less just because I know how badly humans do at judging things, but am willing to believe in the wisdom of billion-year-old aliens. :)

  24. 25
    Grace Annam says:

    2) I just finished re-re-reading Expendable by James Alan Gardner where the “League of Peoples” has the rule that killing a sentient being is a dangerous non-sentient act. Any dangerous non-sentient that tries to enter interstellar space dies.

    Out of curiosity, what do Gardner’s wise aliens think a sentient being should do when another sentient being is actively trying to kill it? Does the act of self-preservation, or preservation-of-other (like children, or people ill enough not to be capable of defending themselves) render a sentient being non-sentient? (Or, as is often the case in these scenarios, is the situation inconvenient and therefore simply not arise?)

    Grace

  25. 26
    Doc Hatter says:

    Grace @ 25: IIRC someone who is trying to commit murder is a dangerous non-sentient by definition, and hence self-defence etc. is permitted. There are some grey areas, often coinciding with plot points in the series.

  26. 27
    RonF says:

    Actually, Mandolin, Tepper didn’t restrict her comments to Western religion and initially neither did I. You are the one that put this in the context of Western religions. I don’t think the concept of faith is limited to Western religions and I don’t think Tepper meant to say so. Mind you, I’m not well informed enough about non-Western religions to argue the specific point.

  27. 28
    mythago says:

    Ron–I think she’s deliberately challenging the idea of faith/goodness as constructed by western religions, which is to say, not so much misunderstanding faith, but trying to put it in a different context.

    I don’t understand this. I do understand the part about lumping all Western religions together (Jews are just like Christians, but with less Jesus!) and it’s tiresome, but I’m used to that. I’m just not following your point here.

  28. 29
    Stefan says:

    As far as I know, Hinduism and Budhism don’t put as much emphasis on faith as Christianity.I don’t know about Judaism.

  29. 30
    Mandolin says:

    Mythago, Ron–It’s not that I don’t respect you or think you’re probably illuminating a real difference in our POVs. I’m just exhausted with thinking about the interview now and don’t really want to get into her other clownpants POVs. Sorry. I’m sorry I wasn’t clear earlier and that I didn’t/don’t understand what y’all mean either.

  30. 31
    mythago says:

    Mandolin, fair enough.

    Stefan, there’s a saying “two Jews, three arguments,” so I’m hardly speaking for All Jewry, but maybe I can repeat an example I heard from a rabbi once that helps explain it: as he put it, if he walked into synagogue for services one day and asked “Okay, who believes in God?” probably a third of the people would put their hands up, a third wouldn’t, and another third would be waffling. Whereas if a Christian priest walked into Sunday services and asked “Okay, who believes in God?”, if somebody didn’t put their hand up, people would probably ask, then what are you doing here?

  31. 32
    Mandolin says:

    “Eyespork”?

    Someone who makes you want to stab your eye with the fork part then scoop it out with the spoon.

  32. 33
    nobody.really says:

    …oh please….

  33. 34
    Mandolin says:

    You know, really? Fuck that. Is there a particular reason you needed to vent your hostility at me right now? Go away.

  34. 35
    nobody.really says:

    Whoa, sorry; no hostility intended. I just — reacted.

    I had googled “eyespork” and – except for this blog and one e-mail address – all I found were stories that combined the word “eyes” and “pork.” E.g., “Congress Eyes ‘Pork-Barrel’ Reforms.” So I simply had no basis to anticipate the definition you offered.

    You gotta admit, it’s a little – visceral.

    (Now that you’ve answered my question, I’m really curious to know who would have the word “eyespork” in her e-mail address. But I’ve also learned that there are some questions I maybe don’t need to know the answers to….)

  35. 36
    Lis says:

    nobody.really, googling “eye” and “spork” as two separate words will give you an appreciation of the phrase’s purchase in some internet cultures.

  36. 37
    NancyP says:

    Am I the only one who sees a dose of satire as well as a dose of schadenfreude from much of Tepper’s work? And that the premise of this interview (“if you were Queen”) is set as an exercise in satirical/fantasy fiction, not as a request for a detailed policy recommendation to be implemented in the real world?*

    Is it really necessary to remind people that much of modern entertainment, including porn**, features women as holes, women as victims of rape and murder (including salacious dwelling on such), women as having no bodily rights – the same mindset in “No means Yes, Yes means Anal” (Yale frat boys) – “No humans involved” (NHI, police slang for murder case with female prostitute victim) – “She asked for it”, “She shouldn’t have been…” “wearing X”, “out at midnight”, “in a bar/drinking”, “walking by herself in X neighborhood”, and a thousand more. Or, “he’s such an upstanding man, he’s being victimized by a ….”" crazy daughter”, “slutty student”, “lying wife”, “unGodly Jezebel in our congregation”stating that said man had sexually or physically abused “crazy, slutty, lying, etc” minor girl or woman.

    Female rage at all this is apparently not fit for public view in any form whatsoever. – even in the lowly genre of fantastic fiction.

    A man gets the brushoff from a woman he wants – he can head to his local Cinema-Gazillion and see a perfectly respectable mainstream (PG or R) Hollywood movie featuring “a woman who got what she deserved” in order to indulge his anger fantasy. No-one thinks anything of it, he’s just watching a mystery-thriller show where one man matches muscle, reflex, and wit against another man.

    It’s amazing how much angst an outlier author can evoke.

    * The interview is in Strange Horizons, not in The Hill, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, or other political magazines, or in the Congressional Record.
    **Porn is sexual entertainment. Ninety-nine percent of porn for the heterosexual audience is commercial in nature, intended for sale to men, and vanilla porn just doesn’t sell well, apparently.

  37. 38
    Mandolin says:

    Tepper is not being criticized for being an anti-patriarchy feminist. She’s being criticized for participating in hegemonic prejudice against brown people and disabled people. Be as furious at the patriarchy as you want; don’t do it by stomping on the necks of oppressed people.

  38. 39
    Mandolin says:

    Further, detailed comments on what’s objectionable about Tepper’s totalitarian fantasy:

    Short version: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/2011/04/15/deconstructing-sheri-teppers-2008-interview-with-strange-horizons/

    Long version: http://rachel-swirsky.livejournal.com/228314.html

    (Hint: the objectionable bit isn’t saying “ladies are oppressed.”)

  39. 40
    Urban Sasquatch says:

    I could say with a relative degree of confidence that Liberals believe Conservative wish to keep us trapped in the Dark Ages of ignorance and have us laboring perpetually under the power-mongering ministrations of religious angst and professed “sexual immorality”, dictating what we can and cannot think/say/do.

    I could say with a relative degree of confidence that Conservatives believe Liberals want to throw all caution to the wind, living with a laissez-faire capriciousness that belies reason yet ironically want the absolute freedom to tell others what they REALLY need to think/say/do.

    And I can say with absolute certainty that every person reading what I’ve written will separate themself entirely from those to gross generalities and assure their reflections as they gaze into the mirror that it’s NOT the same with them because they’re “not like that at ALL”, all the while defending their political views vehemently, never stopping to realize this behaviour is underscored by the personal statement “But this is different because I’M RIGHT!”

    Dave Barry once said (I may paraphrase) “The one factor that unites each of us across all political and social boundaries in this world is that each and every one of us believes we’re a better-than-average driver.”

    That there’s some good tv.

    Mandolin, I want to thank you for some of the most beautiful invective I’ve seen in a long, long time! And while I may not agree with “the cause” (for all that I consider myself a DIE-HARD Women’s Libber I consider myself a dyed-in-the-wool non-Feminist) I DO agree that this particular piece by Tepper smacks of the worst of the worst.

  40. 41
    NancyP says:

    Am I not clear? She is a writer of FICTION. She might be an identifiable frog in a small pond of fantasy fiction, but in the real world, she’s “Who?”. She has exactly one vote, same as any other citizen, and no matter how loopy she may* or may not** be, she isn’t going to be queen of anything.

    She may be technically proficient in genre writing, but she’s writing the same book over and over again. I lost interest in her novels a good many novels ago.

    * compared with the usual 70 year old middle class white woman’s racial sensitivity (not)
    ** Is she saying what she herself thinks or what she thinks her readers want to hear?

  41. 42
    Helen says:

    The Rejectionist at Tor.com writes, “In many ways her writing epitomizes the problems of the second-wave feminist movement, a movement that was largely defined by and for middle-class white women and notoriously failed to deal with the complex intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality that women outside that narrow bracket negotiate daily.”

    And that’s all, you know, true.

    Mote, beam. I’m heartily sick of people who rightly criticise eliminationist speech or blanket criticism of some groups attack “second-wave feminists” as “failing to deal with complex intersections.” some of them did, more than others. Some of them were better than others. I’m hugely grateful to many of them. They had a different world than ours, because some of the social spaces we know had to be chiselled out by them. Of course, when some older feminist does or says something wrong, it’s rightly criticised. But then it becomes “second-wave feminists en masse.” It’s times like these that my search for a better invective can only resolve to a simple oh, go and fuck yourself.

  42. 43
    Saurs says:

    Mandolin, can you explain how the objectionable content in Tepper’s work is specifically feminist?

  43. 44
    Mandolin says:

    Yeah, really, I mean why do those brown and crazy and poor people not just shut up? Who really cares what happens to them?

  44. 45
    Mandolin says:

    She identifies as an ecofeminist and her work takes for granted, and moves from, assumptions about patriarchy. If you read the longer analysis of the interview, it should be clear where her philosophical foundations are grounded in feminism. If you want to ask about a specific instance, I can try to answer. I assume you’re not arguing that feminism hasn’t had roots that are problematically integrated with things like eugenics?

  45. 46
    Mandolin says:

    Also, I must say that I deeply enjoy recursive arguments. If one should ignore the politics of a woman who identifies herself as a political writer–an ecofeminist and a “preacher who writes”–because she is a frog in a pond and too small to deserve commentary, then surely the politics of a much smaller frog in the same pond can’t possibly require outraged comments.

    If she is too small, I am even smaller, so why are you here? Or you could just admit that sometimes people talk about stuff they want to talk about and not always The Most Important Stuff in The World.

  46. 47
    Urban Sasquatch says:

    Or you could just admit that sometimes people talk about stuff they want to talk about and not always The Most Important Stuff in The World.

    Granted, it’s early — but this is my smile for the day thus far.

    *checking*

    Yep, still laughing.

  47. 48
    Urban Sasquatch says:

    Am I not clear? She is a writer of FICTION. She might be an identifiable frog in a small pond of fantasy fiction, but in the real world, she’s “Who?”. She has exactly one vote, same as any other citizen, and no matter how loopy she may* or may not** be, she isn’t going to be queen of anything.

    NancyP, here’s a thought:

    Since it’s only fiction, and per your reasoning doesn’t matter — why is one of the complaints often heard among feminists that classical literature apparently contains many a misogynistic bent? After all it’s only fiction, and none of these folks became king or queen of anything.

    The point lies not in the fact that this is fiction while that is the real world; it lies in the fact that people are often influenced by what they read. Be that influence small or large, people who READ carry a thing away with them in some guise, form, fashion.

    After all, you read smaller-than-small’s blog post and felt compelled to take a few minutes from your day — of which there are a finite number in your lifetime so seriously, time’s a-tickin’ – to respond to it, gave it some thought.

    On the other hand it’s entirely negligible, a moment you chose to waste and which has NO bearing on your life, zero valid influence… unless you happened to click the box marked Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. uh-oh…

  48. 49
    Mandolin says:

    Yeah, I always find the “but it’s just fiction!” complaints odd because with few exceptions, the people saying that only believe it in the limited set of circumstances where A) they want to defend something fictional, but B) they realize their argument is underwater.

  49. 50
    Maureen O'Danu says:

    How the hell did I miss this thread? Also: Mimsy as a Borogrove. Totally stealing it.

    No matter what group we identify with, there’s always one asshole that you don’t want to introduce to outsiders as being part of your group, and you spend most of your inside time trying to “straighten up” that person. I’ve never read Sheri Tepper’s work, but from the description above, I doubt I ever will.

    I was a rabid Randian geekadroid in my twenties, and parroted every word that woman said to anyone who would listen. Her philosophy was concrete, black and white, and satisfying to my pure little selfish heart. I can see how others would feel the same way about Tepper, but I’ll be damned if I’ll read her stuff. I’ve grown past inviting others to tell me how to think, and into telling others to fuck off if they try.