Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I've been seeding my blog everywhere and now I have hits!




carry on

Monday, May 26, 2014

A break from rage

I've been writing and reading and commenting and arguing about Elliot Rodgers all weekend (and today), I think it's time for a break. So here's a short sample from a fiction project I'm working on.


Shan knelt by the pit, looking at the bones that covered the bottom of it and repressing the urge to swear. He could not be sure how many bodies were left here, scavengers and the weather having taken their toll, but there were at least seven heads staring back at him, some decayed down to grey bone, others with strips of flesh and hair still clinging tenaciously.
“So much for finding survivors,” the Ranger muttered to himself, standing up and brushing the dirt from his knee. He glanced up at the sky, watching the red tinge bleed away into a deep blue. The first stars began to glimmer, and Shan knew they would be the only light to guide him for the rest of the night. He briefly considered making camp, and continuing at dawn, but there were still two children to account for. None of the remains were fresh enough.
A part of his mind wondered if he had not made a mistake by taking on this unofficial mission. There was no requirement, in the code or the Oath they swore, that obliged them to take on tasks outside of those given within the chain of command, though several of the older Rangers seem to believe that there should be.
“The Seal you carry with you comes with a heavy responsibility,” their elder instructor would repeat. “You are tasked with the defence of the Empire, from threats varied and hidden. If you graduate, and take the Oath, your responsibility is not to follow the orders from your superiors, but to maintain order and peace throughout our lands, no matter the cost.”
Those words, and many more like it, had made a profound impression on Shan during his training, and he swore, the day he received his commission, to live up to the heavy expectations of his instructors, and of the Empire itself. It had led to some less than desirable moments in the past, as he zealously attempted to solve any wrong that was brought to his attention, many of which still make the rounds in the Posthouses he frequents. The veteran members adore telling the newer recruits of the time Shan found himself infiltrating a brothel, disguised as a woman, to recover blackmail documents, and how he quickly discovered it was merely an attempt by a merchants wife to humiliate her husband by catching him in the same room as a cross dresser.
The howls of laughter are generally exuberant.
It was through events like these that Shan eventually learned to restrain his impulses and plan his outings. The stories remained widespread and repeated, as any story inside of a closed group tends to, but they were soon accompanied by real successes. Though Shan would no longer simply go off the moment he heard of a problem he would always listen, and store the information in the back of his mind, ready to be compared to other information he gathered. Matched with his innate curiosity, and zealous drive to excel, it led him to a long string of successful missions, most of them from outside official channels.
So it was that, as he was passing through Gallemsberg on his way west toward Allair, he heard the locals talking of missing children. His curiosity perked by the alehouse gossip, Shan began to dig deeper. Wary glances were dissipated by a flash of the Imperial Seal and eager, frightened tongues wagged with desperate pleas.
The town had been plagued, for several years, with vanishing children. The townsfolk were adamant of the distinction; many children died each year, from illness or accidents and, rarely, murder, but the disappearances that happened on the nights where both moons were hidden from view were different. Some had vanished from their beds, their covers discovered perfectly made in the morning, others from trips to the market, or the well. The town had been under curfew on the night of any new moon, with militia patrolling the streets, and still the children went missing.
Both moons would be new that night, and two children had already gone missing from their home by midday. With the tear strained faces of the parents still haunting his memory, Shan took to the forest surrounding Gallemsberg in what he expected to be a fruitless hunt. The mass grave had been a surprise, one that served to confirm the Ranger's fears; whatever was happening to the children of Gallemsberg was done at the behest of an intelligent agent.
“There's nothing more to do but press on,” he finally said, throwing a handful of dirt into the open grave.

There were six of them around the fire, their backs away from it. Each of them was dressed in a long red robe, with the hood covering their faces, save for one. His back was directly to Shan, robbing him of the chance to see his face, though he could make out a heavily scarred bald scalp. He had spotted at least one sentry, on the far side of the clearing from where he was hidden, and knew there would be at least two more somewhere in the woods. He remained quiet, kneeling, taking the scene in detail for the report.
Next to the slowly banking flames was a spit, upon which were tied a boy and a girl. Both were naked, their lips sewn shut and eyes empty black pits above streaming tracks of red running down their cheeks.
He knelt, observed, and listened. The language they spoke was foreign to Shan, seeming to consist of guttural warbling and sharp staccato explosions. The man without the hood seemed to be leading the chant, with the five others responding in what felt like rote chant.
Shan's disquiet grew with every moment. His mind was screaming for him to flee, to report to the nearest Posthouse, and bring a troop of deputies crashing through the forest to hunt these six men down. He remained, however, waiting, his teeth grinding at the sight and sound of the tableaux. He remained, ignoring the desperate cries for his own safety, because he needed to see the face of the scarred man. To be able to confront him, in public, for Infernalism.
His thoughts were interrupted by a noise to his right, in the darkened woods. He checked a swear, and slid his hand slowly to his sword, mentally berating himself for letting his guard down and ruining his night vision by staring at the only light source for miles. Scanning the shadows around him, Shan slowly began to creep backwards from the clearing, hoping to evade notice and make his way out of the forest and back to Gallemsberg. With some luck, the locals would be convinced by his description, and the Imperial Seal, and join him in raiding the camp. With even further luck, they might return and find someone remaining.
The sound, the dry snap of a dead branch, repeated itself and was joined by the rustle of leaves to his back. Deciding that secrecy was no longer warranted, Shan spun on his left heel, his long blade sliding out of the oiled leather scabbard at his side. The sentry creeping up on his back was taken by surprise, and the Ranger took advantage of those few moments of shock to stab him through the lung, pressing his hand against his mouth to stiffle the gurgling scream. Had the sentry been alone, it would have been enough.
Reacting purely on instinct, Shan dove to his right, away from a downward strike of an axe aimed at his head. The sudden dive made him lose the grip on his blade, and the first sentry crumpled to the ground two yards away, three feet of steel sticking out of his chest. Swearing, audibly, Shan tore his short blade from its scabbard and prepared to deal with the axeman and run into the wild.
He did not count on the scarred man getting involved.
Shan felt a sudden pressure on his throat, and he turned and slashed with his sword to dispatch what he thought was a third assailant. His blade whistled harmlessly through the air, and he heard the second sentry, the one with the axe, chuckle at the sight of it. Clawing at his throat, vainly trying to breathe, Shan stumbled away from the campsite and crashed through the woods. Dark spots were beginning to appear in front of his eyes, and his chest felt like it was freezing, and on fire, at once. The pressure relented for a moment, allowing Shan to draw in a gasping breath, then resumed as strong as before. Tears streaming down his face, the Ranger collapsed to his knees, short blade falling from nerveless fingers.
“Well, it would appear we have a spy in our midst.”
The voice seemed to float in the night air, coming from in front of the prostrate Ranger. Looking up, blinking away tears and spots, Shan tried to focus on the face.
It was scarred, horribly scarred, a network of lines drawn over every inch of exposed skin on the mans face. They seemed, to his oxygen-starved brain, to dance together into an interwoven script, a language he could not read or comprehent.
Another breath made it to his lungs, only seeming to increase the pair bursting in his chest. Shan did not feel the hands searching his body, opening his pockets and pouches, and extracting the precious Imperial Seal that every Ranger carries.
“Ah...” the man said, shaking his head softly. “It would appear that the Posthouse will miss an expected guess.”
The man who was searching him chortled again, and pushed Shan down onto his face.
“I am happy you could join us before the... meat of the ritual. We have so many hours of darkness left, and it always brings me such joy to entertain an unexpected guest.”
The world swam before his eyes, and Shan saw only darkness.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A followup to entitlement

I wrote the last post in a bit of a white heat, mostly driven by some rage, disgust and sadness at the state of the world. Last post was specifically about the Elliot Roger situation, but now I want to expand it a little bit.

When I said that this was the first time there was a direct link between MRA/PUA/RedPill and a woman killer, I didn't mean that it was the first time that someone with those philosophies ever harmed a woman. I meant that it was the first time that there was such an overwhelming link between the two, and a direct and obvious statement from the suspect as to his reasoning. His reasoning, if you spent even a tiny amount of time reading articles, was basically rage and revenge that he was a single virgin at 22, and that hot blonde women would ever dare to date mexicans (not only was he a raging misogynist, he was also a racist. Fun times).

Every day, women are hurt, raped, or murdered because of this kind of thought process. Every day. Just last week, one was stabbed because she said "no" to an offer to go to prom. A few years ago, a Muslim father murdered several female members of his family to keep their (read; the honour of his penis having and other penis havers in the family) intact. Any quick and dirty googling on news sites will find a bunch of stories like this. The average is 3 women per day killed by their partners in the US.

What this tells me is that there is a serious problem conserning women in the general culture of the west. Anyone who is a woman, or has spent time listening to them, can attest to this. Elliot Roger was not an outlier, or even rare, in any way except the scale of what he did. Someone I know described his actions as "terrorism aimed at women", and it is as good a description as any. But, he still isn't extraordinary in that.

The entire modern western society could be accused of commiting terrorism against women, after all. I truly did wish I was exagerating. But when an entire half of the population is afraid of crossing paths late at night with the other half, for fear of what might happen, there is a terrorism problem. When the females of the species have to find ways of waffling and letting down nicely, instead of outright saying no, because of the fear of what might happen to them, there is a terrorism problem. When there are multiple industries that make billions of dollars a year entirely on the fear that women may not look like the perfect contructs that these very same industries tell women they are obligated to look like, there is a terrorism problem.

Boys are practically brought up with the idea that they are owed something from girls. It is ingrained in our society and culture in movies, books, television, games and advertising. How many times has the woman been the prize for the man? Her own needs and wants are secondary, or just turn out to be "I guess I did love him I just needed to realise that I am worthless without his masculinity". And, while you may say "well that's just fiction it doesn't *mean* anything", you'd be dead fucking wrong. Because the industries that create this material don't just act like this towards the fictional women they sell, but towards the very *real* women that work in them.

Then you have the fanbases of these industries. When they aren't attempting (especially in the video-games and sci-fi/fantasy genres) to police the presence of women, they're acting like the perfect sexists towards the ones who are working on their favourite things. The amount of death and rape threats that abound when a woman even *hints* that some of these problems exist is mindblowing, only to be surpassed by the amount of rape and death threats when a woman *dares* to make a change to their holy grails (like, for example, changing the stats on a sniper rifle in an online shooter).

And so, these MRA/PUA/RP people and their obscene philosophy are not the cause. They are merely a simptom of a much larger, much more pervasive problem in our culture. That of women being secondary and objectified. But this is not the story the media will tell. They're just going to go off once more about a lone madman who did something crazy, there's nothing we can do about that oh well.

This man may have been mentally troubled, but that's not what caused him to murder a bunch of innocents. That's not what caused him to return to the sites of what he felt like was his brutal humiliation at being forced to watch happy couples so he could gun them down. He felt he was entitled to receiving sex from a hot woman. This didn't happen, so he decided to get revenge on them for not giving him what he was owed. And this attitude is pervasive and far reaching in all parts of our culture. But lets not talk about that. Instead, lets talk about how Selena Gomez is going to be a single mom, shocking, that whore.

And don't even get me started on the gun culture aspect. How many people would have died if Roger had not been able to get firearms as easily and readily as he did. Legally purchased firearms in his name, with dozens of fully loaded spare magazines to continue his murder spree. But that's not important either. Because freedom.

NOTE: I am fully aware that men are also hurt and affected by the gender-binary sexist culture we live in. But that's not what this post is about. Don't come in here and whine about teh menz. My patience for that is growing thin from all of the similar comments I've seen about this tragedy. Get over yourself, men, and get some idea of what it is you're actually talking about first.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

the entitlement to women and the sex they give

There's been another mass shooting in the United States today. That, in of itself, isn't so shocking anymore. Which, really, is kind of a disturbing and disgusting state of affairs to be in. "Oh, another seven human beings had their lives snuffed out by an angry person using legally purchased firearms that were obtained easier than if he was trying to get sex toys".

But this one is special, because it directly links the purported shooter with a certain heinous philosophy which is gaining a fair bit of ground online in recent years. They have many congregations on the internet, including several subreddits on Reddit. They've been termed Love Shy, MRA's, Red Pillers, and various other terms. Their uniform generally comes with a fedora (and no accompanying suit. my biggest pet peeve about these fuckers is that they've ruined classy fashion for everyone, for ever) and an armour of woman-loathing self aggrandizement.

Seven people are dead today because one man did not receive the sexual gratification he felt was his due. Seven people have died because there is an entire movement dedicated to dehumanizing woman as merely pleasure-bags for men, and demonising them if they attempt to be more than that. Seven people are dead because a man decided that the reason he wasn't in a relationship was because all women are whores who won't sleep with him.

This is not a conversation we can shy away from. There is a dedicated core of people who will view the acts of this man not as something heinous, but merely the tragic downfall of a poor Nice Guy driven to the brink by the evil whores and their douchebags. I seriously don't even want to try and go see their congregation sites to confirm or deny, since the MRA/RedPill stuff makes me physically ill. But there have already been Mansplanations about how "NOT ALL MEN" on articles about this, so it bodes ill.

there needs to be a conversation about the still prevalent and overarching sexism in todays society. About the rape culture that exists. And about this toxic philosophy that refuses to treat women as human beings with agency, but as accessories for Nice Guys to parade around in as trophies to their niceness, and as proof that they have had sex.

This may be the first mass-killing with a link to this thought process, but I doubt it will be the last.